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Russia warned NATO leaders about expansion in 2001 – Times — RT World News


However, Britain continued to dismiss Russia’s concerns until Moscow launched a military operation in Ukraine

NATO leaders have known since 2001 that Russia will “take the appropriate steps” against further expansion of the alliance, according to documents recently declassified by Britain and reported by The Times.

A year after Putin’s presidency, then-Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev told his NATO counterparts that continuing the alliance’s expansion into former Warsaw Pact territory would be a political mistake. big, newspaper stated on Friday. Sergeyev warns that Moscow will “take the appropriate steps” In response to this expansion, the paper continues.

The largest expansion of the alliance to date would come three years later, with Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joining the US-led military bloc.

In his speech at the 2007 Munich Security Conference, Putin described this expansion as “a serious provocation reduces the level of mutual trust,” although NATO leaders insist that their alliance is defensive in nature. After Ukraine refused to give up its desire to join – what Moscow considered an unacceptable security threat – and NATO confirmed that Kiev would one day become a member, Russia sent troops into Ukraine. in February.

In the dying days of the Soviet Union, Western leaders promised their Soviet counterparts that NATO would not expand into Eastern and Central Europe. As recently as this year, the United States refuse that this promise has been fulfilled and insists that NATO’s membership book be open – even to countries bordering Russia.

The UK also dismissed Russia’s warnings until the start of the Ukraine conflict. “Russia has expressed concerns about NATO’s potential for aggression, but we have made it clear that those concerns are fundamentally unfounded because NATO is a defensive alliance at its heart.” a spokesman for then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in January.

Since then, NATO has accepted applications for accession from Finland and Sweden, and Ukraine formally applied in September.

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