Warsaw is willing to let Russia inspect US air defense facilities if Polish inspectors are allowed to enter Kaliningrad
With Moscow looking to come to an agreement with NATO over security guarantees in Europe, bloc member Poland has expressed willingness to allow Russian inspectors into its country to check US air defense facilities, it was reported on Wednesday.
According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed Polish officials, Warsaw would be willing to come to a reciprocal deal with Moscow. In return, Poland wants its inspectors to be allowed to check missile locations in Kaliningrad.
The idea to let Russians into American sites in Poland was initially proposed by Moscow, according to US officials. The Kremlin has repeatedly opposed the placement of foreign missiles on European territory and has suggested that air defense facilities could be used to fire ballistics at Russian territory.
"Polish officials said the government is open to missile-defense inspections on the condition that Russia allows inspection of Russian missile activities in Kaliningrad, a heavily militarized Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea that borders Poland and Lithuania," the Wall Street Journal report says.
At the end of last year, Russia published drafts of proposed treaties it had sent to NATO and the US. The documents include a long list of security guarantees sought by the Kremlin, including a demand that America moves its missiles and troops away from the Russian border. On Wednesday, US Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan delivered a counter-proposal to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
"We're not releasing the document publicly because we think that diplomacy has the best chance to succeed if we provide space for confidential talks. We hope and expect that Russia will have the same view and will take our proposals seriously," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken explained.
"There's no doubt in my mind that if Russia were to approach this seriously and in a spirit of reciprocity, with the determination to enhance collective security for all of us, there are very positive things in this document that should be pursued."