Russia 'Wants Answers' over NATO Border Plans

World | April 3, 2014, Thursday // 15:54| Views: | Comments: 24
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Bulgaria: Russia 'Wants Answers' over NATO Border Plans Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has insisted that Russia has the right to dispatch troops anywhere on its own territory. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Russia has sent a list of questions to NATO's headquarters regarding the alliance's actions in Eastern Europe.

The country's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists that Moscow would expect "answers based on rules upon which we have agreed", as he was quoted by German weekly Der Spiegel.

Lavrov also commented on remarks recently made over the buildup of Russian troops near Ukraine's borders by saying that Russia "has the right to dispatch its forces anywhere on its own territory" and that "they [the troops] will return to their bases" after military drills are finished.

Rhetoric going beyond reasonable borders "has to be deescalated," Lavrov made clear, adding he considered current heightening of tensions to be "unnecessary".

NATO members earlier agreed to bolster defense at its eastern flank, namely in Poland, the Baltic states and possibly in the Black Sea region, where three NATO countries (Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey) have a coastline.

Further proposals for stepping up defense are to be discussed in a fortnight.

The alliance also decided to suspend cooperation with Russia on most issues, leaving the door open for talks "only at ambassadorial levels" following what the West has called a "violation of Ukraine's territory".

The Crimean Peninsula was incorporated into the Russian Federation after a regional referendum in which the population voted in favour of breaking away from Ukraine.

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Tags: Lavrov, NATO, border, Russia, Ukraine, Crimea
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» To the forumComments (24)
sa-sha - 7 Apr 2014 // 12:14:44

Riichie, if human life is of highest priority, then the main difference [Kosovo-Crimea] is the WAY: no bloodshed, no victims, no people' exodus, no desecrating/ruining churches + Referendum, it's about Crimea, but NOT about Kosovo, Riichie.
About "Dutch story", facts only: (a)NO RIGHT to arrest diplomats, ONE common law for ALL States; (b)"beaten children": NO bruises/injuries were fixed by medics; (c)"neighbour's call": the official Russian request (to meet and talk to those "neighbors") was declined by Holland; (d) NO alcohol test was conducted.
About "whom to trust to": Russian media today, imo, are much more trustworthy than the anglo-saxon MSM. Still the main for me is to take facts from different sources, to compare and to analyze them.
"Reporters Without Borders"? ;-) Sorry, but how to trust "National Endowment for Democracy"? I'm strongly
against Crusades, Riichie, including those ones under the "Promoting democracy" veil.
Kosovo and Crimea: once again, if human life is of highest priority, then we merely must thank Lord for the bloodless "divorce" and respect the FREE choice of Crimeans ["dictated by force", "under the guns", I like it ;-)'s just about the trust to MSM, Riichie] when they decided to leave the State captured by ultras...
And about Kosovo "special way" to freedom: not a 10-year, but much more old story, Riichie. This murky, imo, "project" was launched in WWII days...

Optimistic - 7 Apr 2014 // 08:32:23

Agent Picadilly if parts of the Ukraine had a choice the peaceful East and its gas reserves would join the Russian Federation and the troublesome poor West could try and join the EU but the EU would not want them, they are poor,stupid have no gas and would cost the EU lots of money.

It would teach them a lesson.

Agent Piccadilly - 7 Apr 2014 // 08:17:55

Optimistic, whilst I agree Ukraine should be broken up into smaller states, I cannot understand why you states they should be given the opportunity to join the EU rather than being absorbed into the Russian Federation. You see what damage these Western fascists do to the economies and how they oppress the people when they annex former socialist bloc countries and force them to join the EU so encouraging them to do would be like leading lambs to slaughter.

Optimistic - 6 Apr 2014 // 22:11:24

Self determination in the Ukraine, protests in Donetsk looking for referendums on self determination.

Yugoslavia was broken up and is now peaceful.

Break up the Ukraine into small states and let them join either the EU or the Russian Federation.

This would be peaceful and democratic.

sha-sha-shtupid - 6 Apr 2014 // 21:46:29

Sha-sha has declared that, if a Russian diplomat is drunk and beating a child in public, that Russian should be left to continue without intervention. Please sha-sha, crawl back into your hole and, I don't know, I feel sorry for you.

Riichie - 6 Apr 2014 // 18:34:56

sa-sha, the case with the Dutch policeman illustrates my point very well. Imagine you are in the shoes of that policeman, and have been called to check on a neighbour's call that someone is violent to a child. You see that there is indeed a man being violent to a child: what do you do? Do you check if he may be the father, or even a diplomat (probably the legally right thing to do)? Or do you choose to protect the child, constrain the man (with violence, if necessary) and check out the legal situation later (for instance, when he's in the police office and you consider checking if he's indeed drunk). I think the later is the right thing to do, and that's what the policeman did.
You may doubt if the situation really occurred like described in the Dutch media, or like it was described in the Russian media. You and I were not present at the scene, so we have to rely on media reports. Do you then trust Dutch media, the Netherlands being no. 2 in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index, or Russian media, Russia being no. 148 in that list? And do you trust Reporters without Borders? Also consider that last year the Netherlands and Russia were celebrating 400 years of diplomatic relations, so neither side must have been interested in starting a diplomatic row.
You also make an interesting point about the balance between "right for self-determination" and "territorial integrity". I think the right for self-determination should win in the end, but only after all possibilities to obtain it without violating the territorial integrity of a state have been thoroughly investigated. In the case of Kosovo, it took 10 years between the conflict between Kosovo Albanians and Serbia becoming violent and Kosovo's declaration of independence, and most of that time was spent on diplomatic efforts to find a solution. In the case of the Crimea, it never became as violent as in Kosovo (or maybe I'm reading the wrong media?), and between Yanukovich' departure and the Crimea's move to Russia, there was less than 4 weeks. That, for me, is the main difference between the Kosovo and Crimea cases.

