NATO considered unacceptable Russia's demand for the withdrawal of troops from Romania and Bulgaria The alliance said that this would lead to the division of countries into first and second grade. Moscow demands the withdrawal of NATO forces from the territory of countries that were not members of the alliance in 1997. Bulgaria and Romania joined it only in 2004
NATO rejected Russia's demand for the withdrawal of troops from Romania and Bulgaria, Oana Lungescu, the official representative of the alliance, said on Twitter.
“Russia's demands will divide the NATO countries into first and second grade, which is unacceptable. We reject any idea of spheres of influence in Europe,” — she wrote.
Moscow demands the withdrawal of NATO military forces and equipment from the territory of countries that were not members of the alliance in 1997. These are, in particular, Bulgaria and Romania, which joined NATO only in 2004.
In the spring of 1997, Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance signed the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, which stated that the parties did not consider each other as adversaries. By 1997, NATO did not include the states of Eastern Europe. Several waves of bloc expansion followed. In 1999, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary joined it, in 2004— Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Slovakia, in 2009— Croatia and Albania, and in 2020— North Macedonia.
Russia is trying to obtain security guarantees from the West, primarily regarding the refusal to advance NATO to the east and accept the former USSR countries, including Ukraine and Georgia, into its ranks . In January, Moscow held talks with the United States and its allies in the alliance and the OSCE. However, the parties failed to reach a compromise. After failed negotiations, Russia requested a written response to its proposals. Washington promised to hand it over next week.
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