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U.S. Ambassador to NATO Says Russia Should ‘Dialogue’ on NATO’s Terms or Face Consequences

Jan. 12, 2022 (EIRNS)—In Brussels, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith told reporters yesterday, ahead of today’s NATO-Russia Council meeting, that the U.S. and its NATO allies were heading into the meeting “prepared for the conversation” and in lockstep with a commitment to dialogue, but are resolved to impose consequences on Russia should it launch further aggression inside Ukraine. She also made it clear that they would in no way agree to Russia’s central demand that NATO’s march eastward stop, and that Ukraine in particular not be invited to join NATO.

Smith told CNN in an interview that “frankly, I don’t see a lot of compromise” on the issue of NATO’s approach to enlargement. “At this point, let me be very, very clear—no one is suggesting that we alter NATO policy on enlargement,” Smith said. “The door remains open. No one has the right to kick the door shut. And any decision about enlargement will continue to rest between the NATO alliance and the country in question.”

If Russia does not agree to heel, Sherman explained, the U.S. and NATO will apply sanctions on Russian financial institutions, export controls that target key industries, enhancement of NATO force posture on allied territory in eastern Europe and increased security assistance to Ukraine.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko had also previewed what the Russian side expected from the meeting. It will be “a moment of truth” in Russia-NATO relations, he stated. “Our expectations are entirely realistic and we hope that this will be a serious, deep conversation,” he said, and further stating that Russia would demand a comprehensive response from the alliance to its demands. “We will push for a concrete, substantive, article-by-article reaction to the Russian draft agreement on guarantees.”

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