Russia has warned about Ukraine for decades.The west should have listened


Germany Russia

Germany Russia

Ukrainian soldiers will walk a line of separation from pro-Russian rebels near Katerinifka in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on Tuesday, December 7, 2021. By confronting Russia. Credit-Andriy Dubcak-AP

When I was a journalist Times (London) In Moscow in December 1992, seeing a printout of a speech by then-Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, when the West continued to attack Russia’s important interests and ignore Russia’s protests. A day or a dangerous repulsion. A British journalist scribbled a note to an American colleague.

Andrei Kozyrev was the most liberal and pro-Western foreign minister Russia has ever experienced. As he stated in his speech, his anxiety about Western behavior was rooted in the fear that the resulting backlash would destroy Russia’s liberalism and Russia’s cooperation with the West. As we see today, he proved to be right. But when he expressed this fear in completely moderate and rational terms, he was instinctively fired by Western observers as being virtually insane.

The point about this history is Existing crisis Its origin with Russia goes far beyond Putin.Russia, like the United States, has a mass of foreign and security with a series of semi-permanent beliefs about Russia’s important interests. Rooted in national history and culture, Shared by the majority of the population. These include the elimination of hostile military alliances from Russia’s neighbors and the protection of the political and cultural rights of Russian minorities.

The Yeltsin government strongly protested the start of NATO expansion in the 1990s, and Russia was reasonably accustomed to joining NATO in the former Soviet satellites of Central Europe. However, since the beginning of NATO’s expansion in the mid-1990s, Russian officials and commentators (including liberal reformers) have said that the offer to join NATO in Georgia and Ukraine poses a serious danger of conflict and war with the West. I warned that it would bring. These warnings were repeated by George Kennan, the original architect of the Soviet containment strategy and the State Department’s greatest Russian expert in history, and Henry Kissinger and other major American politicians. ..

There is nothing mysterious, extreme, or petite about this Russian attitude. In the first place, Western language about NATO expansion to establish “Europe as a whole and freedom” means to exclude Russia from Europe and from her role in Europe. The rhetoric was infused with the assumption that the word “Europe” was equivalent to “civilized” (by the way, racists). And that Russia is not part of that idea.

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Russia’s fear of expanding a potentially hostile military alliance to the Russian border should be understandable to all Americans who have heard of Monroe Doctrine. In Georgia and Ukraine, there are also certain issues inherited from the Soviet Union. In the case of Georgia, it is the separatist movement of the Abkhaz and Osset ethnic minorities and the resulting ethnic conflict, including Russia. Such ethnic conflicts over territories are very common during and after the collapse of the empire. For example, consider Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and Ankara’s establishment of a (internationally unrecognized) ministate. Ethnic minority in Northern Cyprus.

For Ukraine, the NATO membership of that country is Expulsion of Russia Creation of a hard international frontier from the naval base of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula (a very important city for strategic and emotional Russia), and between Russia and Ukraine and the Russian-speaking minority, 3 minutes Of the Ukrainian population, which accounts for more than one.

Russia’s establishment is also afraid that NATO will serve as a cover for a state-sponsored program of Ukrainian nationalism aimed at destroying Russian culture and the Russian language of Ukraine. These concerns were exacerbated by what happened in Estonia and Latvia. After independence, governments broke their previous commitment to respect political, educational and linguistic rights to Russia and the local Russian minority. This did not prevent NATO and EU accession.

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A woman passing by a Russian military personnel carrier outside a Ukrainian military base in Simferopol, Ukraine, on March 18, 2014. Voters on the Crimean Peninsula of the Autonomous Ukraine overwhelmingly voted to leave their country and join Russia yesterday.Dunkit Wood — Getty Images

None of this is intended to justify Russia’s often stupid and criminal actions, such as the 2014 Crimean Crisis. But in the context of the collapse of the empire and its aftermath, it’s not uncommon. Did the British really behave much better when their empire collapsed, not to mention the French, Portuguese and Turks? The French may believe they did. Algerians may have different opinions.

More importantly, these Russian policies relate to specific post-Soviet issues and Russia’s regional goals. They are not part of some grand malicious design to destroy the international order or act deliberately.Disruptor.. As long as Russia set out to deliberately undermine the interests of the West (for example, in social media disinformation campaigns), it was a way to put pressure on the West to pursue those goals. In the Middle East, as with Trump’s decision to invade Iraq, destroy the Libyan state, and abandon the nuclear deal with Iran, it was the United States that often acted as a destroyer, and Russia has often defended the status quo. I did. This is partly due to the fear of terrorism by Muslims shared with the United States.

In other words, the terms of a compromise with Russia over Ukraine involve harsh negotiations, but without fear that this will destroy NATO and pave the way for further Russian movements to conquer Eastern Europe. You can ask for a good compromise. Anyone who knows either the goals of establishing Russia or the character of Poles and Estonians. These countries are members of NATO and are firmly committed to maintaining that state. There is no way Russia can get rid of them without a direct attack on NATO — a horribly dangerous business that does not form part of Russia’s founding plans. NATO is, in fact, completely secure within existing borders. NATO’s threat to security and fame is primarily due to itself, with an empty commitment to countries that are neither willing nor capable of defending.

There are three possible compromises with Russia, two of which are virtually already acknowledged by Western nations. The first is either the Neutrality Treaty or the 10- or 20-year moratorium on Ukraine’s accession to NATO. It is clear that Ukraine cannot actually join NATO without resolving the dispute with Russia, so the West will not lose anything. In any case, the United States and NATO have absolutely made it clear that Ukraine cannot and will not be defended by force.

The second factor is the return to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces, which limits NATO troops in Eastern Europe and Russian troops in neighboring areas. And third, according to the 2015 Minsk II Agreement mediated by Germany and France, is the internationally guaranteed autonomy of the demilitarized Donbas within Ukraine, which was effectively rejected by Ukraine.

At least if the first move towards such a compromise fails, it seems likely that there will be some form of new Russian attack on Ukraine, though not necessarily a major aggression. However, in the event of a war, the march of Russian troops will be followed by a new Russian proposal to trade in exchange for Russia’s withdrawal. The only difference between then and now is that NATO is humiliated for not being able to fight, and the position for the West and Ukraine to negotiate favorably is much weaker. In the meantime, thousands of people die. ..