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EU Foreign Policy chief warns against 'excluding' Brussels from security talks with Russia

News Agencies | Updated on: 20 December 2021, 10:18 IST
Josep Borrell

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell claims that Moscow could try to exclude the European Union from talks on security guarantees.

"Russia's ultimate intentions are not clear, except that it seeks to threaten and weaken Ukraine.

Different scenarios can unfold. ...We cannot exclude Russia's desire to use this crisis as leverage for its declared purpose to reshape the security framework in Europe, also excluding the Europeans from the discussions," Borrell said on his blog on Sunday.

He emphasized that any Russian action against Ukraine and its sovereignty would have serious consequences and expressed hope that the US will not allow Brussels to get excluded from talks on security.

"...the EU must of course be at the table of any discussion on the European security architecture. Russia's Foreign Ministry this Friday released a draft proposal on security guarantees between Russia and the US as well as to European members of NATO. It is clear that the EU must be an integral part of such discussions," Borrell stressed.

He recalled the Helsinki Final Act and the Paris Charter, as well as mechanisms and rules of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which, according to Borrell, must be used when engaging with Russia on issues of security.

On Friday, Moscow published draft agreements between Russia, the United States and NATO on security guarantees. The proposals, if agreed to, would ban NATO from expanding in eastern Europe and prohibit the US and Russia from deploying intermediate and shorter-range missiles within striking distance of each other's territory, among other terms.

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Sunday that NATO was going to discuss Russia's proposals on security guarantees this week.

The security issue has surged in importance on the backdrop of the growing tensions around Ukraine, as Russia stands accused of allegedly deploying troops near the Ukrainian border in preparation for an invasion.

Moscow has repeatedly denied these accusations, pointing to NATO's military activity near the Russian borders, which it deems a threat to its national security. Russia has also said that it has the right to move forces within its own territory.


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First published: 20 December 2021, 10:18 IST