Russia has asked NATO to withdraw its troops and equipment from Romania and Bulgaria, Russia’s foreign ministry said.
According to Moscow, Russia is within its rights to request: “The security guarantees that Russia is demanding from the West include provisions forcing NATO troops to leave Romania and Bulgaria. In addition, Moscow has demanded legally binding guarantees from NATO that the bloc will stop expansion and returns to its 1997 limits.”
For Bulgaria and Romania, NATO’s withdrawal would mean removing all foreign troops, weapons and other military equipment from those countries, according to the Kremlin. Both countries officially joined the military pact in 2004.
Tensions between Russia and the West over several countries in Eastern Europe have been mounting in recent times. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned on Thursday that Russia risks bringing back the divisions from the Cold War. Moscow would do this by currently threatening Ukraine with the build-up of a large force on the border.
Blinken also reiterated the US position that Russia violates the principle that nations can make their own decisions.