White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, referring to the Russian demands, said that NATO countries decide who is a member of the Alliance, not Russia. The possibility of any obligations that Russia demands as “guarantees” is also firmly rejected by Ukraine.
– It is up to NATO countries to decide who is in NATO, not Russia – White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Friday, responding during a press conference to the question whether the US would be able to consider offering Russia guarantees excluding Ukraine’s membership in NATO in future.
The spokeswoman declined to follow up on President Joe Biden’s earlier statement that he was preparing “the most complete and meaningful set of initiatives” in response to a possible Russian invasion. – We want to assure you that we will be prepared because we know what President Putin has done in the past and we can see that he is preparing the capacity to take action. If he decides to invade, we want to be ready – said Psaki.
She added that there were economic sanctions among the initiatives, but she also suggested that it was also about arms supplies to Ukraine. She noted that a set of sanctions is being prepared in coordination with America’s allies and Congress. It also confirmed that the White House is involved in consultations with Russia on the organization of the talks between Presidents Biden and Putin, but did not decide whether and when it would take place.
The representative of the White House also stated that Washington did not intend to put any pressure on Ukraine to offer concessions requested by Russia in order to resolve the crisis. – Let’s not forget who provoked these present tensions. It was Russia and it is Russia’s duty to de-escalate, Psaki said.
Ukraine rejects the possibility of pledging not to join NATO
Resigning from membership plans “is not an option for us,” said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who is visiting Stockholm at a meeting of foreign ministers of the OSCE countries, on Friday to the AFP agency.
Putin said Wednesday that his country would insist in talks with the US and NATO to develop agreements that would preclude the expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance eastwards and deploy “weapons systems” to Russia’s borders.
The head of Russian diplomacy, Sergey Lavrov, announced on Thursday that Moscow would react if Washington and its allies did not respond to the guarantees offered by Russia.
Main photo source: ANATOLY STEPANOV / PAP / EPA