- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Situation in Ukraine
On 24 February, Russia launched a special military operation amid Kiev's ongoing shelling of the DPR and LPR. President Vladimir Putin stated that the op is meant to protect the people of Donbass, and its goal is the complete demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine.

Albright's NATO Expansion Policy Paved Road to Ukraine Crisis - Ex-Macedonian Diplomat

© Charles SykesMadeleine Albright attends the 2019 White House Correspondents' Association dinner at the Washington Hilton on Saturday April 27, 2019, in Washington.
Madeleine Albright attends the 2019 White House Correspondents' Association dinner at the Washington Hilton on Saturday April 27, 2019, in Washington.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.03.2022
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The NATO expansion policy the late Madeleine Albright pursued as the Clinton administration’s top diplomat fueled Russian security concerns to a level that forced Moscow to take defensive measures, which helped lead to the crisis in Ukraine, former Macedonian diplomat Risto Nikovski told Sputnik.
Albright, the first female US Secretary of State, died from cancer at the age of 84 on Wednesday. Albright was one of the key architects of NATO's 78-day bombing campaign in Yugoslavia, which was launched on March 24, 1999 - exactly 23 years ago.
"The foreign policy that Albright pursued together with Bill Clinton led to the encircling of Russia from all sides by new NATO members," Nikovski said. "That encirclement is de facto the reason for all the problems that started in Ukraine and will continue in Europe in the future as well as in the world."
In December, Russia sent the Biden administration security guarantee proposals in an effort to prevent NATO’s further enlargement. However, Moscow said the US largely ignored its most critical demands including a guarantee to never allow Ukraine into NATO.
Moscow, Nikovski added, was forced to undertake the special operation in Ukraine because the legitimate government was toppled with the help of the United States and others.
"New politicians were installed [in Kiev] to lead anti-Russian policies, which led to what we are seeing today," Nikovski said.
Albright’s role in US domestic politics was positive, he added, but the world, and particularly the Balkan region, will remember her for her aggressive and "anti-civilizational" policies. The role Albright played in the breaking away of Kosovo from Serbia showed the world that US foreign policy is unscrupulous, Nikovski said.
Years afterward, he added, Albright admitted that the bombing campaign was illegal, but also claimed it was useful.
The former diplomat said Albright’s role as US Secretary of State in expanding NATO deserves wholehearted and deep condemnation given that her predecessor, James Baker, told Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not expand an inch eastward after the reunification of Germany.
Nikovski served as Undersecretary in the Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as Ambassador to Russia, Albania, and the United Kingdom before resigning over criticisms of the United States for allegedly interfering in the country’s internal affairs.
Albright moved from Czechoslovakia to the United States in 1948, where she would work as a professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and found the Albright Institute for Global Affairs at Wellesley College in addition to her public service.
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