No, actually the promise that Moscow gave about Ukraine's borders was written, formal and internationally legally recognised.A bit like the promise that Vlad gave over Ukraine's borders then.
Apparently you mean Budapest memorandum. Memorandum is not binding international document - a declaration about intentions. Any party is free to abandon obligations written in a memorandum and other parties are free to do the same thing.No, actually the promise that Moscow gave about Ukraine's borders was written, formal and internationally legally recognised.
Moscow does not have a legal leg to stand on here, There may have been hints and nods in informal discussions, but as the Chatham House report outlines, there was no formally agreed and signed undertaking that NATO would not expand.
The point here is that independent countries have agency. If a country feels threatened by its former invader and occupier thus needing and wanting to join NATO (to help ensure its security and continued independence in the face of hostility from Moscow) and fulfilling the requireed criteria then the decision has nothing to do with Moscow.
Moscow Rules. In the Muscovite Mindset the law is set by the Kremlin and for the Kremlin. The Kremlin which can and does arbitrarily ignore or change the law to suit its own interests.Apparently you mean Budapest memorandum. Memorandum is not binding international document - a declaration about intentions. Any party is free to abandon obligations written in a memorandum and other parties are free to do the same thing.
10 principles for the West for dealing more rationally and effectively with Russia
- Adopt strategies based on an honest appraisal of the evidence of Russia’s capabilities, intentions and actions. Do not adopt them through putting hope before experience, or because plausible alternatives are uncomfortable, or on the basis of the myths debunked in this report.
- Remember that the Kremlin is not the West’s friend. Well-connected members of the Russian regime enjoy the West’s luxury resorts, legal systems, banks, schools, high-end properties and so on; but this does not mean they share its politics, values or respect for the rule of law.
- Do not accommodate or appease Russia in return for assumed benefits. These will not materialize. In particular, avoid the temptation to seek a grand bargain in relations with Russia, or a major geopolitical realignment. So-called ‘realist’ policies simply play into Russia’s hands.
- Expect to be disappointed by Russia. Experience consistently demonstrates the futility of treating Russia as a reliable partner acting in good faith. Expect Russia to violate any agreement entered into with it when this suits Russia’s interests, unless there is substantial leverage to enforce the terms of the agreement in question.
- Don’t give up. Keep the pressure on Russia by being clear about core Western interests and refusing to accept hostile actions that challenge them, and keep faith that Western political systems, sanctions and other responses work in the long term. Adopt the principle that each ‘unacceptable’ action should be met with an equal or asymmetric reaction.
- Accept that an unfriendly relationship with Russia is appropriate at present and dictated by the realities we face. Indeed, a good relationship with Russia would be highly inappropriate in the contemporary context. Russia’s conditions for ‘friendship’ invariably come at a cost that is damaging to our interests and those of others.
- Place security above economic gains. Any reduction in business with Russia is far outweighed by the costs of failing to deter Russia from undermining or attacking Western nations, societies, citizens and core interests. There are times when security and economic imperatives will come into conflict, and this will entail some financial sacrifice. Financial investment only builds political bridges when political interests coincide.
- Resist the temptation to compromise interests and values in pursuit of cooperation, even while recognizing that cooperation may still be possible in a small handful of areas. A similar principle applies to dialogue. Neither cooperation nor dialogue is as important as understanding the fundamental differences between Russia and the West.
- Expect noisy, angry and vituperative responses from Moscow as the price to be paid for defending Western interests. Such responses must not act as deterrents to policy, as that would constitute successful blackmail.
- Build expertise. The West needs to reconstitute a far larger and more expert pool of Russia specialists to ensure trustworthy analysis of Russia’s actions, and to prevent the development of still further myths.
Moscow Rules. In the Muscovite Mindset the law is set by the Kremlin and for the Kremlin. The Kremlin which can and does arbitrarily ignore or change the law to suit its own interests.
According to the memorandum, Russia, the US and the UK confirmed their recognition of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine becoming parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and effectively abandoning their nuclear arsenal to Russia and that they would:
- Respect Belarusian, Kazakh and Ukrainian independence and sovereignty in the existing borders.
- Refrain from the threat or the use of force against Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
- Refrain from using economic pressure on Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to influence their politics.
- Seek immediate Security Council action to provide assistance to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine if they "should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used".
- Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
- Consult with one another if questions arise regarding those commitments.
the United States publicly maintains that "the Memorandum is not legally binding."
The government of Belarus said that American sanctions were in breach of the Memorandum against Article 3, but the US government responded that although it is not legally binding, the Memorandum is compatible with its work against human rights violations in Eastern Europe.
I would like to quote your source
So at least informal promise was given and it has been confirmed.
You know, when I was researching the story, I kept coming up against this argument (by Shifrinson and others) that fixate on Jim Baker’s “not one inch to the East” remark to Gorbachev in 1990—that one of the main arguments that supporters of the “Moscow Was Deceived By The West” point to.
But if you look clearly at all the transcripts, and larger context of the conversation at the time, it’s perfectly clear Baker was only talking about East Germany, and the German unification question. As Mark Kramer (and plenty others point out), the idea of NATO taking on the Czechs or Poles or anyone else, was nowhere on anyone’s mind in 1990s. Nor was the disintegration of the freakin’ Soviet Union.
Obviously, the Baker remark is not the only bit of evidence that the people point back to, but it certainly seems to be most prominent, particularly for those (ahem RT reporter) who either choose to ignore, or can’t understand, the actual context.
In fact the Chatham House report is an attempt to prove aDeep breath...
Context helps. Mike Eckel, the journo who put together the RFE/RL piece, was struggling with the fact that the Chatham House chapter on NATO's "no enlargement promise" has kicked a hornets' nest because to Russia it's still a very live, very important issue, so a lot of folks are very hot under the collar and trading insults about who knows best (the folks who were there in the room at the time, like Wolfgang Ischinger, are getting a lot of flak from people like this insufferable tit -
- who says they know nothing because they're not historians, etc. etc.). So Eckel had to chop down reams and reams of different bits to the story into something short enough for an RFE piece (and even then it's way too long). Meanwhile, being RFE, he has to be seen to be scrupulously fair - so he includes not only Nikolai Sokov giving the official Russian line, but also Jack Matlock whom you quoted.
But Matlock, as his description here implies, has followed the fine old tradition of former ambos to that part of the world completely losing the plot when they get back (see our own Tony Brenton, or Craig Murray, who has recently finally been locked up, thank God). He might say that Gorbachev was promised whatever, but you didn't cite Gorbachev from the same article saying that's nonsense, did you?
As Mike says (and I'm sure he won't mind me repeating it) -
So, does anybody still choose to ignore or not understand the actual context? Either for Jack Matlock's ramblings, or the whole idea that NATO deceived Russia?
Plenty of facts are availableThere are too few facts available for general public. So the gap is filled with myths.
Those who don't lke facts use to call them 'myths'. Nothing new.
Like the Skripal poisoning?
There are too few facts available for general public. So the gap is filled with myths.