Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : The Failure Of This Week’s US-NATO-Russia Meetings Make War More Likely

Posted by M. C. on January 16, 2022

The first is the US desire for universal hegemony, including the right to dictate other countries’ political systems and what influence they will be allowed to possess beyond their own borders.

The second is the European elites’ belief in the European Union of as a kind of moral superpower, expanding to embrace the whole of Europe (without Russia of course), and setting a liberal internationalist example to the world; but a militarily impotent superpower that relies for security on the United States, via NATO.

These projects have now manifestly failed.

Written by Moon of Alabama


In the late 1990s the US military-industrial-media complex lobbied the Clinton administration to extend NATO. The sole purpose was to win more customers for US weapons. Russia protested. It had offered to integrate itself into a new European security architecture but on equal terms with the US The US rejected that. It wanted Russia to subordinate itself to US whims.

Since then NATO has been extended five times and moved closer and closer to Russia’s border. Leaving Russia, a large country with many resources, outside of Europe’s security structure guaranteed that Russia would try to come back from the miserable 1990s and regain its former power.

In 2014 the US sponsored a coup against the democratically elected government of the Ukraine, Russia’s neighbor and relative, and installed its proxies. To prevent an eventual integration of the Ukraine into NATO Russia arranged for an uprising against the coup in the eastern Ukraine. As long as the Ukraine has an internal conflict it can not join NATO.

In 2018 the Trump administration withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty which had been created under the Presidents Gorbachev and Reagan to eliminate nuclear missiles in Europe. Now the US made plans to station new nuclear missiles in Europe which would threaten Russia. These required a Russian response.

Meanwhile the US and other NATO states have deployed significant ‘training’ units to the Ukraine and continue to send weapons to it. This is a sneaking integration of the Ukraine into NATO structures without the formal guarantees.

In late 2021 the US started to make noise about alleged Russian military concentrations at its western border. There were groundless allegations that Russia was threatening to invade the Ukraine which was begging to enter NATO. The purpose was to justify a further extension of NATO and more NATO deployments near Russia.

Russia has had enough of such nonsense. It moved to press the US for a new security architecture in Europe that would not threaten Russia. The rumors about Russian action in the Ukraine helped to press President Joe Biden into agreeing to talks.

After Russia had detailed its security demands towards the US and NATO a series of talks were held.

I had warned that these would likely not be successful as the US had shown no signs to move on core Russian demands. As expected the talks with the US on Monday failed. The US made some remarks that it would like to negotiate some side issues but not on the core of Russia’s request to end the extension of NATO and to stop new missile deployments.

Wednesday’s talks with NATO had similar results as had today’s talks with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

As Russia had previously announced it will not consider further talks as there is nothing to expect from them:

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said he saw ‘no grounds’ to continue the talks, in a blow to the efforts to ease tensions. His comments came as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe met in Vienna in the latest attempt to avert a major European crisis as Russia masses troops on Ukraine’s border.

Speaking on Russian television, Ryabkov said the United States and its allies have rejected Russia’s key demands — including its call for an end to NATO’s open-door policy for new members — offering to negotiate only on topics of secondary interest to Moscow.

‘There is, to a certain extent, a dead end or a difference in approaches,’ he said. Without some sign of flexibility from the United States, ‘I do not see reasons to sit down in the coming days, to gather again and start these same discussions.’

Other Russian government officials made similar points:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who described the Western position as ‘arrogant, unyielding and uncompromising,’ said that President Vladimir Putin would decide on further action after receiving written responses to Moscow’s demands next week.

In addition to calling the talks unsuccessful, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday highlighted a bill announced the day before by US Democratic senators for tough new sanctions against Russians, including Putin, if there is military action against Ukraine.

Peskov called it ‘extremely negative, especially against the background of the ongoing series of negotiations, albeit unsuccessful, but negotiations.’ Sanctioning a head of state ‘is an outrageous measure that is comparable to breaking off relations,’ he said.

Peskov also accused the United States and NATO of escalating the conflict with efforts to ‘entice’ new countries to join NATO.

Peskov’s last remarks relate to recent noise from Finland and Sweden that they may consider to join NATO.

The US had promised to send a written response to Russia’s demands by next week. NATO has likewise said that it would dispatch a letter within a week’s time frame. If those letters do not include substantial concessions to Russia it will have to act.

The Washington Post piece quoted above is headlined Russia ratchets up pressure on Europe, says ‘no grounds’ for further talks on security amid heightened tensions. The Post tries to frame the issues as an European and NATO problem.

However, Russia does not even talk with Europe as it is no longer relevant. The security demands are made towards the US and the issues can only be solved by the White House.

Russia has spoken of “military-technical measures” it would have to take should all talks fail.

It has now started to hint at some of the possibilities:

See the rest here

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