Clinton mentioned Putin “made no secret of the truth that he thought the dissolution of the Soviet Union was an incredible tragedy.”
The previous president mentioned the U.S. and NATO by no means meant to threaten Russia and that the nations of Japanese Europe had a proper to reside in safety after a long time of being dominated by Russia.
“Once I did what I did,” Clinton mentioned, “I provided Russia not solely a particular partnership with NATO, however the prospect of eventual membership in NATO, arguing that our largest safety issues sooner or later had been going to come back from non-state actors, or from authoritarian states promoting chemical, organic and nuclear capability to terrorist teams. And that we should always do that collectively.”
Clinton’s election in 1992 got here within the aftermath of the top of the Chilly Struggle. The nations of Japanese Europe had thrown off a long time of Communist dictatorship in 1989, and President Mikhail Gorbachev had dissolved the Soviet Union in 1991.
Throughout Clinton’s presidency, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland joined NATO, adopted in 2004 by Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. All of these nations had both been a part of the Soviet Union or allies of the Soviet Union.
“You’re supposed to inform the Poles they need to reside the remainder of eternity with insecurity that Russia received’t attempt to come after them once more? Or the Hungarians or the, you realize, all of the others. The Baltic states. Actually, after what they did, did they ever need to be within the Soviet Union? And the Czech Republic was probably the most democratic of all and the best-managed,” he informed Zakaria.
The February invasion of Ukraine was met by sturdy resistance by Ukraine, which not too long ago reconquered a few of the territory it misplaced within the early weeks of the assault. It additionally led Finland and Sweden, two long-neutral neighbors of Russia, to ask to affix NATO.