In December 2014 NATO released a factsheet on NATO-Russia relations covering more than 30 issues.
The document was cooked according to the standard scheme elaborated by the US State Department – they take a Russian “false” assertion and dress it with a “correct” disclaimer.
Taking this weapon in hand, our expert is throwing the alliance’s propaganda claims back. Professor of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences Vladimir Kozin was directly engaged in NATO-related issues during his 40-years-long professional career in the Russian Foreign Ministry. He was one of the leading negotiators from the Russian side at the most of the Russia-US diplomatic and military talks on disarmament, strategic deterrence and other issues in 1990s.
Claim: NATO has a Cold War mentality
NATO opinion: The Cold War ended over 20 years ago. It was characterized by the opposition of two ideological blocs, the presence of massive standing armies in Europe, and the military, political and economic domination by the Soviet Union of almost all its European neighbours.
The modern world does not feature competing ideological blocs: Russia has neither a credible ideology to export, nor significant international allies who support its aggressive actions in and around Ukraine. In fact, in a vote in the United Nations General Assembly on 23 March 2014, 100 countries voted that Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea was illegal, and just 10, other than Russia, supported it (resolution and voting record online here).
The end of the Cold War was a victory for the people of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and opened the way to overcoming the division of Europe. At pathbreaking Summit meetings in the years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russia played its part in building a new, inclusive European security architecture, including the Charter of Paris, the establishment of the OSCE, and the NATO-Russia Founding Act.
Over the past decades, NATO reached out to Russia with a series of partnership initiatives, culminating in the foundation of the NATO-Russia Council in 2002. No other country has such a privileged relationship with NATO.
As stated by NATO heads of state and government at the Wales Summit in September, “the Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia. But we cannot and will not compromise on the principles on which our Alliance and security in Europe and North America rest.” (The Wales Summit Declaration can be read here).
This is NATO’s official policy, defined and expressed transparently by its highest level of leadership.
Prof. Vladimir Kozin:
It is true that the Cold War, or as it is now called, “Cold War 1.0,” formally ended on Nov. 21, 1990 with the signing of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe. But unfortunately that conflict never truly ended, thanks to the efforts of the countries at NATO’s helm. An increasing number of Russian and foreign experts share this view, although Washington and the capitals of NATO’s leading countries claim otherwise.
Some Western experts have dubbed this new Cold War – “New Cold War” or “Cold War 2.0.”
Following is a list of what I consider to be the most important features of this continued Cold War, or of the new Cold War that began after 1989: the US’ withdrawal from the ABM Treaty and their deployment of a global system for intercepting ballistic and cruise missiles; the failure of all the NATO signatories to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe to ratify it; and the heavy reliance on nuclear forces that is still evident in the basic doctrines of the US and NATO, given Washington’s unaltered doctrine of “offensive nuclear deterrence” and “extended nuclear deterrence,” which envisions a first nuclear strike against some states, including the Russian Federation, as well as the “nuclear sharing arrangements” that exist between the United States and many other members of that transatlantic alliance. To this list should be added the decades-long refusal of NATO’s leading nations to back a proposal to prevent the weaponization of space, as well as the US refusal to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
There are five key features of the “Cold War 2.0” being waged by the current US administration that were present during “Cold War 1.0,” but to a lesser extent:
1) the arms-control process has ground to a halt (previously seven agreements had been signed just focusing on limiting and reducing nuclear-weapons stockpiles);
2) NATO’s leading nations have stepped up their military activity on the Russian border in times, a fact that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has admitted in his recent public statements;
3) NATO has intensified its hostile, bellicose rhetoric against Russia and has even made threats against her;
4) financial and economic sanctions against Russia were proposed and levied without sufficient cause, and they are of a greater magnitude than anything observed in the last century; and
5) direct attempts have been made to overthrow the existing leaders of the nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States, sometimes through covert CIA operations.
