MOSCOW, January 12. / TASS /. NATO is likely to firmly reject Moscow’s demands relating to the inadmissibility of the alliance’s eastward expansion at the upcoming talks on January 12, Deputy Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the Higher School of Economics Dmitry Suslov told TASS.
Suslov, who is also the Valdai Club expert, believes that the Russia-NATO meeting is going to be much less meaningful and productive than the talks between Moscow and Washington in Geneva, since numerous countries taking part in this meeting consider Russia’s demands unacceptable. "Of course, it will be impossible to agree on anything. The alliance will strongly reject Russia’s demands to prevent NATO’s further advancement to the east," the expert noted.
If the negotiations fail, the tensions between Russia and NATO will further escalate, according to Suslov. "Russia will have to make important decisions. First of all, regarding the ways to ensure guarantees of non-expansion on part of NATO. I think that there is no alternative to further escalation of tension, military pressure on NATO and the US. Second of all, will Russia be ready to held talks on arms control with the US and hypothetically with NATO considering only technical aspects and without touching upon political issues," the analyst went on to say.
As Suslov mentioned, the prospects of further NATO-Russia Council meeting will depend on the alliance’s readiness to discuss the military issues and not just express claims against Moscow. "Until the last possible moment, NATO strongly refused to transform the format of the NATO-Russia Council into a platform for military cooperation on which only military issues, not political ones, can be addressed," the Valdai Club expert said. "If <…> NATO is ready to use this format for military cooperation to strengthen deconflicting mechanisms, and Russia agrees to address these issues in isolation from political ones <…>, then the revival of this platform is possible. But I think it is unlikely," Suslov concluded.