(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated his demand that the United States and its NATO allies not expand eastward and accused the West of being responsible for the “tensions that are building up in Europe.”
Putin has consistently demanded that President Biden prevent Ukraine from joining NATO, a demand he reiterated during his virtual meeting with Biden earlier this month.
Russia’s president repeated this demand during a meeting with his top military brass on Tuesday, just days after Moscow submitted a draft of security documents demanding NATO deny membership to Ukraine and other former Soviet satellites and roll back its military deployments in the region.
It is unlikely NATO will agree to Russia’s demands.
The proposed Russia-US security treaty and Moscow/NATO security agreement were drafted by Moscow as tensions over Russia’s troop buildup at the Ukraine border have prompted fears in the West of a possible invasion.
Russia, which has denied that it plans to attack Ukraine, is pressing for legal guarantees ruling out NATO expansion and weapons deployment in the region.
During his speech on Tuesday, Putin warned of the threat to Moscow if US and NATO missile systems are placed in Ukraine, explaining that this threat is why the Kremlin needs “long-term, legally-binding guarantees” from NATO rather than “verbal assurances.”
He pointed out that despite previous verbal assurances from NATO, it has continued to expand eastward since the late 1990s.
Putin said the current tensions in Europe are entirely the fault of the US and NATO, and Russia was being “forced to respond,” adding that any armed conflict or bloodshed will not be Russia’s choice.
The United States, Putin added, “should understand we have nowhere to retreat.” What NATO and the US are planning with Ukraine, he explained, is happening “right at the doorstep of our house.”
Post-Cold War relations between the United States and Russia became strained after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. The current buildup of Russian troops along Ukraine’s eastern border has only reignited the already tense situation.