Author`s name Andrey Mihayloff

Putin's sinister silence startles Washington

Vladimir Putin has kept the West guessing what action Russia will take after the US response to Moscow's security guarantee proposals.

According to an article published in The Japan Times newspaper, the Russian president repeatedly pointed out in 2021 what position Russia was taking in relation to Ukraine and its desire to become a member of NATO.

The proposals, which Moscow earlier sent to the United States, also noted that Ukraine should not become a NATO member for the sake of Russia's security. Russian officials keep making restrained statements that come into great contrast with what US officials have to say on the topic.

According to Japanese journalists, Moscow has been showing discipline in terms of what Russian officials say on the topic of tensions between Russia and NATO. At the same time, Washington resorts to ruthless speculations.

Washington gave its written answer to Moscow's demands on Wednesday, but the White House refused to expose the documents. Anthony Blinken, the head of the US State Department, said that the United States would not compromise NATO's open doors principle.

Western officials were wondering what the Russian president was going to say in response to USA's written response to Russia's demands. Noteworthy, Vladimir Putin, unlike his US counterpart Biden, has not touched upon the issue of Ukraine lately.

However, the President of the Russian Federation did not satisfy the curiosity of American politicians. He did not make any statements, which they apparently were looking forward to.

"Like everything about Putin's foreign policy, the president's astounding silence in the high-stakes drama that revolves around him was designed to keep the West guessing about his intentions," the newspaper said.

The Japan Times noted that before the United States gave its answer to Russia, Vladimir Putin held a series of negotiations with the leaders of different countries, but he did not raise the topic of Ukraine, which intrigued the West even more. Putin's silence has come as a real surprise to the United States and a clear signal to Washington, the newspaper said.

Washington still ignores Russia's major demand

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters that Washington did not give a positive response to the main question related to Russia's security demands.

"As for the content of the document, there is a reaction there, which allows us to count on the start of a serious conversation, albeit on secondary issues only. There is no positive reaction on the main issue in this document. The main issue is our clear position on the inadmissibility of NATO's further expansion to the east,” Lavrov said.

The Russian minister noted that in the 1990s NATO promised Russia not to expand east of the Oder River.

"Today, when this topic is being discussed so resonantly, we were first told that those assurances were verbal, then we were told that they were not entirely serious. Their explanations about the reckless expansion of the alliance were not the explanations that adults would make," said Lavrov.

The 1999 Istanbul Declaration and the 2010 Astana Declaration state that governments should not strengthen security of their counties to other countries' detriment.

"Western countries are going to silence this principle deliberately,” Lavrov said. "We will focus on the need for our Western partners to clarify their crafty policy,” he added.

According to Lavrov, during the talks with Blinken, he asked why Western countries saw OSCE documents as a menu, from which they could choose what was good for them.

"Tony Blinken didn't give me an answer to that question. He just shrugged his shoulders and that was it," the Russian Foreign Minister said.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken unveiled a few details about Washington's response to Russia's security demands:

  • NATO's open doors principle,
  • readiness for negotiations in case of de-escalation,
  • commitment to a diplomatic way of resolving the crisis,
  • readiness for cooperation in areas listed by the American side.

Therefore, Putin's reaction may indicate that he does not intend to repeat himself and once again explain to the West what position Russia takes in security matters, the Japanese newspaper wrote. Instead, Putin is busy with more important things.

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