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News > U.S.

US Envoy: NATO Won't Discuss Its Open Door Policy With Russia

  • Julianne Smith, U.S. ambassador to NATO, indicates the Bloc is not willing to discuss their open door policy with Russia. Jan. 11, 2022.

    Julianne Smith, U.S. ambassador to NATO, indicates the Bloc is not willing to discuss their open door policy with Russia. Jan. 11, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@defense_news

Published 11 January 2022

On Monday, U.S. and Russian officials held talks for almost eight hours during the Geneva meeting to discuss the Russian security proposals, which Moscow considers would release tensions between Russia and the Western alliance.

Julianne Smith, U.S. ambassador to NATO, stated that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is not willing to discuss its 'open door' policy with Russia, saying it will pay no mind to Russia's request to limit troop and weapons deployments in countries which joined the bloc after 1997.


Russia: NATO Must Renounce Military Buildup in the East

"This alliance is not going to be rolling back time and returning to a completely different era where we had a very different alliance that was smaller, and a very different footprint. I think we're operating in today's world with NATO as it stands today, and I don't think anyone inside the NATO alliance is interested in going back in time to revisit an era where NATO looked a lot different from it does today," Smith decreed on Tuesday.

The U.S. diplomat labeled as impossible the Russian proposals of quitting NATO continued eastward expansion, saying they "will not allow anyone to slam NATO's open-door policy shut." At the time, she stressed that NATO remains "open and committed to a meaningful, reciprocal dialogue with Russia."

"At this point, let me be very, very clear - no one is suggesting that we alter NATO policy on enlargement," Smith told CNN in a separate interview. "The doors remain open. No one has the right to kick the door shut. And any decision about enlargement will continue to rest between the NATO alliance and the country in question," Smith outlined. About the enlargement issue, she highlighted, "frankly, I don't see a lot of compromise."

The U.S. diplomat, who is expected to attend the Russia-NATO Council on Wednesday in Brussels, reiterated previous month allegations about Russia preparations to invade Ukraine. "All the allies are committed to engaging in a dialogue with Russia tomorrow. But simultaneously, the allies are all united in messaging to the Russians that should they decide to invade Ukraine further, they would face massive consequences of NATO and also from the EU as well," she stressed.

Russia has repeatedly denied the Western officials' claims about having any plans to "invade" its neighbor and refused to respond to Western "concerns" about Russian troop movements and exercises inside the country's own territory.

U.S. President's press secretary Jen Psaki admitted on Tuesday that President Joe Biden has been following the talks with Russia "pretty closely," and "receives nearly daily, if not daily, updates from his national security team on how the conversations are going, what the talks look like and what the status of those conversations is."

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