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Why Has Ukraine Been So Important for US' Russia Policies Since the End of Cold War?

© Sputnik / Andrey Stenin / Go to the photo bankRally to support Ukraine's integration with Europe on Independence Square, Kiev. (File photo)
Rally to support Ukraine's integration with Europe on Independence Square, Kiev. (File photo) - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.12.2021
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The US and its NATO allies asserted to Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev that NATO would not expand eastwards but fell short of providing any legal-binding guarantees to back their pledges. According to international observers, at that time the US establishment could have planned to expand NATO and join Ukraine.
During his latest video call with Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin emphasised the necessity of legally binding guarantees to prevent NATO’s eastward expansion as well as the deployment of offensive weapons in the countries neighbouring Russia. The Russian president highlighted that NATO had been undertaking dangerous attempts to gain a foothold on Ukrainian territory and build up its military capabilities along the Russian border.
President Biden stated on Wednesday that he hopes to announce by 10 December a high-level meeting between Russia, the US, and four other key NATO countries to address Moscow's concerns about the alliance's activities in Eastern Europe. The meeting would be focused on whether an accommodation could be worked out to soothe tensions along NATO's eastern flank.

Ukraine and Zbig's Grand Chessboard

"It is difficult to imagine there are any circumstances in which the foreign policy establishment in Washington would ever drop its goal of pulling Ukraine out of the Russian orbit of influence which has been a long-standing geostrategy of the West," says American independent journalist and geopolitical analyst Max Parry.
According to Parry, Ukraine occupies a special place in the US geopolitical doctrine. He cites former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who wrote in his book "The Grand Chessboard" (New York, 1997): "Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire."
Brzezinski suggested that without Ukraine Russia wouldn't be able to restore its geopolitical prowess and capabilities. After that, emerging Asian giants such as China would limit Moscow's influence in Central Asia, the geostrategist believed.
© Wikipedia / US National Archives and Records AdministrationMenahem Begin and Zbigniew Brzezinski play chess during the Camp David Summit
Menahem Begin and Zbigniew Brzezinski play chess during the Camp David Summit - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.12.2021
Menahem Begin and Zbigniew Brzezinski play chess during the Camp David Summit
The former national security adviser argued that the US had to maintain control over Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. According to him, Azerbaijan could serve "as a corridor for Western access to the energy-rich Caspian Sea basin and Central Asia"; Uzbekistan "represents a major obstacle to any renewed Russian control" over Central Asia. Meanwhile, Ukraine was seen by Brzezinski as the "most important" in the triad.

The geostrategist projected in 1997 that "as the EU and NATO expand, Ukraine… will wish to join them both... Although that will take time, it is not too early for the West to begin pointing to the decade 2005-2015 as a reasonable time frame for the initiation of Ukraine's progressive inclusion," Brzezinski wrote.

Parry believes that the plan described by Brzezinski had been mulled over long before 1997 and that the George H.W. Bush administration "explicitly lied to Gorbachev with false security assurances that NATO would not absorb any new territory eastward."
According to the American journalist, "the entire crisis in Ukraine has been precipitated by the West's objective of bringing Ukraine into NATO's orbit in order to weaken Moscow – Since Kiev's independence following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the American government has spent billions attempting to lure Ukraine away from Russia into its sphere of influence with the prospect of Kiev joining the European Union and NATO."
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If US Observed Its Vow Not to Expand NATO, There Would be No Crisis

Ongoing tensions over NATO's build-up in Ukraine, Kiev's provocative actions against Donbass and Russia's alleged "concentration" of troops near its Western frontier would have never happened if the US and its European allies observed their unanimous vow to Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev to never expand NATO eastward, argues Parry.
"For the last three decades, Moscow has politically objected to the continuing enlargement of NATO eastward on its borders, consistently citing the broken promises made at the conclusion of the Cold War between the Soviets and Washington that the military alliance would not expand after the reunification of Germany," the journalist says.
In December 2017, the National Security Archive, a non-profit at the George Washington University, released declassified bombshell documents which indicated that throughout the process of Germany's unification in 1990-91, US Secretary of State James Baker and leaders of the UK, France, and Germany assured Gorbachev and other Soviet officials that NATO would not expand eastward.
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These promises were put down on paper but they had never turned into a legally binding document. Nevertheless, "these were commitments made by sovereign governments to the USSR, and while there is no legal penalty for breaking those promises, the ethical, moral and political obligations and consequences are clear," notes Christopher C. Black, a Toronto-based international criminal lawyer with 20 years of experience in war crimes and international relations.
Still, even a legally binding document would have never stopped Washington's adventurism, believes Max Parry. As the world has "seen time and time again, whether it's the JCPOA with Iran or even its own supposed allies in the French with the recent debacle over the AUKUS security pact, the Americans are completely incapable of keeping their word and instead pursue a doctrine of unilateralism," says the independent journalist.
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'Russian Invasion' Scare is Part of Long-Standing Plan

The "Russian invasion" scare is used by Washington not only to divert the American public from Joe Biden's blunders, and to cover up Kiev's ongoing military provocations against the breakaway Donbass region, but to justify its long-standing plan of absorbing Ukraine into its orbit, according to Parry.
He notes that Russia is forced to fortify its western frontier by the US-NATO deliveries of lethal weapons and construction of military installations in Ukraine and President Volodymyr Zelensky's reckless vows to seize Crimea from Russia and to forcefully bring Donbass back in Kiev's fold in complete defiance of the Minsk Agreements.
© AP Photo / Andrew Kravchenko, PoolU.S. Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, offering cookies and (behind the scenes) political advice to Ukraine's Maidan activists and their leaders.
U.S. Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, offering cookies and (behind the scenes) political advice to Ukraine's Maidan activists and their leaders. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.12.2021
U.S. Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, offering cookies and (behind the scenes) political advice to Ukraine's Maidan activists and their leaders.
"Meanwhile, where is the real military buildup taking place?" says Parry. "Since Biden took office, more than $300 million in security aid packages have been allocated by Washington to the NATO-supported regime for use in the war in the southeastern part of the country where 50 percent of the entire Ukrainian Armed Forces are deployed on the demarcation line with the pro-Russian breakaway regions."
In total, the United States has committed $2.5 billion in support of Ukraine’s forces since 2014, according to the White House.

"The allegations by the U.S. administration and its media lackeys that Russia is amassing troops on its Western border with Ukraine for an impending 'invasion' are not only totally unfounded but completely lacking in context," Parry notes. "The misreporting by Western media on the Ukrainian crisis amounts to a complete inversion of reality where the aggressors are being cast as victims and vice versa."

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