Vladimir Putin, and every Russian leader since Gorbachev, has been lied to by America.  The agreement between Gene Bush Sr., representing America, and Mikhail Gorbachev was that if the USSR allowed the wall to come down and East and West Germany re-unite, America and NATO would not expand eastward, would not arm the newly independent countries and would not push the East European countries once under Soviet control to join the EU.  Every single president since Bush Sr. has broken every promise ever made to Russia and pushed Putin to the edge.

Washington betrayed Russia, and NATO added twelve eastern European countries in three subsequent rounds of enlargement.  Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive actions in Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014 were fueled by his ongoing resentment about what he saw as the West’s broken pact over NATO expansion.

Now that increasing numbers of formerly secret documents from 1989 and 1990 have made their way into the public domain, historians have shed new light on this controversy.  The evidence demonstrates that contrary to the conventional wisdom in Washington, the issue of NATO’s future in not only East Germany but also Eastern Europe arose soon after the Berlin Wall opened; as early as February 1990.  U.S. officials, working closely with West German leaders, told Moscow during negotiations that month, that the alliance would not expand, not even to the eastern half of a soon-to-be-reunited Germany.

According to documents from the West German foreign ministry, Hans-Dietrich Genscher told U.S. Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd that Gorbachev wanted to rule out the prospect of NATO’s future expansion not only to East Germany but also to Eastern Europe.  Genscher suggested that the alliance should issue a public statement saying that NATO did not intend to expand its territory to the East.  Such a statement referred not just to East Germany, but rather was of a general nature.  He said. ‘The Soviet Union needs the security of knowing that Hungary, if it has a change of government, would not become part of the Western Alliance.’  Genscher urged that NATO discuss the matter immediately, and Hurd agreed.

Three days later, in Moscow, U.S. Secretary of State, James Baker talked NATO with Gorbachev directly.  During their meeting, Baker took handwritten notes of his own remarks, adding stars next to the key words: ‘End result: NATO will not move eastward!

Instead of isolating and alienating Russia, any sane government would propose a way out, an exit strategy, such as offering Russia entry to NATO and to the EU.  Far fetched?  Ridiculous?  No, the irreversible will come when Russia is left with no choice but to grow by territorial expansion.

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