The Russian president Vladimir Putin wants detailed talks on legal guarantees that NATO will no longer consider expanding further east towards Russia. Those security guarantees must be “strong, reliable and long-term”, Putin said by welcoming new ambassadors to the Kremlin on Wednesday (1 December).
“Within the frames of the dialogue with the United States and its allies, we will be insisting on concrete agreements, which exclude any possible NATO expansion to the East. … We suggest starting detailed talks on this issue”, the Russian president said.
He seeks legally binding agreements, as in the past NATO had not adhered to verbal agreements on the issue, he said at the meeting. Putin also said he was concerned that NATO infrastructure was now getting closer to Russian territory and that Ukrainian military forces had gathered near territory controlled by pro-Russian militias in eastern Ukraine.
The Russian president made his statements at a moment when tensions with Ukraine and NATO are rising.