Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The vicious circle between Russia and NATO is about to get more vicious | Russia Direct

On Sept. 4-5, NATO is poised to hold what some have called the most important summit since the end of the Cold War, where lethal military assistance to Ukraine may be approved. Any move to arm Kiev, however, would likely be met with a military counter-move from Moscow, furthering escalating the crisis in Ukraine. This has been the pattern since 2008, when similar attempts to include Georgia within NATO were met with a firm military response by Russia.

There can be little doubt that the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine, whoever is to blame for it, is largely rooted in the incessant NATO-Russia “divide and conquer ” game in Eastern Europe. Moscow has blamed NATO for breaking a promise once given to Soviet leader President Mikhail Gorbachev by continuing its expansion to the Russian border, while the alliance claims it is disturbed by Moscow’s attempts to destabilize NATO’s Eastern European members.

A new round of contention between the two is over Ukraine. The decision that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will make regarding Ukraine’s future relationship with the alliance at the NATO summit this week will also determine how Russia views Eastern Europe in years to come.

For as long as Vladimir Putin has been in power, he has been trying to get his message through to Western leaders that Russia is against NATO’s eastward expansion. Feeling that he has been unheard, Putin’s rhetoric has become more aggressive and defensive over time.

Feeling cornered, the Russian leadership made a decision to engage in a war in Georgia at a time when this country was making steps toward NATO. Putin’s current strategy seems like a case of déjà vu, albeit on a larger scale, reflecting the desperation to convey a message that Russia’s vital national interests are being infringed upon by the West.

Complete story at - The vicious circle between Russia and NATO is about to get more vicious | Russia Direct

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