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    The NATO emblem is seen before a defence ministers meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on October 22, 2013

    What NATO's 'Biggest Mistake' Has to Do With Russia

    © AFP 2019 / JOHN THYS
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    The North Atlantic Alliance has made the gravest mistake in its decades-long history in the months following the end of the Cold War, US historian Mary Elise Sarotte told Lenta.ru. Unsurprisingly, it had to do with Russia.

    "Mistakes always happen," the media outlet quoted Sarotte, Professor of History and International Relations at the University of Southern California, as saying. It is unlikely that either NATO or the Warsaw Treaty Organization could have avoided this fate.

    However, the Warsaw Pact, a collective defense treaty organization, was dissolved in February 1991; while the North Atlantic Alliance decided to remain active and one of the worst decisions in its history came at approximately that time.

    Then US President George H. W. Bush, according to Sarotte, did not offer Russia its "proper place in the new world order." He verbally backed the emerging world order, but de facto made every effort to retain the old one. "Sending Russia to the margins of global politics was a mistake," the expert explained. 

    Former US Defense Secretary William James Perry recently said that US leadership treated Russia as a "third-rate power" in the early days of the post-Cold War era. This was the reason why Washington backed NATO's expansion to the east regardless of whether Moscow was concerned with this process or not.

    These decisions played a major role in poisoning relations between Russia and NATO. Moreover, in the last two years the North Atlantic Alliance has overhyped the non-existent threat emanating from Moscow to boost military spending of its member states and enhance the bloc's activities close to Russia's borders.

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    politics, geopolitics, NATO, George H.W. Bush, United States, Russia
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