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Western experts realizing NATO expansion was a mistake – Lavrov

The Russian foreign minister said he agrees with Jeffrey Sachs’ conclusion that Washington knowingly provoked the Ukraine conflict

Historians and political scientists in the West have finally grasped that NATO’s post-Cold War expansion led to conflict in Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said, adding that this expansion was driven by Washington’s “irresistible desire” to dominate the continent.

“Today, many historians and political scientists in the West express the point of view that their colleagues have been declaring for many, many years, maybe even decades. This is the fact that when the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist, when the Soviet Union extended its hand for unification with Europe, the US and the West as a whole on the basis of equality, mutual benefits and respect, no one dissolved NATO. And actually no one planned to,” Lavrov told a meeting of ambassadors in Moscow on Wednesday.

“Just yesterday, a famous US economist, political scientist Jeffrey Sachs, cited this mistake in an interview with [US journalist] Tucker Carlson,” Lavrov noted. “Now, we can confidently say that the irresistible desire of the US to retain control of Europe through NATO was the reason.”

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In a video interview with Carlson published on Tuesday, Sachs condemned successive US administrations for breaking Washington’s promise to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev by expanding NATO to swallow up former Soviet satellite states in eastern Europe.

“They got this idea that ‘we’ll expand NATO so that every country in the Black Sea around Russia is a NATO country. We’ll get Romania and Bulgaria, we’ll get Ukraine and we’ll get Georgia’,” Sachs explained. “And the reason was very clear. This is our way to basically dominate Eurasia. We are the sole superpower. We are unchallenged.”

Among those who pushed back against Washignton’s expansionism were political scientist John Mearsheimer, Cold War strategist George Kennan – who called it ‘the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era” – and William Burns, the current director of the CIA who in 2008 described NATO’s offer of eventual membership to Ukraine as “the brightest of all red lines” for Moscow.

Speaking to reporters after NATO offered future membership to Ukraine and Georgia in Bucharest in 2008, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Moscow views “the appearance of a powerful military bloc on our borders… as a direct threat to the security of our country.”

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When Putin sent US President Joe Biden a draft security agreement in late 2021, Sachs contacted National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and urged him to treat the document as a basis for negotiations, he told Carlson. “The core of it was ‘stop the NATO enlargement’,” Sachs explained. “I called the White House myself at that point and said ‘don’t have a war over this. We don’t need NATO enlargement for US security. In fact it’s counter to US security’.”

“We should have disbanded NATO,” he concluded. “It’s doing huge damage to Europe, it’s destroying Ukraine…and almost nobody stands up and talks about it.”

An economist and political analyst by trade, Sachs worked as an adviser to three UN secretaries general, and to the governments of Russia, Ukraine, and other post-Soviet countries during the 1990s. Since the start of the Ukraine conflict in 2022, he has consistently called on the US to stop financing the Ukrainian military and push for a ceasefire between Kiev and Moscow.

May 29, 2024 at 09:01PM
RT

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