The Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Photo: kremlin.ru

Moscow demands: No NATO troops in Estonia without Russia’s explicit permission

The Russian foreign ministry has published two documents of its vision on how Moscow’s relationship with NATO should look like; one of the demands to the alliance is that no NATO troops can be deployed in countries that weren’t NATO members before 1997 – including Estonia – without Russia’s explicit permission.

The documents the Russian foreign ministry published are its vision of agreements with both the United States and NATO. Moscow is demanding the US and NATO sign these documents to ensure Russia’s security.

According to Article 4 of the unofficial English translation of one of the documents, titled the “Agreement on measures to ensure the security of the Russian Federation and member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization”, the “Russian Federation and all the Parties that were member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as of 27 May 1997, respectively, shall not deploy military forces and weaponry on the territory of any of the other States in Europe in addition to the forces stationed on that territory as of 27 May 1997. With the consent of all the Parties such deployments can take place in exceptional cases to eliminate a threat to security of one or more Parties.”

After 27 May 1997, 14 countries have become members of NATO: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro and North Macedonia.

No membership for Ukraine

The document further demands that the parties of the proposed agreement will not “deploy land-based intermediate- and short-range missiles in areas allowing them to reach the territory of the other Parties”.

“All member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization commit themselves to refrain from any further enlargement of NATO, including the accession of Ukraine as well as other States,” Article 6 of the document says.

“The Parties that are member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization shall not conduct any military activity on the territory of Ukraine as well as other States in the Eastern Europe, in the South Caucasus and in Central Asia,” according to Article 7.

The Ukrainian parliament building in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. Photo by Vadim Churpina.

The second document the Russian foreign ministry published is a proposed treaty between the US and the Russian Federation that demands, among other issues, that neither country will “not undertake actions nor participate in or support activities that affect the security of the other Party” and will “not implement security measures adopted by each Party individually or in the framework of an international organization, military alliance or coalition that could undermine core security interests of the other Party”.

No US military bases in former Soviet countries

“The Parties shall not use the territories of other States with a view to preparing or carrying out an armed attack against the other Party or other actions affecting core security interests of the other Party,” the proposed agreement states.

“The United States of America shall undertake to prevent further eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and deny accession to the Alliance to the States of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.”

American soldiers on an exercise in Estonia. Photo by the Estonian Defence Forces.

“The United States of America shall not establish military bases in the territory of the States of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, use their infrastructure for any military activities or develop bilateral military cooperation with them,” the Russian Federation further demands.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has said NATO needs to stop endangering Russia and to that end the parties need to sign an international agreement.

Cover: The Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Photo: kremlin.ru

1 thought on “Moscow demands: No NATO troops in Estonia without Russia’s explicit permission”

  1. Given Putin has desires to rebuild the former USSR, agreement to this would open the door to him simply driving his tanks in and having little to no ability to defend themselves. Nobody wants that! Look at the behaviour of Russian in Crimea. This would give Putin carte blanche to do what he wants in all other former USSR states. I hope that Biden and the other NATO member states reject this out of hand. However, NATO seems scared to even consider a standoff between Russia and themselves, in particular Germany – due to their gas pipelines – self-serving interests for Germany rather than that of the greater Europe.

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