The U.S. could discuss with Russia some specific issues related to Moscow’s global security initiatives, particularly in the area of NATO expansion eastward, according to Stephen Pifer of the U.S. Brookings Institution.
“The draft treaty’s proposed ban on any NATO military activities in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus or Central Asia is excessive, but some measures to limit military exercises and activities on a reciprocal basis may be possible,” the Associated Press quoted an expert who was U.S. ambassador to Ukraine during President Bill Clinton’s administration as saying.
“Key NATO members have already made it clear that they have no desire to expand the alliance in the near future,” the AP notes.
At the same time, a U.S. administration official, commenting to reporters on the outcome of a telephone conversation between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, confirmed that the United States has not changed its view that the countries that want it, rather than third parties, should decide on accession to NATO.
“Our position is absolutely clear. Decisions should be made by the sovereign countries themselves in consultation with the alliance, not by anyone else,” he said.
Nevertheless, as Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters, Putin told Biden in his conversation that Russia would seek guarantees of its security, and the American leader “agreed with this point of view and reacted quite logically and quite seriously.”