Pugliese: How NATO backed Russia into a corner

NATO Summit Wales 2014 - Day 1

David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen discusses NATO’s role in the Ukraine crisis (“Pugliese: How NATO backed Russia into a cornerOttawa Citizen, September 4, 2014):

Over the last five years, Russia has continually accused the West of breaking its promises made after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Mikhail Gorbachev said in 2009 he was given assurances NATO would not expand “as much as a thumb’s width further to the East.”

Peggy Mason, who served as Canada’s disarmament ambassador under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, said there are various arguments on both sides of the debate about whether the West reneged on its promise not to enlarge NATO to Russia’s borders.

“What I think is not open to as much debate is the fact that this is a very strongly held Russian perception, which the West should have taken far more seriously….” said Mason, president of the Ottawa-based Rideau Institute.

She noted the Conservative government’s foreign policy on Ukraine is that one side, Russia, is entirely wrong and the other side, Ukraine and the West, are entirely right.

“Not only is this approach rarely factually defensible, given the many sides of most issues, it also misses the point that, to find solutions, we have to be able to take into account what others perceive as their legitimate security concerns,” she said.

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8 Responses to “Pugliese: How NATO backed Russia into a corner”

  1. MervynRrussellSeptember 15, 2014 at 6:27 am #

    Whilst Putin has grandiose ideas of his own self importance it is clear that he has been played for a sucker on a number of important occasions by the west .

    As Peggy Nash says, probably the most important has been the disregard for the promise made to Gorbachev not to extend NATO to Russia’s borders.

    The second most important is the disregard of the understanding that neither the USA or Russia would not develop a anti ballistic missile system.

    Russia’s proposals for responding to the Lybian crisis were completely disregarded.

    The agreement that Russia was party to along with western powers in responding to the Ukrainian crisis were similarly disregarded in favour of assisting highly nationalistic Ukranian groups to stir up the Median demonstrators to reject that agreement, which is what happened

    There are volunteer right wing para military groups fighting alongside the regular Ukrainian army. Are they under the command of the regular army? This is not clear.
    In any case Ukranian forces have fired shells missiles at the civilian population in Ethnically Russian areas

    50% of the population in the Ukraine is Ethnically/culturally Russian as was demonstrated in the previous presidential election

    The Secretary General of NATO, Rasmusen, has been very busy finding ways of expanding the scope of NATO and bringing about reasons for its continuation after the end of the Cold War. the best way ,of course is to initiate a new cold war or something as near as possible to it. If Putin is dangerous so is he.

  2. Ellin CallvisSeptember 9, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    NATO nations are clearly the aggressor in the Ukraine and to hear our leaders and mainstream media claiming the opposite is as outrageous as it is enraging to anyone who prefers peace to war.

    Kudos to David Pugliese and the O.Citizen for pointing out the real aggressor, but I think it is a mistake to say “Russia is backed into a corner” because that hints at Putin being in a weak position. Russia and Putin are actually “quietly in control” of the situation and the west is peeing into the wind hoping that they can use Ukraine for their “containment of Russia” plans.

    I say this because the Kiev government military is LOSING the battles for eastern Ukraine [even if the western MSM is not reporting it as such]. Given a fair chance without the risk of death, I would bet that most of the Kiev-area Ukrainians would also choose a unified Ukraine under a less fascist government.

    PS – I am glad to see that Ceasefire.ca is leaning towards Anti-NATO positions!!

    • dimitriSeptember 11, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

      You make some valid points Ellin. NATO is representative of the USA and its partners who clearly wish to subdue any efforts to get out of the American dollar structure, at any cost. Three thousand innocent civilians have lost heir lives in Ukraine with unfortunately more to come. It is sickening to see so many Canadian Ukrainians supporting this farce that’s been fed to them from Harper and the fawning media.

      There are so many contrived and convoluted events that have popped up since the Maidan Protests (and before) that are very questionable. Someone clearly has an agenda that is covert and sinister. You are right in saying that the Russians are not just sitting there and fretting about the developments. The Russian bear has historically been a formidable foe, but what concerns me is that an escalated confrontation means more destruction and lives lost, for absolutely unnecessary, selfish and greedy reasons.

      I wonder how Gorbachev feels about getting royally duped.

      An army works best when it is on a mission to stop a (real) aggressor from committing dangerous acts. How can the Kiev army be fully resolved to fight against its own people? It is a recipe for failure. Unless our magnanimous PM decides to add more fuel to the fire (again).

      If we want Harper to go, we must take serious steps to get rid of him and his cronies, and elect a government that is a reflection of the Peacemaker ideal of most Canadians.

  3. Leo KurtenbachSeptember 7, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

    Unlike Harper, who sent a 100 military contingent to Ukraine. a true Canadian statesman would have sent a small group of peacemakers to Ukraine to talk to all the groups concerned, to encourage them with advice in order to stop killing each other, so that Canadians would be seen as truly human beings.

  4. FrankSeptember 6, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

    Too bad that our leaders are all convinced that the only effective tool in resolving major international disputes is military force, or the threat thereof. Maybe it’s because that’s the only tool that promises clearcut victories (never mind that the victories, if achieved, are only temporary)

  5. Carol PickupSeptember 6, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    I am ashamed of Prime Minister Harper’s role both in NATO and the United Nations!! He has destroyed Canada’s reputation as peacemakers and should be voted out of office next year!!

  6. Jovo GruborSeptember 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

    NATO backed themselves into corner with their war mongering politics.
    Now, Mr. Rasmusen is asking for 2% of GDP so can continue with killings and destruction across the world. Watching this summit in Wales I had picture of un ruled kindergarten. It is terrible to see who rules the world. Only to cry.

    • Kateri PinoSeptember 6, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

      Right on, Javo. It’s NATO and its blustering warmongering (not to mention far-too-blatant and obvious lying) that has backed the NATO nations into a corner. And as always, the only way out that they can see, with their myopic vision, is war. Preferably “low intensity”, fought with drones and at worst, other people’s kids. How sad. Do we truly have the leadership we deserve? I’d swear we deserve better, infinitely better.