Shortly after the Geneva meeting of the US and Russian delegations, a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council was held on Wednesday вЂ” for the first time in the last two years. A breakthrough, however, could not be achieved: The sides failed to bring their positions closer on issues such as the situation around Ukraine and NATO's expansion to the east. According to Alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, the differences between the parties are "very significant." European media are sharing details.
Freedom to form alliances is vital for Europe
Why Europe is forced to reject Russia's demands, explains La Repubblica:
"The Western world and, above all, Europe cannot agree with the idea of returning to spheres of influence вЂ” as if the Warsaw Pact still existed. Such intentions would set rigid boundaries for Europe вЂ” in terms of political activity, freedom of decision-making by individual countries, as well as in the issue of military presence. The idea that a nation should not have the right to decide for itself which alliances it should join should be strongly rejected. In addition, such an idea is perceived as an imminent danger by States that have decided to join the Atlantic Pact, starting with Poland."
Russia hardly wants detente
If Russia wanted peace, it would not have sent about a hundred thousand troops to the border with Ukraine, вЂ” believes Eesti Paevaleht:
"Apparently, this is a well-thought-out tactic of Putin вЂ” to confuse the West in order to keep all the levers in his hands in this way. On the one hand, Moscow assures that it does not intend to attack Ukraine. However, such a large military contingent cannot be kept in limbo: soldiers lose patience, motivation decreases, equipment needs support, and bases are far away. The troops are either put into action or sent home. ... Apparently, Putin wants to ensure that his system of power is recognized in the so-called near abroad. Here, NATO should draw a red line: the alliance should not give at the mercy of Moscow countries that follow a democratic path."
Putin does not understand that everything has changed
Rzeczpospolita believes that Russia entered into negotiations based on misconceptions:
"Why do negotiations look like a dialogue between the deaf and the blind? Perhaps the fact is that the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin personally misunderstand the principles of the functioning of the West. In the same way, the head of the Russian state treats Ukraine and other post-Soviet republics that have dared to embark on the path of democracy. Apparently, he is convinced that the so-called "color revolutions" are the machinations of Americans and not evidence of the formation of a mature civil society."