Putin to mull options if West refuses guarantees on Ukraine

Publish Date : 2021-12-26 00:00:00


Putin to mull options if West refuses guarantees on Ukraine

Earlier this month, Moscow submitted draft security documents demanding that NATO deny membership to Ukraine and other former Soviet countries and roll back its military deployments in Central and Eastern Europe.

Putin has urged the West to move quickly to meet the demands, warning that Moscow will have to take “adequate military-technical measures” if the West continues its “aggressive” course “on the threshold of our home.”

Asked to specify what such Moscow’s response could be, he said in comments aired by Russian state TV Sunday that “it could be diverse,” adding without elaboration that “it will depend on what proposals our military experts submit to me.”

The U.S. and its allies have refused to offer Russia the kind of guarantee on Ukraine that Putin wants, citing NATO’s principle that membership is open to any qualifying country. They agreed. however, to launch security talks with Russia next month to discuss its concerns.

Putin said the talks with the U.S. will be held in Geneva. In parallel, negotiations are also set to be held between Russia and NATO and broader discussions are expected under the aegis of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

In remarks broadcast Sunday, Putin said that Russia submitted the demands in the hope of a constructive answer from the West.

“We didn’t do it just to see it blocked ... but for the purpose of reaching a negotiated diplomatic result that would be fixed in legally binding documents,” Putin said.

He reaffirmed that NATO membership for Ukraine or the deployment of alliance weapons there is a red line for Moscow that it wouldn’t allow the West to cross.

“We have nowhere to retreat,” he said, adding that NATO could deploy missiles in Ukraine that would take just four or five minutes to reach Moscow. “They have pushed us to a line that we can’t cross. They have taken it to the point where we simply must tell them; ‘Stop!’”

He voiced concern that the U.S. and its allies could try to drag out the security talks and use them as a cover to pursue a military buildup near Russia.

He noted that Russia published its security demands to make them known to the public and raise the pressure on the U.S. and its allies to negotiate a security deal.

“We have just one goal — to reach agreements that would ensure the security of Russia and its citizens now and in a long-term perspective,” he said.

The Kremlin presented its security demand amid the tensions over a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine in recent weeks that has fueled Western fears of a possible invasion. U.S. President Joe Biden warned Putin in a video call earlier this month that Russia will face “severe consequences” if it attacks Ukraine.

Russia has denied an intention of launching an invasion and, in its turn, accused Ukraine of hatching plans to try to reclaim control of the territories held by Moscow-backed rebels by force. Ukraine has rejected the claim.

Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and shortly after threw its support behind a separatist rebellion in the country’s east. Over more than seven years, the fighting has killed over 14,000 people and devastated Ukraine’s industrial heartland, known as the Donbas.

Australia’s most populous state reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and a sharp jump in hospitalizations while thousands of people were isolating at home after contracting the virus or coming into contact with someone who has.

A major laboratory in Sydney, which is located in New South Wales, said that 400 people who had been informed a day earlier they had tested negative for COVID-19 had in fact tested positive. The lab’s medical director said those people were being contacted and informed of the error.

“An emergency response team is now investigating the cause of this mistake, which is believed to be due to human error. We sincerely apologize,” said SydPath medical director Anthony Dodds.

Doctors and pharmacists in New South Wales have said they are running short of vaccine doses amid a rush for shots spurred by concern over the omicron variant.

New South Wales reported 6,394 new infections, up from 6,288 a day earlier. Case numbers in the state have surged over the past two weeks but hospitalizations have lagged behind new infections.

More than 70% of cases in some Australian states are the omicron variant of the coronavirus but New South Wales does not routinely carry out genome testing to identify the variant. State Health Minister Brad Hazzard indicated Sunday that omicron is widespread.

“We would expect that pretty well everybody in New South Wales at some point will get omicron,” Hazzard said. “If we’re all going to get omicron, the best way to face it is when we have full vaccinations including our booster.”

Health officials reported 458 active cases in hospitals across the state, up sharply from 388 the day before. There were 52 people in intensive care in New South Wales.



Category :news

Djokovic’s appeal of canceled visa moves to higher court

Djokovic’s appeal of canceled visa moves to higher court

- Novak Djokovic’s effort to play in the Australian Open despite being unvaccinated for COVID-19 moved


German president calls for debate over COVID vaccine mandate

German president calls for debate over COVID vaccine mandate

- Germany’s president called Wednesday for a thorough debate over plans for compulsory coronavirus vaccinations for all adults in the country


Covid: Two cases of new variant Omicron detected in UK

Covid: Two cases of new variant Omicron detected in UK

- Two people in the UK have been found to be infected with the new Covid variant, Omicron, the health secretary has said.


Beijing reports 1st local omicron case ahead of Olympics

Beijing reports 1st local omicron case ahead of Olympics

- Beijing has reported its first local omicron infection, according to state media, weeks before the Winter Olympic Games are due to start.