Moscow is seeking the withdrawal of NATO forces and weapons from Romania and Bulgaria as part of its sweeping security demands from the U.S.-led alliance, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Friday.
Russia demands written responses from the United States on its proposed security guarantees, which includes the withdrawal of NATO’s infrastructure from eastern European countries that became members of the Western military bloc after 1997.
Washington, which is engaged in high-level talks to forestall a possible invasion of Ukraine by the tens of thousands of Russian troops amassed near its borders, has dismissed Moscow’s demands as “non-starters.”
“One of the main elements of our initiatives is consciously formulated very clearly and does not allow any ambiguous interpretations,” the Foreign Ministry said.
“We’re talking about the withdrawal of foreign forces, equipment and weapons and other steps to return to the 1997 configuration,” it said in a statement.
“These include Bulgaria and Romania.”
The former Soviet-led Warsaw Pact allies joined NATO in 2004 and currently have agreements in place to deploy around 6,000 U.S. troops on their territories on a rotational basis.
In addition to withdrawing NATO forces from Bulgaria and Romania, Russia wants NATO to guarantee no new military bases in ex-Soviet countries and prevent new members, including Ukraine.
In Friday’s statement, the Foreign Ministry accused NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of “unceremoniously exerting pressure” on non-aligned Finland and Sweden to join NATO in the face of Russia’s possible invasion of Ukraine.
(c) The Moscow Times
Why would Muscovy want two NATO countries with a Black Sea coastline to be kicked out of NATO?
I think Putin wants to leave the stage with a big boom.
Putin is demanding of NATO what he is refusing to do in the Donbas…
Who is supposed to get out of Bulgaria and Romania? They are two sovereign states which joined Nato on their own will. They are not occupied by anybody. The ongoing bizarre statements and demands can’t mean anything good. Are these irrational demands, which can’t be fulfilled, the pretext to an attack on Ukraine and/or Nato?
He thinks he can make the Black Sea into a Russian lake, but NATO countries are stopping him. Wonder why he never threatened Turkey, which are as close to Russia as Romania or Bulgaria?
He has 40 million muzzlimz on his ass, mainly finacially supported by Turkey. He won’t go there. Putin is a coward, he will seek the weakest targets with least resistance.