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Biden Affirms, U.S. Ready To Continue Talks with Russia and Put Security Accords in Writing

Feb. 16, 2022 (EIRNS)—Speaking to reporters at the White House yesterday, President Joe Biden said the U.S. is ready to continue diplomatic talks with Russia and to put on paper certain security guarantees in the context of recent talks. This latter is a central demand of Russia, in light of the history of unkept verbal promises on security matters by the U.S. and NATO over the last 30 years. In the course of his press conference yesterday with visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Russian President Vladimir Putin restated the issue succinctly: “We see the forceful containment of Russia as a direct and immediate threat to our national security; legal agreements based on the drafts we have proposed would in fact remove this threat.”

“Yesterday, the Russian government publicly proposed to continue the diplomacy,” Biden said.

“I agree. We should give the diplomacy every chance to succeed. I believe there are real ways to address our respective security concerns.... We are ready to keep pursuing high-level diplomacy to reach written understandings among Russia, the United States, and the nations of Europe to address legitimate security concerns if that’s what he wishes. Their security concerns and ours.... We’re proposing new arms control measures, new transparency measures, new strategic stability measures. These measures would apply to all parties—NATO and Russia alike,”

Biden said.

Biden went on to address other points of known concern to Russia, including the possible placement of NATO troops and advanced weapons in Ukraine; and the lack of regard for Russia’s stated central security concerns. “Neither the U.S. nor NATO have missiles in Ukraine. We do not have plans to put them there as well,” Biden said. “We’re not targeting the people of Russia. We do not seek to destabilize Russia.” Biden referred to earlier periods of cooperation: “Seventy-seven years ago, our people fought and sacrificed side by side to end the worst war in history.”

In the second part of his remarks, however, Biden returned to the familiar litany of threats of what would happen to Russia if they invaded Ukraine—even though the Russian government had already announced that they were withdrawing troops from the border with Ukraine, since their scheduled exercises had concluded.

He also repeated the mantra justifying Ukraine’s possible eventual entry into NATO—which is a red-line for Russia. “Nations have a right to sovereignty and territorial integrity. They have the freedom to set their own course and choose with whom they will associate,” Biden stated. He added that his administration has no plans to send its troops to Ukraine if a military conflict breaks out there, but Washington will remain committed to NATO’s collective defense principle.

“And make no mistake: The United States will defend every inch of NATO territory.... An attack against one NATO country is an attack against all of us.”

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