NATO ‘never promised’ not to expand, US claims

Sunday - 09/01/2022 14:15
A host of long-declassified documents, however, show Moscow was promised bloc wouldn’t admit more states
FILE PHOTO: The US State Secretary Antony Blinken. ©  AP / Andrew Harnik
FILE PHOTO: The US State Secretary Antony Blinken. © AP / Andrew Harnik

NATO has never promised not to admit new members, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed on Friday, labelling Russia’s demands of the bloc inadmissible. However, long-declassified Western documents suggest otherwise.

“NATO never promised not to admit new members,” the top American diplomat told journalists during Friday’s press briefing, as he commented on Moscow’s proposals to the bloc on security guarantees, ahead of upcoming NATO-Russia meetings next week.

“It could not and would not – the ‘open door policy’ was a core provision of the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty that founded NATO,” Blinken added. He then pointed to the fact that both Mikhail Gorbachev – the Soviet leader who’d allegedly received the guarantees of non-expansion from the Western leaders – and the former US Secretary of State James Baker, who allegedly provided them, among others – denied anything like that ever happened.

“There was no promise that NATO wouldn’t expand,” Blinken concluded, adding that, instead, Moscow had itself recognized every European nation’s right to choose its own path in the field of security by joining the Istanbul Charter for European Security in 1999.

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Author: Editors Desk

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