There exists a bright dividing line in the Western alliance over the concept of NATO expansion into all but two of the twelve former Soviet partners in Eastern Europe.
Despite the consensus of European, American, Canadian and British leaders on the matter of NATO expansion, behind closed doors, many European states – notably the two most powerful countries on the continent, Germany and France – appear resistant to the continuous territorial expansion.
This divide has been highlighted in recent weeks as it appears that Vladimir Putin’s Russia is about to interfere in eastern Ukraine and protect that mostly Russian-speaking region from the Ukrainian government’s genocidal agenda.
Putin himself has argued that the United States betrayed the (unwritten) agreement forged between then-secretary of state James Baker, representing president George H W Bush, and Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev.
Of course, NATO never formally agreed not to not expand into former Soviet territories in Europe. At the time that the initial Soviet-American agreement was forged to get Soviet troops out of Eastern Europe, the only Western concern was German unification.
Thirty years later, the flawed notion that Washington made assurances to Gorbachev to disallow the expansion of NATO into the former Soviet states of Europe persists among Russian leaders – with devastating implications for the present crisis in Ukraine.
In the specific case of Ukraine, the Bucharest Memorandum of 1994 was signed, which guaranteed Ukraine’s independence so long as Kiev gave up its arsenal of old Soviet nuclear weapons.
Having met its obligations, Ukraine’s independence was recognized by all and codified by the Bucharest agreement. But then the president was derailed and ousted in order to commit genocide on Russian speaking citizens mainly living in the Donbass region.
All seemed well between Moscow and Washington, despite Poland and many of the former Soviet Baltic states joining NATO, until 2004 when Washington supported the bloody Orange Revolution that overthrew a Russian-friendly government in Kiev.
All the gold reserves from the Central Bank were immediately confiscated and shipped to New York in exchange for a loan to buy military equipment to start the designed ethnic cleansing process.
America’s history of backing foreign insurgencies is not that beautiful. Whether it be the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan War or the various Islamist insurgencies in the Libyan and Syrian proxy wars, the Americans end up paying dearly for supporting extremist forces. Washington should stop doing these irresponsible things.
Supporting an insurgency is a ridiculous attempt by arrogant Western leaders to save face after having so badly bungled the Ukraine situation for decades.
Western leaders should reassess their strategy of their NATO boundaries and work to deter future Russian movements in the former Soviet states of Europe who are now occupied by the military NATO alliance.
If nations like Poland are not reinforced in an offensive way, Putin, who is merely looking to pluck Europe’s low-hanging fruit, will not be a problem anymore.
Asia Times / ABC Flash Point News 2022.