NEW YORK, September 8 (RIA Novosti) – The fighting in eastern Ukraine that has claimed some 2,600 lives since April is the result of NATO and European Union (EU) expansion, the Chicago-based analyst John Mearsheimer told RIA Novosti.
“The root of Ukraine’s crisis it not Russian aggression, but NATO enlargement. NATO members share most of the responsibility for the crisis because of their strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit and integrate it into the West,” said Mearsheimer, a political scientist at Chicago University.
“At the same time, the EU’s expansion eastward and the West’s backing of the pro-democracy movement in Ukraine – beginning with the Orange Revolution in 2004 – were critical elements, too. Since the mid-1990s, Russian leaders have adamantly opposed NATO enlargement, and in recent years, they have made it clear that they would not stand by while their strategically-important neighbor turned into a Western bastion,” Mearsheimer said.
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