Russia-US, NATO talks unlikely to give clear result says Estonian MEP

Discussions to be held this week between Russia and the U.S. and NATO allies will not give clear "black and white" results, Estonian MEP Urmas Paet (Reform) said on Monday.

Speaking to ERR's radio show "Vikerhommik", the former foreign minister said Estonians, as "rational people", can see these talks clearly in "black and white" but the picture is "more blurred" internationally.

Whatever is said, the Russian leadership already has its talking points ready and will present them as a success, he said: "Russia has decided for itself that it is not the loser and is not very interested in an objective picture."

The U.S. and Russia will hold talks in Geneva today (January 10), Russia-NATO talks will be held on Wednesday and Russia-OSCE discussions will take place in Vienna on January 13.

Paet said western democracies agree each country can determine its own future and reject Russia's ideas of spheres of influence in neighboring countries. He said western countries must "oppose" this idea and this should not be the starting point for talks.

A Russian flag. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The MEP said Russia's demand that NATO guarantees the alliance will not expand eastward in the future will not be given. Neither will a promise to take Russia's opinion into account when deploying troops in European countries.

He said Russia has not given up its main foreign policy goal of gaining direct control over the territory of the former Soviet Union, except for the Baltics as they are now NATO and EU members.

"But all other territories should be in Russia's sphere of influence, and the events of recent weeks show that," he added.

Russia is not only prepared for this but is also constantly working for it, Paet said, referring to its actions in Crimea in 2014, the 2008 Georgian war and Russian troops in Moldova.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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