Russian leaders have been adamant in their opposition to the extension of NATO eastward into nations that border its territory. President Dimitry Medvedev has accused the West of reneging on promises that no such extension of NATO would ever occur. Russian columnists like former Colonel Viktor Baranez argue that NATO “has pushed its way right up to our national borders with its guns.” In so doing, says Baranez, the West broke promises made during the time of German reunification that no such plans were to be pursued. According to President Medvedev in an interview with Der Spiegel, NATO broke its promises to Russia. “None of the things that we were assured, namely that NATO would not expand endlessly eastwards and our interests would be continuously taken into consideration” were ever carried out.
Research carried out by Der Spiegel the conclusion was “there was no doubt that the West did everything it could to give the Soviets the impression that NATO membership was out of the question for countries like Poland, Hungary or Czechoslovakia.” There still remain disagreements among those who participated in the events of 1990. The US Ambassador to Russia, Jack Matlock says assurances were given while his superior former Secretary of State James Baker insists no commitment was made about not extending eastwards.
We will have to leave it to future historians to sort out what happened. However, there is no doubt, Russia has a right to insist they were not given a clear message concerning eastward movement of NATO
Posted in Europe, George Bush, Human Rights, Military, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, Russia, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
The European Union has angered Russia by organizing meetings with former states in the Soviet Union in order to deal with energy issues. A summit meeting on energy will include Belarus, Ukraine, moldova, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbijan. Russia regards these states as falling within their sphere of influence and is concerned the European Union is attempting to forge not merely economic but military relations with nations that surround the territory of Russia. President Medvedev was also concerned at the presence of about one thousand EU and American troops in Georgia where they are conducting military training operations with the Georgia army.
Isn’t is about time that Russia was invited to become a member of NATO in order to end their fears of attack from outside nations? Placing Russian military commanders in key NATO positions would reduce tension and end the Cold War which, most probably, ceased twenty years ago.
Posted in Barack Obama, Europe, Human Rights, Military, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, Russia, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Georgia. Russia. EU, NATO
The ongoing issue of allowing Georgia to enter NATO continues plaguing relations between Russia and the West. Dimity Rogozin, Russia’s Ambassador to NATO, expressed his nation’s agreement with the NATO decision to hold off on allowing Georgia to enter at this time. “There is an open split within NATO,” said the Russian, “and it will widen if NATO tries to expand further. The schemes of those who adopted a frozen approach to Russia have been destroyed.” He undoubtedly was referring to French President Sarkozy who opposes Georgia’s entry as well seeks to delay the American plan to construct military bases in Poland.
The solution to the current NATO impasse with Russia is simple. Ask Russia to become a member of NATO and, if missile bases really are needed, take up the Russian offer to have them built in Russia. It is time to end Cold War thinking that Russia is preparing to invade Western Europe. That, is a pipe dream.
Posted in Asia, Europe, France, George Bush, Human Rights, Military, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, Russia, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Georgia, NATO, Russia