NATO’s missed opportunity: how the US failed to integrate Russia into a pan-European system – expert

A broken Ethernet cable is seen in front of the NATO logo and Russian flag colors in this illustration taken March 8, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIJING — Relations between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) over the past 30 years have been on a downward spiral, from honeymoon to spat, from detente to bickering , and from the new cold war to the quasi-hot war, said an expert. told Xinhua recently.

The radical shift in their relationship is not just the epitome of drastic changes in Russia’s identity orientation and foreign policy, but of the expansion of American influence over former Warsaw Pact countries in the after the Cold War, said Kang Jie, a research associate at the China Institute of International Studies.

Thirty years ago, a newly independent Russia attempted to apply for NATO membership, but was met with a promise from the George H.W. Bush administration not to move an inch east of the expansion of NATO.

Despite the lack of direct engagement, Russia is now in an almost heated war with NATO amid its military conflict with Ukraine, Kang said.

FANTASIES (1991-1993)

In this file photo taken August 19, 1991, Russian President Boris Yeltsin (L) stands atop an armored personnel carrier parked outside the Russian Federation building in Moscow as supporters hold a Federation flag from Russia. [Photo/Agencies]

Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, then-Russian leader Boris Yeltsin once told the United States and NATO that cooperation with the only Western military alliance was an integral part of Russian security. , and called NATO membership a “long-term political goal” of Russia. .

Russia followed a liberal internationalism after its independence. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev wrote in NATO Review, the alliance’s official magazine, that “we regard NATO countries as our natural friends and in the future as allies “.

Then US President George HW Bush made repeated statements that Russia would be allowed into NATO as long as it undertook reforms.

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