did the west break its promise to moscow?
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has accused the West of breaking promises made after the fall of the Iron Curtain, saying that NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe violated commitments made during the negotiations over German reunification. Newly discovered documents from Western archives support the Russian position.
No one in Russia can vent his anger over NATO’s eastward expansion quite as vehemently as Viktor Baranez. The popular columnist with the tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda (“Komsomol Truth”), which has a readership of millions, is fond of railing against the “insidious and reckless” Western military alliance. Russia, Baranez writes, must finally stop treating NATO as a partner.
Baranez, a retired colonel who was the Defense Ministry’s spokesman under former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, asks why Russia should even consider joint maneuvers after being deceived by the West. NATO, he writes, “has pushed its way right up to our national borders with its guns.” He also argues that, in doing so, NATO has broken all the promises it made during the process of German reunification.