NATO expansion and possible Russian response
The current confrontation between Russia and the West is not the result of a sudden confluence of circumstances: the contradictions have accumulated over the years and the issue is no longer just Ukraine, where in 2014 a coup d’état took place with the support of the United States, but rather presents opposing views on world politics.
Even before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev was given assurances that after the unification of Germany, the North Atlantic alliance would not expand eastward, and then all of this was completely forgotten. Despite the fact that the Soviet Union dissolved, Russia is its successor, so the obligations also had to be fulfilled with Russia. The problem is that they were not written. This was a verbal promise, although all the words are encrypted.
Therefore, Russia’s proposals to reorganize European security and, more broadly, global security, established a requirement to formalize all of this in writing.
But even after the official response from the United States, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that they preferred to discuss everything in private rather than publish documents.
Why is it so secret? Perhaps the United States is hiding something from its NATO partners and Ukraine? Most likely it is. Because even within NATO there are different views on the acceptance of new members. And in the United States, many oppose NATO expansion. Samuel Charap of the Rand Corporation wrote that “in December 1996, NATO allies declared that they had “no intention, no plans, and no reason to place nuclear weapons in the territory of new members, the so-called Three No’s. This statement was made before any of the new members joined the alliance. If it was acceptable for NATO to make such a commitment to self-restraint 25 years ago, then it should also be acceptable today.”
I think this is quite a fair comment on the possible inclusion of Ukraine and Georgia in the alliance.
However, various structures close to the United States Department of Defense and the military-industrial complex are pressing for the acceptance of new members.
The artificial crisis around Ukraine
But the artificial crisis around Ukraine benefits the United States due to the control of European NATO partners, including through the deployment of military contingents in Eastern European countries. On the other hand, the escalation has an economic side, since it has a justification for imposing sanctions on Russia and hampering Moscow’s trade relations with European countries.
This is evident in the example of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline: the intentional blockage led to a shortage of gas reserves in the winter season in European countries and an increase in prices. And the United States took advantage of this by sending liquefied petroleum gas to Europe. Thus, European consumers are forced to overpay for utility services, and US companies make a profit.
The United States and its partners, notably the United Kingdom, have launched similar scenarios in other areas. Hiding behind the concept of “Hybrid War”, which the US and the EU attribute to Russia, they themselves wage it by other means, violating international law and interfering in the sovereign affairs of other states.
Russia after the end of US unipolar hegemony
However, it is obvious that Russia represents a different state than twenty or thirty years ago. There is no longer a unipolar hegemony of the United States, which can be seen in the example of the growth of China’s power and in the attempts of various states, for example, in the Middle East, to conduct its own foreign policy course.
Russia cannot and will not follow the dictatorship of the United States and NATO, but will continue to form a more just multipolar world order. Of course, given the aggressive statements and intentions of the United States and NATO, in Russia they take into account the risk of military confrontation and develop countermeasures, including a deterrence strategy. Thus, one of the scenarios could be the implementation of the project “Caribbean Crisis-2”. In the early 1960s, the deployment of nuclear missiles in Cuba was due to the fact that the United States was the first to deploy its missiles in Turkey.
Naturally, Western propaganda is silent about this fact and only recalls the Soviet initiative that directly threatened the territory of the United States. We must prepare that any Russian opposition to NATO’s provocations and expansion will be interpreted in the same way. We are already used to Russia being blamed for all problems.
Rights belong to and for everyone
If we refer to the words of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenbreg that there is “the right of each nation to choose its own security measures”, it would be wonderful if Serbia took advantage of that right and invited the armed forces Russian forces to help ensure their own security (including the return of control of Kosovo and Metohija).
The question is: will the Serbian leadership, which is constantly under pressure from the West, take this step? Maybe it’s worth making Belgrade an offer they won’t be able to refuse? The gas price question would be very useful, as the current rates will be in place only a few months before the results of their next election in April. In addition, the Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina also needs Russian assistance after the political crisis that started last year: the Bosnian Serb side did not recognize the appointment of the high representative of the European Union because it was made with procedural irregularities. Russia also did not recognize this representative.
Interestingly, very recently Croatia has shown solidarity with Russia on various issues, both in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the intention of maintaining the status quo with regard to the Croatian population, and with regard to Ukraine’s entry into NATO.
The second scenario is more strategic and long-term. It is the formation of a political-military alliance of a non-western collective. The ideal would be the participation of Russia, China and Iran as key players. The accession of Syria, Belarus, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba would give a Latin American dimension and would send the corresponding signal to the United States.
There are also several major states in Africa that are pro-Russian, for example Algeria and Egypt. A more active engagement of neutral countries can produce results in the medium and long term. A clear understanding of the needs of potential partners and a willingness to assist in meeting them is also needed.
In general, a greater interaction of all the countries that do not accept the dictatorship of the United States and are under sanctions or blockade is vital to protect their sovereignty and a more balanced world architecture. In addition, any measure to increase the contradictions within NATO will be useful. Although Brussels will accuse Russia of waging a hybrid war (which is already happening, regardless of Moscow’s actions or omissions), I think Russia is better off taking an active stance than sitting idly by.
There are serious frictions between Turkey and the European members of NATO. There are even territorial disputes between the United States and Canada. It is necessary to find such contradictions and develop mechanisms to increase the differences between the Western alliance. In general, the western alliance is an artificial conglomerate. It is necessary to support the EU’s aspirations to European autonomy, a strategic initiative that France and Germany particularly support.
Strengthen existing partnerships and champion new ones
In parallel, Russia needs to strengthen regional initiatives, such as the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Eurasian Economic Union.
Within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, it is necessary to increase military power, and in the Eurasian Economic Union it is necessary to strengthen the political component. In the Central-South American region, there is the strengthening of CELAC and regional integration, excluding the influence of the United States. By the way, the Eurasian Economic Union and CELAC are interacting. This process should be reinforced through various multilateral initiatives.
At the end of the 19th century, the Cuban revolutionary José Martí spoke of the importance of the balance between world forces in the context of the independence of the Antilles from Spain. For such a balance, the presence of at least two European powers in the region was needed. At that time, he saw in Germany and England such guarantors who would also check the expansion of the United States in the Caribbean.
Now, in my opinion, not the European powers, but the Eurasian ones, could help balance the situation in the Caribbean and Latin America as a whole and they are Russia and China.