The Graphic Truth: How NATO absorbed its old foes
For almost half a century, NATO and the Soviet-backed Warsaw Pact alliance glowered at each other across the Iron Curtain. But after the USSR collapsed, NATO expanded eastwards by welcoming former Eastern Bloc members – a development Moscow viewed as a direct challenge to its sphere of influence. This dynamic has become a massive point of contention recently, as Moscow increasingly threatens Ukraine’s sovereignty. Russia wants assurances from Washington that states like Ukraine, Finland, and Sweden won’t join NATO. Here’s a look at the history of the alliance’s expansion.
US and Russia in Geneva. Senior US and Russian diplomats opened talks in Geneva on Monday, kicking off a round of discussions between Kremlin and Western officials across Europe over the next few days. Vladimir Putin wants Joe Biden and NATO leaders to redraw the security map of Europe by promising that Ukraine, Georgia, and other Russian neighbors will never join NATO and that the security alliance will not place missile system in Ukraine. That would, in effect, redivide Europe into Western and Russian spheres of influence. The Biden administration and NATO officials have said they will not allow Russia to veto NATO membership for countries that want to join. European leaders have warned the US to honor these promises, and Ukraine’s government is watching and waiting as an estimated 100,000 Russian troops remain poised near the Ukrainian border. Russia says it will pursue its aims by military means if necessary. NATO says it’s ready to respond. The US says any Russian incursion into Ukraine will draw harsh sanctions against Russian and more supplies of Western weapons for Ukraine. Putin began this game of chicken, and we’ll be watching in coming weeks to see how far he wants to push it.
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January 09, 2022 GZERO Media
Amid mounting fears of a war between Russia and Ukraine, US and Russian representatives will meet in Geneva on Monday to discuss security issues, including NATO expansion and the recent Russian troop buildup on the border with Ukraine. Russia and NATO representatives will also meet in Brussels on Wednesday about the same tensions, with further talks in Vienna on Thursday hosted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. We asked Jason Bush, senior analyst at Eurasia Group, what has prompted the flurry of meetings, and what can be expected from them. More JOE BIDENVLADIMIR PUTINus-russia relationsukraine and russiaukraineRUSSIAnato
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