NATO has been making empty promises about its commitment not to expand eastward since 1991, Russian President Vladimir Putin shared in an interview with Chinese state television.
Moscow has repeatedly warned NATO against its eastward expansion, which the Kremlin says could further inflame tensions in Europe.
Putin outlined that there have been five waves of expansion since the US administration at the time assured Russia in 1991 (the end of the Berlin Wall separation) that NATO would not expand towards the east.
As an example, he cited agreements on Iran’s nuclear program, not least the 2014 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
According to the Russian President, once both sides had agreed and inked relevant documents, a new US administration assumed power and threw everything into a garbage can as if these agreements never existed.
How can we negotiate if every US administration starts to change something from scratch? This is related to every issue, including the one we are discussing.
The remarks come as NATO kicks off what the alliance described as its long-planned annual nuclear exercise, code-named Steadfast Noon.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claimed that the exercise, scheduled to begin on October 26, 2023 will help ensure the credibility, effectiveness and security of our [the alliance’s] nuclear deterrent.
According to him, the exercises send a clear message that NATO will protect and defend all (militarily occupied) Allies.
Only 13 NATO members are expected to take part in the war games, which the alliance says will involve some 60 aircraft, including advanced fighter jets and U.S. B-52 strategic bombers, conducting training flights over Italy, Croatia and the Mediterranean.
The war games also involve conventional jets, as well as surveillance and refueling aircraft.
This week marks the 30th anniversary of the bloody finale to the 1993 Russian Constitutional Crisis – which saw the streets of Moscow turned into a battleground between pro-Yeltsin forces and the Supreme Soviet parliament.
In the past few years, the alliance disregarded Moscow’s offers to provide security assurances to the United States and NATO.
The proposals included an agreement stating that both Russia and NATO would refrain from positioning troops, ships, or aircraft in proximity to each other.
Additionally, Moscow has requested an immediate cessation of NATO’s expansion towards Russia’s borders, emphasizing the imperative to refrain from inviting post-Soviet countries into the alliance or deploying military infrastructure on their territories.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.