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No time at the moment for a longer answer, so I'll just write something from the top of my head. Sorry.

From the Russian point of view, in 1990 Secretary of State Baker promised to Gorbachev that in exchange for allowing Germany to unify, NATO would not expand an inch to east. Not even to the area of former GDR. The same was said by French, UK and especially by Germany

In 1991 Gorbachev complained to USA that NATO troops has indeed been positioned to former GDR. He was ignored.

In 1997, president Yeltsin complained to Clinton so much about this that Clinton eventually refused to meet Yeltsin anymore.

2007 president Putin spoke in Munich strongly condemning NATO expansion.

2010 and 2012 president Medvedev complained about NATO expansion and proposed pretty much was in the recent paper by Russia.

After the Nuland-driven coup in Ukraine in 2014 it was obvious that US was going to ignore anything Russia said unless it came with a serious threat.

The balance of power has not changed in any way or form, it's more about finally solving the issue of European security in one way or the other.

One internal Russian driver for this, that gets no play in the West at all, is the fact the Putin is one of the moderates in Russia. If the security issue is left unsolved when he retires, his successor is much more likely to be of more aggressive disposition. For example, his government is currently trying to prevent the Communist Party from pushing trough Duma a law forcing him to recognize the Donbass republics. Navalnyi (remember him) at the other end of political spectrum thinks Ukraine should be invaded and submitted to Russia. Zhirinovsky probably would just nuke Ukraine and the European countries unwilling to co-operate...

At the moment Russia has all the cards, they have the escalation control totally on their side. And most stupidly USA and UK chose to concentrate on "imminent invasion of Ukraine" that is now imminent for 70th day in a row and still not happening. Even the Ukrainians are getting pissed off with US and UK, because they really don't need the added insecurity of made up threat.

EU and NATO are slowly tearing themselves apart trying to figure out how to finally deal with all the problems caused by externalizing "security" and foreign policy to Washington and thus finding themselves unable to control anything or even to agree between themselves.

From the noises Croatia is making and the silence from Romania, Hungary and Poland it's easy to deduce they all are re-considering the "advantages" of being mere tools of US foreign policy in exchange for insecurity created by raising tensions in Eastern Europe.

Something's gotta give before this is over.

by pelgus on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 12:38:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You, too, omit the EU invitation to stir the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine as it happened at eurotrib, quoting euractiv.
Mon Aug 19th, 2013 at 02:05:16 PM EST
Russia has tightened customs control with Ukraine and imposed checks on the quality of its goods in what appears to be a warning to Kyiv over the planned signature of a free trade deal and broader association agreement with the European Union.

An advisor to the Russian President Vladimir Putin has admitted that Moscow wants to send a signal to Kyiv about the consequences of signing the proposed EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) (see background).

"No need for dramatising. The thing is that the Russian Customs Service conducted preventive measures related to preparations for changes in customs administration in case Ukraine signs the Association Agreement with the EU," Russian presidential advisor Sergei Glazyev is quoted as saying.

Russia is pushing Ukraine to become part of its Customs Union, already joined by Belarus and Kazakhstan. Brussels has made it clear that membership in the Customs Union and the association status with the EU are incompatible.

eurotrib search results
by Cat on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 01:56:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did. But to my defense I was concentrating on Russia - US relations :-)
by pelgus on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 02:14:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the past, it were the a-political citizens with (business) interests in the Soviet Union who were compelled to learn about the culture and the people. These persons provided the U.S. State Department with much better "intelligence" than the CIA et al. plus the military in the Pentagon. I have been angered by General Breedlove as NATO Central Commander over the years deriding politicians. In fact sabotaging each and every attempt to normalize relations with Russian military and politicians.

Recent post about Suzanne Massie - The Lady Who Warmed Up the Cold War | The Daily Beast - July 14, 2017 |

Cultural exchange and diplomacy helped defeat the Soviet Union and Communist Bloc of states.

Manuscript The Gulag Archipelago of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn smuggled to the West by a band of couriers including a renowned lady and Dutch violinist Emmy Verheij.

In the States Red and Blue don't communicate with one another and America can be listed just short of a failed state. The White House in not capable to be a leader in the World as we have witnessed in the 21st Century. Building the European Union, the forced entrance of British and US allies of Iraq War infamy -rendition, torture, black prisons- got states fast-tracked to become both EU member and NATO "ally". Building blocks to get to the Eastern frontier and closer to Moscow than Cuba is to Florida. The U.S. is on its way to destruct the European Union, a divide between East and West. Policy made in the Pentagon. Fool Me Once (Shame on You) / Fool Me Twice (Shame on Me).

The policy of the fascist Western powers has been to degrade Russia to a pariah state by isolation and harsh sanctions.

Russia, Iran Prevail - Syrian Rebellion Ends | July 14, 2018 |

Ivo Daalder - Making Russia a Pariah State - from 2004 forward

Is a League of Democracies a Good Idea? | Carnegie Endowment - May 2008 |

An "alliance of democracies," which already exists in the eyes of some of its advocates (Daalder and Lindsay 2004) in the form of a "global NATO," could compete with the United Nations or serve as an alternative when efficiency, legitimacy, and burden sharing are called for. The most prominent advocate of this idea, Ivo Daalder, is U.S. ambassador to NATO.

Democracies of the World, Unite | The American Interest by Richard Perle - Jan. 2007 |

Kerry Preaching Policy Contra Russia @Atlantic Council | April 30, 2014 |

One reason is that the Obama administration is rethinking a planned missile-defence system, which would have placed ten interceptor rockets in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic, in order to guard against Iranian missile attacks on America and much of Europe. That infuriated Russia, which saw the bases as a blatant push into its front yard. Changing the scheme-probably using seaborne interceptors-risks looking like a climb-down to suit Russian interests.



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 03:07:01 PM EST
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