“The accession of new Eastern European countries to NATO is not on the agenda at all at the moment. Why are these demands from Russia? There can be no such guarantee,” the chancellor told the newspaper.
“Security and co-operation in Europe, as stated in the Helsinki Outcome Document, is only possible if there is no idea of spheres of influence in which countries cannot determine their own development,” he explained.
Commenting on the current situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border, Sholch acknowledged that “the situation is very serious”.
According to the Chancellor, Russia must not lose sight of the fact that Russia has drawn about 100,000 troops and a large amount of military equipment from the Ukrainian border.
“There is no reasonable explanation for this,” Scholz said. “These are threats to peace and security in Europe.”
The Chancellor warned that Russia would pay a “high price” if there was military aggression against Ukraine.
Asked what the price might be, he said: “We have agreed on possible measures among the Allies. That is good. We need to be able to act if something happens. And we will do that.”
For several weeks now, tensions over the concentration of Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders have been easing, raising concerns about preparations for another Russian invasion in Kiev and the West.
Russia denies allegations of an invasion of Ukraine by its troops. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow is taking a defensive stance because of fears that Kiev is getting too close to NATO.
At a video summit on December 7, US President Joe Biden warned Putin that the United States would impose unprecedented sanctions on Russia if it attacked Ukraine.