President Putin has made demands to the West as tension continue to rise on the Russian-Ukrainian border. (Credit: Getty)
In fact the NATO defence alliance is one of the biggest issues for Putin, who is squarely against Ukraine’s aspirations of membership.
Here is a breakdown of President Putin’s demands.
What has Vladimir Putin demanded?
Putin issued a list of security guarantees needed to be met in order for troops along the Ukrainian border to be stood down.
The main demand is that Ukraine be banned from joining the Nato Defence Alliance, with the prospect dubbed a “security threat” for Russia.
Russia has asked that there be no further expansion east, and that no drills are held in Ukraine, Caucasus countries such as Georgia or Central Asia without prior agreement with Russia.
They have also requested that there be a limit on the deployment of Nato weapons - including nuclear weapons - and troops in eastern countries which joined the alliance from 1997.
President Putin has also added that the West should provide “legal guarantees” that Russia has security.
His NATO concerns are backed by allied Belarus, with President Alexander Levchenko voicing his disapproval of NATO expanding any further eastwards.
Will Putin’s demands be met?
Previously the US and allied nations formally rejected some of Putin’s demands.
An offer of a meeting to negotiate was offered to Putin but this was not taken up.
Tensions began to boil over and on 24 February, the Russian leader sent troops into Ukraine, claiming that NATO was a major factor in the decision.
Will Ukraine still seek to join NATO?
Ukraine has remained steadfast in their pursuit of NATO membership, even beginning a Membership Action Plan towards joining.
Despite the threat of Russia, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the country was still seeking to join the defence alliance as “enshrined in the Ukrainian legislation and Ukrainian constitution”.
There is currently no timeline for when Ukraine will be accepted into the group but NATO has said that Ukraine will be free to join.
This was backed up by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who insisted that Russia has no say in the membership status of other countries.
He said: “It’s only Ukraine and 30 NATO allies that decide when Ukraine is ready to join NATO. Russia has no veto, Russia has no say, and Russia has no right to establish a sphere of influence to try to control their neighbours.”
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