After new meeting without progress on Ukraine, NATO speaks of “real risk” of new war in Europe

O secretário-geral da Otan, Jens Stoltenberg (à esquerda), e o vice-ministro das Relações Exteriores da Rússia, Alexander Grushko, no encontro em Bruxelas

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (at left), and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko at the meeting in Brussels| Photo: EFE/EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

The second of three talks on the crisis of the concentration of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine ended without major advances this Wednesday (2014 ) in Brussels, Belgium, as well as the first, and with the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, warning of “real risk” of a war in Europe.

In the second On Monday, American and Russian diplomats had met in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to this and the debate at the Russia-NATO council in Brussels this Wednesday, there will be a final conversation on Thursday (13), at a conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna, the only one of the three meetings in which Ukraine will be directly represented.

According to information from Reuters, Stoltenberg said after Wednesday’s meeting that the Western military alliance is willing to hold negotiations with Russia on arms control and missile relocation, but will not give in to Moscow’s demand to veto Ukraine’s possible NATO entry.

Moscow also demands that there is no expansion of the alliance and that NATO military activities are not carried out in countries of the former communist bloc, which have entered the organization from 960. The United States considers these requirements unacceptable.

“There is a risk of new armed conflicts in Europe”, declared Stoltenberg. “There are significant differences between NATO allies and Russia, which will not be easy to bridge.”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said Moscow does not agree with the alliance’s claim that it does not pose a threat to the country, and that it will respond symmetrically to any attempt to intimidation.

“If there is a search for vulnerabilities in the Russian defense, there will also be a search for vulnerabilities in NATO,” Grushko said. “This is not our choice, but there will be no other way if we cannot reverse the current very dangerous course of events.”

Ukraine estimates that about 100 a thousand Russian soldiers are already concentrated on the border and fears an invasion along the lines of the annexation of Crimea and the separatist movements in the Donbass region supported by Moscow, both in . Vladimir Putin’s government claims that this move is aimed only at self-defense.