Since Russian troops crossed into Ukraine on February 24, thousands of people have been killed, and more than 2 million have fled the country.
On day 20 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted that his country would never join Nato, a key Russian concern used to justify its invasion.
A concession that could help in negotiations with Russia over its demands for ending the war, Russia vehemently opposed Ukraine’s membership in NATO, arguing that it would provide the country with security guarantees against Russia, and demanded that the country abandon its pursuit of membership.
However, according to 100percentfedup:
Ukraine has wanted to join NATO since 2008 when it joined the alliance’s MAP program, which would have put it on track to join at a later date.
President Biden, according to President Zelensky, wanted him to pretend that Ukraine could be admitted to NATO in order to antagonize Russia.
In an interview with CNN host and best-selling author, Fareed Zakaria with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in discuss why Zelensky is ready for negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding Ukraine’s relationship with NATO and the European Union.
During the interview, Zelensky said that NATO and EU countries told him that Ukraine would not be admitted to either the European Union or NATO, but ‘publicly, the doors would remain open’.
— Fareed Zakaria (@FareedZakaria) March 20, 2022
In a report by Minnpost:
Wikileaks has released a 2008 cable from the then-U.S. ambassador to Russia warning of potential large, nation-splitting trouble between the Russian and Ukrainian populations in Ukraine if Ukraine pushed for NATO membership.
The events that set off the current Ukraine crisis were not about NATO membership, but otherwise, the six-year-old cable from Ambassador William Burns eerily foreshadowed recent events. A non-partisan career diplomat who served under the last four presidents (the two Bushes, Clinton and now Obama) Burns has since risen to be deputy secretary of state.
In 2008, Ukraine and NATO were exploring the idea of NATO membership for Ukraine (also the former Soviet republica of Georgia, neither of which has been admitted to the alliance).
In the key summary, Burns wrote:
“Following a muted first reaction to Ukraine’s intent to seek a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the Bucharest summit, Foreign Minister Lavrov [Georgi Lavrov is still foreign minister] and other senior officials have reiterated strong opposition, stressing that Russia would view further eastward expansion as a potential military threat.
“NATO enlargement, particularly to Ukraine, remains ‘an emotional and neuralgic’ issue for Russia, but strategic policy considerations also underlie strong opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia. In Ukraine, these include fears that the issue could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which would force Russia to decide whether to intervene. Additionally, the GOR and experts continue to claim that Ukrainian NATO membership would have a major impact on Russia’s defense industry, Russian-Ukrainian family connections, and bilateral relations generally. In Georgia, the GOR fears continued instability and ‘provocative acts’ in the separatist regions.”