Bill Clinton denies responsibility for Ukraine crisis — RT World News


The former US president argued that the conflict in Eastern Europe could have happened sooner if NATO had not expanded under his leadership.

Former US President Bill Clinton dismissed criticism that NATO’s eastward expansion under his leadership had helped set the stage for today’s Ukraine crisis, suggesting that Russia had threatened the security of its neighbors earlier without the presence of the Western military bloc in the region.

« I think we did the right thing at the right time, and if we hadn’t, this crisis could have happened even sooner, » Clinton said in an interview that aired on CNN on Sunday. Three former Warsaw Pact states – Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic – joined NATO during Clinton’s second term in 1999, and seven others, including three former Soviet republics, followed in 2004.

Russian leaders have accused NATO of breaking promises against eastward expansion after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The bloc continued to grow, adding four Balkan members between 2009 and 2020 while pledging to eventually add Ukraine and another former Soviet republic, Georgia. .

President Vladimir Putin has claimed that NATO’s expansion on the doorstep of Moscow has created a « unacceptable threat » to Russia’s national security.

Clinton claimed he tried to engage Putin in NATO security strategies. « When I did what I did, I offered Russia not just a special partnership with NATO, but the prospect of eventual NATO membership, arguing that our biggest problems of security in the future would come from non-state actors or authoritarian states. sell chemical, biological and nuclear capabilities to terrorist groups”.

The former US president pointed to Putin’s past comments lamenting the collapse of the Soviet Union and Nikita Khrushchev’s 1954 decision to give Crimea to Ukraine. In light of these views, he said, « I don’t see how we could be surprised » by the current crisis. Putin said last December that the breakup of the Soviet Union was a humanitarian tragedy for most Russians. However, Moscow denied any desire to recreate the Soviet bloc, calling it a « impossible. »

US shares responsibility for crumbling ties with Russia, says Clinton defense secretary

Clinton’s own Secretary of Defense between 1994 and 1997, William Perry, who served as, believes the United States shares blame for antagonizing Russia by ignoring its intrinsic security interests and post-USSR suffering, and must recognize this before ties with Moscow can be repaired.

« The combination of the West’s inability to act during the Russian financial crisis and ignoring their strong views on NATO expansion has reinforced the prevailing Russian belief that we have not caught them in the dark. seriously,” he added. Perry wrote in an opinion piece published earlier this month. « Indeed, many in the West saw Russia only as the loser of the Cold War, unworthy of our respect. »

Nonetheless, Clinton said, « I’m more convinced today than I was when we did the right thing. »


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