On Wednesday, the US and NATO delivered written responses to Moscow addressing security proposals made by Russia. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the full US response would not be made public for now, but he shared some details of Washington’s stance.
One of Russia’s main demands is for a guarantee that Ukraine will never join NATO, but Blinken said NATO will maintain an “open door” policy for future memberships. “NATO’s door is open, remains open, and that is our commitment,” he said.
Over in Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also said the alliance’s doors will remain open. “We will not compromise on some core principles. And one of them is, of course, that every nation has the right to choose its own path,” he said.
While rejecting one Russian demand, both Blinken and Stoltenberg said there is room to work with Moscow on other issues. Blinken said the US is open to reaching agreements on missile deployments in Eastern Europe, military exercises in Europe, and arms control.
Stoltenberg echoed Blinken and added that NATO and Russia should restore diplomatic relations. Russia recently suspended its diplomatic mission to NATO after the alliance expelled eight Russian diplomats from Brussels over claims that they were spies.
US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan delivered the written response to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko on Wednesday night in Moscow. So far, there have been no public statements from Moscow on the contents of the document. Blinken said he expects to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the “coming days” to discuss the next steps.