Agent Piccadilly - 6 Apr 2014 // 12:19:22

Enough of this softly softly diplomatic approach. Russia, with the help of Bulgaria, should liberate the Baltic states from their Western oppressors and absorb them once again into the Russian Federation which is where the citizens of these countries want to be and where they belong.

sa-sha - 6 Apr 2014 // 11:18:45

"Dutch police arrested a Russian diplomat who beat up his kids in a drunken rage"?---(1)"Arrested" is a KEY word. . Police of any state has NO right to rush in the foreign diplomats' houses, without mentioning the arrest of diplomats. The Dutch RUSHED IN and ARRESTED!!! (2) Alcohol test? The Dutch hasn't conducted it.
(3) Russian diplomat was severely beaten by the police officers. The bruises and injuries were fixed by physicians. (4) The kids were examined by medics the next morning after Dutch police' "visit". NO bruises/injuries were fixed.Need any more INFO? And please, buddy, try to check and to analyze a bit the MSM' canards.
As for "bullying, demanding, overbearing language": "Russia will pay dearly for its policy" (author: Mr.Obama),
"Russia risks massive political and economic damage if..."(Frau Merkel), "We decided today to introduce additional restrictive measures against..." (Catherine Ashton), etc, etc...Сooing of the doves of Peace....

Dogfish - 5 Apr 2014 // 21:14:16

It is not the content, but the tone that irks - that bullying, demanding, overbearing language. We also heard it when someone does something ironic on the Soviet-era eyesore in Sofia, and when Dutch police arrested a Russian diplomat who beat up his kids in a drunken rage (at the same time his wife rammed a couple of cars in the street - also senselessly drunk). "the guilty must be severely punished" etc etc. This is the bearing of a Mongol Khan or a medieval princeling towards his subordinates. Lavrov indeed is out of touch - to the tune of several centuries.

Optimistic - 5 Apr 2014 // 12:08:12

The move of Crimea to the Russian Federation has been achieved by peaceful, democratic and lawful means.

The Western news media has dropped it as a story so job done.

The West will not want to get hurt in a serious sanctions battle with Russia and voters in the West probably, don't care about the Crimea and don't even know where it is.

sa-sha - 5 Apr 2014 // 10:19:07

Richie, the problem is really fundamental. And it is not about "trust" of Ukraine (or any other State) leaders, it's about destiny of peoples. The International Law contains two mutually exclusive normes: (a) the territorial integrity of a State and (b) the right of people on self-determination, right? So, the story is about Balance. To violate it - to this or to that side - means to face the utmost unpreditable consequences. It's just what happened with the "dissolved" (by Yeltsin-Kravchuk-Shushkevich "trinity") USSR, with Yougoslavia and - if we speak now about Ukraine/Crimea - with Serbia/Kosovo. Was another option (large autonomy for Kosovo) possible? Think that YES, if wish of Western Powers BE. But.....the balance was violated in favour of "self-determination". And let's add that Crimeans ALWAYS considered themselves as a part of Russia; Referendum clearly confirmed it.....What to do with it Today, Richie, when the Balance was violated Yesterday, in Kosovo?

Optimistic - 4 Apr 2014 // 14:55:22

Riichie, if you were having a heart attack would you break the speed limits to get to hospital quickly?

When the people of Crimea asked for help Russia helped them, Russia broke no laws.

I accept that the people of the Crimea violated the Ukranian Constitution to escape from a right wing coup that passed laws discriminating against them. This is like a person with a heart attack asking a driver to speed going to hospital.

The liars in the US/EU/NATO say what Russia done is illegal but Russia broke no laws.

Why do these US/EU/NATO liars not state clearly what laws Russia broke? Because there isn't any!!!!

Riichie - 4 Apr 2014 // 13:50:37

sa-sha, we could have a long discussion on legal issues, but I'm not a lawyer. What is more important according to me is if a state's behaviour is morally right. Russia promised to respect Ukraine's territorial integrity by signing the Budapest Memorandum, and Ukraine trusted Russia enough to send their nuclear weapons there. Russia breached that trust by accepting the application of Crimea for federation membership: the proper thing to do would have been to reject the application until a Ukrainian government is in place that it recognises, and negotiate with it to find the best possible solution for the desires of the Crimea's people that is acceptable to the Ukraine.

sa-sha - 4 Apr 2014 // 10:47:40

Richie, leaving aside the fact that Budapest Memorandum hasn't been ratified, I'd like to emphasize that Russia
didn't violate even that unratified document: Russia neither invaded Ukraine nor interfered into Ukraine' home
affairs, including the events in Crimea, where - unlike in Kosovo, which mythical "referendum" has been recently prised up to the skies by Mr.Obama - the REAL Referendum was conducted.

Optimistic - 4 Apr 2014 // 08:59:35

Anglais, Russia has not been agressive.

The agression was started by right wing pro EU thugs in The Ukraine who victimized Russian speakers.

Russia has just given the Crimea a safe alliance which the Crimean people voted for.

The Brits and Americans bring peace by bombing people, please try peaceful democratic procedures like Russia is doing.

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