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EU foreign policy chief rejects Russian security demands aimed at easing tensions with Nato in Ukraine

RUSSIA’S roadmap for simmering down security tensions with Nato is “unacceptable,” EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell declared today.

Russia hopes to halt Nato militarisation of Ukraine, where Western forces have gathered. President Vladimir Putin fears the US-led war machine plans to retake the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

But Mr Borrell told Die Welt newspaper that the bid to stop the EU and Nato’s eastward expansion “are a purely Russian agenda with completely unacceptable conditions.”

He blasted Moscow for presenting the demands in writing “in the form of a real treaty,” saying: “Only the winners do this: they say that this and that are my conditions.”

Mr Borrell insisted that the EU should be part of planned US-Russia talks next month.

On Monday, Russian deputy defence minister Alexander Fomin warned that Nato was carrying out “targeted provocations” on its borders.

These actions and military drills had now “completely reorientated toward preparing for a large-scale, high-intensity armed conflict with Russia,” he said.

“The alliance’s continuation of a confrontational course towards our country forces us to rigidly put before Nato the issue of legally binding security guarantees for Russia, which would exclude any further advances of the bloc to the east and deployment of threatening weapons systems in the immediate vicinity of our borders,” Mr Fomin added.

The US has also already rejected a number of Russia’s demands including a commitment that both countries do not station nuclear weapons outside their own territory.

Washington-controlled nuclear weapons are currently hosted by Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Turkey.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered a strike force of US warships to remain in the Mediterranean yesterday.


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