Washington will not consider Russian proposals to legally prohibit the eastward expansion of the NATO military bloc, and has no intention of even discussing the idea, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Monday.
Earlier that day, in Geneva, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov spoke for almost eight hours about proposals put forward by Moscow in December for legally binding security guarantees, including prohibitions on weapons placements and restrictions on military exercises. However, one of the key aims for Russia is to get Washington to agree that NATO won’t expand further even eastwards and allow Ukraine become a member.
According to Price, American diplomats are happy to accept various reciprocal agreements on missiles and transparency of troop movements.
“We were firm, however, in pushing back on security proposals we have heard from Moscow that are simply non-starters for the United States,” he said. “We will not, for example, allow anyone to slam closed NATO’s ‘Open Door’ policy, which has always been central to the NATO alliance.”