Former US National Security Adviser John Bolton Calls for NATO to 'Stand Up to Russia'

John Bolton - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.12.2021
John Bolton served as national security adviser under former US President Donald Trump. A vocal foreign policy hawk, he has had a harsh stance on Russia, labelling its alleged 2016 election meddling "an act of war" and calling for strong "deterrence" to counter Moscow.
Former US National Security Adviser John Bolton has rolled out an op-ed for 19FortyFive, suggesting his view on the mistakes and misjudgments made by the West concerning Russia and the "hegemonic agenda" Bolton believes is being pursued by the Kremlin.
According to the ex-Trump adviser, the West has "made two fundamental mistakes in the years since Russia's new flag was first raised over the Kremlin".
"In an understandable rush to add to NATO states escaping the defunct Warsaw Pact and resuming their rightful places in the West, America, in particular, failed to delineate where the expansion would end", Bolton writes. "One can debate where that endpoint should be, but by failing to decide the question explicitly, we created a 'grey zone' an ambiguity Russia is now exploiting. Today, we and grey-zone nations like Ukraine, are paying the price".
Bolton went on to cool the ardour of the European Union, which, according to him, believes that the "relative post-1945 peace" in the region was due to the bloc rather than the NATO alliance.
"The EU did not win the Cold War, and its disproportionate role in dealing with Russia today hinders the West's resolve", the former national security adviser continues.
Blasting Russia's move to demand security guarantees from NATO (particularly a pledge not to expand eastward and not to deploy offensive weapons in countries bordering Russia), Bolton, nevertheless, proceeds to say that "[Russian President Vladimir] Putin is outmanoeuvring his Western counterparts" and offers his own plan of response to Russia.
He suggests that NATO should make up its mind about what countries it is ready to accept and what countries it is not. Aside from this, according to Bolton, the EU should "get serious" about the "renewed threat" from Russia, noting that the alleged "threat" is nowhere near America's border.
Bolton also suggests that Nord Stream 2 must be cancelled, and additional "allied weapons" and troops should be "surged" into Ukraine "not to engage in combat, but so Russian generals can contemplate the karma of being ordered to invade Ukraine in close proximity to new NATO deployments".
A view of the Russian Foreign Ministry and one of the Kremlin towers - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.12.2021
Russia Demands NATO to Cancel Its Decision That Ukraine, Georgia Can Someday Join Alliance

Russia and NATO

Russia's security proposals, despite already being criticised by several Western countries as "unacceptable", are set to be discussed in January between Russia, the United States, and NATO.
The January negotiations have been scheduled in order to reduce tensions around the situation on the Ukrainian border, where Russia, according to the West, is "amassing" troops in what is being viewed as "preparations" for an alleged "invasion" of Ukraine.
Moscow has repeatedly said it has no such plans and its troops, located within the country's borders, pose no threat to anyone. NATO's moves to increase its military presence in Ukraine, however, has prompted concerns in the Kremlin, with President Putin saying that his country has "nowhere to retreat" when it comes to Ukraine and stressing the importance of the security guarantees.
The Kremlin outlined that, given the vague reliability of NATO's "verbal promises", it now demands legal guarantees that the alliance does not proceed eastwards or deploy offensive weapons in Eastern Europe.
"Not a single inch to the East - that's what we were told in the 90s. So what? Cheated. They just brazenly tricked us", Putin said during his December year-end presser, speaking about "five waves of NATO enlargement" that came despite the alliance's promises.
Addressing Russia's demands, the alliance's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg asserted that NATO has never promised not to expand. The sentiment was echoed by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Wednesday as he called Moscow's security proposals "completely unacceptable".
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