The Kremlin’s top diplomat has warned that Western involvement in Ukraine is nearing “the point of no return,” accusing the United States and the NATO bloc of attempting to transform the country into a “Russophobic military stronghold.” Meanwhile, Moscow’s UN envoy declared that all of Russia’s “red lines” have already been crossed.
Addressing lawmakers at Russia’s State Duma on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov outlined the causes of the current conflict in Ukraine and the deterioration of US-Russia relations, saying Washington has a “maniacal desire to revive the neo-colonial unipolar world order.”
“An integral part of this policy is the long-term containment of Russia, including through the expansion of NATO towards our borders, as well as the transformation of fraternal Ukraine into a Russophobic military stronghold,” he said. “In recent years, this line of Washington and its European satellites has reached the point of no return.”
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Washington and several other Western states gave assurances to Moscow that the NATO alliance would not expand beyond Germany. However, in the years since, Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump have each allowed new members to join the alliance, all of them inching closer to Russia’s borders.
Starting in 2008, NATO has repeatedly declared its intention to someday allow Ukraine to become a member, again reiterating that pledge at a recent alliance summit. The move would cross the “brightest of all red lines” for Moscow, as was previously noted by then-State Department official and current CIA Director William Burns, who penned a 2008 memo warning of the geopolitical perils of extending membership to Kiev.
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