And Here… We… Go

NATO and the USA reject Russia’s perfectly reasonable demands:

NATO has said it “will not compromise” on potential expansion into Ukraine, Georgia, and other former Soviet republics, as this clashes with the “core principles” of the alliance, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Wednesday.

Moscow proposed eight points in the draft, and expected a detailed reply to each one.

The US was asked to stop any further NATO expansion to the east, halt military programs in non-member countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union – and pledge Ukraine and Georgia would “never” join the bloc – remove its nuclear weapons from Europe, and not deploy any offensive weapons capable of targeting Russia along its borders. Moscow demanded legally binding guarantees on all of those matters.

The alliance’s response, which Stoltenberg said all 30 members agreed upon, was delivered to Moscow earlier in the day by the US ambassador, alongside Washington’s separate written note.

The US has asked Russia to keep the contents of its response private.

The great accomplishment of the Trump administration was to avoid war with Russia, which was looking very likely in 2015 after Hillary Clinton made it clear that she intended to invite both Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO.

The difference is that now Russia – and China – have had an additional seven years to prepare for war with the New Neo-Liberal Rules-Based World Order, and they have no shortage of additional motivation for it.