In response to recent statements by former US President Bill Clinton, in which he rejects criticism that blames NATO enlargement for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and adds that “When I did what I did, I offered Russia not only a special partnership with NATO, but the prospect of eventual NATO membership, arguing that our greatest future security problems would come from non-state actors or authoritarian states selling chemical, biological and nuclear capabilities to terrorist groups”, we reply as follows:
Mr. Clinton was the architect of two atrocious wars, which were coldly prepared and executed by the United States in Yugoslavia and Iraq.
His government committed war crimes that were never investigated or prosecuted.
He has no moral right to judge other countries as “invaders” or “aggressors”.
He also misrepresents the history of NATO’s expansion in Europe.
Let us remember that despite several requests, first from Yeltsin and then from Putin, NATO never accepted Russia’s entry. This is a historical fact and there are many testimonies.
NATO’s expansion into the East afterwards after the Warsaw Pact’s self-dismantling was very powerful and brutal: when NATO was founded in 1949 there were 12 members, and now there are 30.
At the time of the reunification of Germany, authorised by the USSR then ruled by Gorbachev during Perestroika, there was a verbal guarantee from US and NATO leaders of the organisation’s “non-expansion” to the East. This promise was never fulfilled.
Russia tried many, many times to join NATO and the response was always a refusal, accompanied by contemptuous attitudes.
Consider that NATO countries have participated in every war in recent decades, and the European military command has always been subordinated to the US.
Russia’s legitimate security concerns have never been taken into account by the West.
With the risk of NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia, the organisation reached Russia’s borders. It is obvious that for several years Russia was being provoked.
This is what we are responding to Mr. Clinton, providing clarifications for a better understanding of recent history.