Once again, Russia has demonstrated a balanced and mature approach to crisis management, trying to diffuse potential flashpoints before they occur. And NATO?
Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out this week that any Russian movements (inside Russian territory) are a reaction to NATO’s actions and at the same time suggested ways in which we can diffuse a potential flashpoint before anything happens.
This is not only true, it is a balanced and mature approach to crisis management, presenting a win-win situation to all parties involved while simultaneously guaranteeing peace and a geo-political balance when the world needs to come together and concentrate on issues unrelated to delpoying weapons systems.
Starting with Vladimir Putin’s proposals, they are long-term, they present a platform which is legally binding and they are simple: NATO pledges not to expand further east and pledges to not deploy offensive weapons systems on Russia’s borders.
Two points here. First, can NATO be trusted not to expand? After all they promised not to expand eastwards in 1991, twenty years ago when the Warsaw Pact voluntarily dissolved and what happened?
On March 12, 1999 Hungary joined, the Czech Republic joined, Poland joined; on March 29, 2004, Bulgaria, joined, Estonia joined, Lithuania joined, Latvia joined, Slovenia joined, Slovakia joined, Romania joined; on April 1, 2009, Albania joined, Croatia joined; on June 5, 2017 Montenegro joined; on March 27 2020 North Macedonia joined.
Look at the map and we see a vice clenched around Russia’s throat. Compute into this the vector of Georgia (where there is a history of provocation by NATO) and Ukraine, where a Fascist coup ousted the democratically elected President amid chants of “Death to Russians and Jews” on the streets of Kiev, shots fired from the sixth floor of the Hotel Ukraine on Maidan Square into the crowd to whip up hysteria and amid Fascist massacres of Russian-speaking Ukrainians (NATO likes to speak about democracy but has issues in practising it, in fact it is an undemocratic organization which, totally unelected, dictates the foreign policy of its member states – how democratic, or constitutional, is that?). A reminder: in the midst of this anti-Russian hostility in Ukraine, a free and fair democratic election was held in Crimea by the entity with the power to organize this, the National Assembly (since the President had been ousted) and the people of Crimea voted to return to Russia.
The second point is, can we trust the documents which NATO signs, given the past history of its member states making agreements then reneging on them? In fact, we might say that a legally binding document which NATO signs is worth the same as the pile of paper lying on the floor beside a WC in a public latrine. And equally unfit to be used.
And now let us look at the wider picture
Russian military personnel and equipment are deployed inside the frontiers of the Russian Federation. They are not in Iraq, or Libya. They did not murder peace-keeping officials in a barbaric attack as happened in Georgia in 2008, they did not interfere aggressively in the Balkans, they did not side with terrorists.
What Russia is proposing is a de-escalation of tensions by asking NATO not to encroach further eastwards and by asking NATO not to place offensive weapons on Russia’s borders. Reasonable? For most people, almost everyone, yes. But wait and see NATO’s reaction.
If NATO is serious about what it preaches, it will agree to no further expansion around Russia’s borders and will not place aggressive weaponry in countries which share a frontier with Russia. If NATO is not serious and if its end-game is the invasion of Russia, militarily or through a colour revolution, the partition of Russia, the stealing of Russia’s vast resources, establishing NATO bases in Ukraine, in Georgia, in Central Asia and meanwhile in Belarus, then it will turn a blind eye to Russia’s offer.
Then we will know what NATO’s aim really is and what it has always been. Meanwhile, NATO member states waste one point two trillion USD each and every year on weapons systems to murder people while there are not enough school places or hospital beds for their citizens. Today they are already trying to destabilise Central Asian countries, dangling dollars before their star-struck eyes, promising the Moon and Saturn and manipulating a revisionism in their historical outlook.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Siberia is the final station along the line and those who control NATO and the lobbies it represents (the BARFFS, Banking, Arms, Resources, Finance and Food lobbies) cannot allow a sovereign nation to sit on massive mineral resources which would make the taker rich beyond his wildest dreams.
Today the ball is in NATO’s court. It is obvious what its reaction will be (and I would love to be proven wrong). Tomorrow Russia will have to remember that after Hope, Dignity is the last thing to die. Ask Napoleon. And Hitler.
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey can be reached at