NEW YORK, September 5 (RIA Novosti) – Western efforts to bring Ukraine into NATO were a “prescription for disaster” that was bound to antagonize Russia, a Chicago University political scientist John Mearsheimer told journalists.
“There’s no question that Ukraine is interested in becoming part of NATO and be protected by the United States and the West more generally, and who can blame them? But the fact of the matter is that this is a prescription for disaster,” Mearsheimer said.
“The West should have told Ukraine that incorporating Poland or the Baltic states into NATO was possible, but trying to incorporate Ukraine and Georgia was a bridge too far. We ended up precipitating a crisis and that crisis would lead to the destruction of Ukraine – and that’s obviously not in Ukraine’s interests,” he added.
“We should have stopped NATO expansion, given up the idea of incorporating the Ukraine into the West and instead said that we’re interested in maintaining a neutral Ukraine that effectively serves as a buffer state with NATO on one side and Russia on the other,” Mearsheimer concluded.
NATO leaders gathered in Wales on Thursday for two days of talks focused on Ukraine, where military operation launched by Kiev government to suppress independence supporters in southeastern Ukraine claimed some 2,600 lives since April.
Over the last months, NATO has boosted its military presence in the Baltics in connection with the situation in eastern Ukraine. The alliance explained such measures with the need to ensure the security of its allies.
Moscow has repeatedly expressed its concern about NATO's increased military activities in Eastern Europe.