And as for the “the presence of massive standing armies in Europe,” the NATO member states have stationed masses of troops there, both in the 20th century and still today, far outnumbering the conventional armed forces in Russia or the CSTO. Shortly before he retired, US Admiral James Stavridis claimed that NATO collectively possesses 24,000 combat aircraft and 800 ocean-going ships. This cannot be compared to either Russia’s military capabilities or to the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
Russia is not engaged in “aggressive actions” in Ukraine.
If you are referring to Crimea – that was a peaceful reunification of the peninsula with Russia, in keeping with any nation’s right to self-determination, and it was conducted on the basis of a peaceful and democratic referendum.
Crimea is an ancient Russian land. Prince Vladimir was baptized there in 988, and he went on to baptize the people of Rus in Kiev.
Crimea was conquered by Russia over the course of 30 sea and land wars against the Ottoman Empire.
Crimea became an official part of the Russian Empire in 1783.
Crimea was not ceded to Ukraine in 1954. To view the issue from an international legal perspective: the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR did not have the authority to decide this question. In addition, they had no quorum. Sevastopol, a city under federal jurisdiction, was never ceded to Ukraine.
And at the meeting in Belavezha Forest in 1991, Ukraine’s president Leonid Kravchuk promised Russia’s Boris Yeltsin that Crimea would be returned.
In 1992 the Russian parliament declared Khrushchev’s 1954 act to be invalid.
If you are referring to Russian “aggression” in Crimea in 2014 – there was nothing of the sort. Crimea’s peaceful reunification with her ancestral homeland does not meet the definition of the term “aggression,” as interpreted by the UN General Assembly Resolution of Dec. 14, 1974. “Aggression” cannot occur when not a single shot is fired and there are no dead or wounded – and this is precisely how that reunification was carried out, during which Crimea once again sailed into her “home harbor.” An “aggressor” does not usually return captured weapons and military equipment to the alleged “victim” of his “aggression”. Of the two million inhabitants of the Republic of Crimea, only a few thousand abandoned the land “seized by the aggressor.” The others, as we know, happily welcomed the long-awaited reunification with their homeland. During the referendum, more than 97% of voters cast their ballots in favor of rejoining Russia.
If you are referring to the Donbass, none of the representatives of the OSCE, nor any other human-rights organizations have found any “Russian aggressors” there. About one million Ukrainian citizens have already decamped for Russia in order to escape the rampant genocide unleashed by the current leaders of Ukraine. Never before in the history of the world have any people seeking refuge from an “aggressor” escaped by fleeing to that aggressor’s country.
The West still does not understand or want to understand one indisputable fact: the people of the Donbass do not want to live as part of Ukraine – Kiev has shed too much blood and destroyed too many civilian lives.
That cannot be forgotten. Ever.
Yes, under the influence of misleading Western propaganda, in addition to wanting to support the ultranationalist regime in Ukraine that came to power as a result of an illegal, unconstitutional, and bloody coup, many states rushed to support Resolution 68/262 at the UN General Assembly in 2014. But many countries (almost half) either abstained or voted against the resolution.
I think more would have voted against such a resolution or abstained, if the leaders of those countries had been able to foresee what this “support” has cost thus far: about 5,000 civilians in the Donbass have been killed and over 10,000 wounded, plus 65% of the homes in the region have been destroyed by Ukrainian regular troops using heavy weapons, white phosphorus, cluster bombs, and Tochka-U ballistic missile systems with 500 kg. warheads.
The countries you have mentioned that supported the hastily concocted resolution on Ukraine must now and in the future bear the guilt of the blood of the innocent dead and wounded of the Donbass, as well as for the massive destruction of that region’s infrastructure. One hundred countries voted in favor of it, essentially giving a “green light” to the ultranationalists who are directing the military operations against the civilian population in the country’s Southeast – meaning that they have abetted Kiev’s war crimes.
The Ukrainian armed forces’ brutal combat operations in the Donbass against the civilian population meets the definition of “aggression” and “war of aggression” as given in the UN General Assembly Resolution of 1974, and found in articles 1-3 and 5, respectively, of that decree. The mass murders, including serial killings and executions of civilians by the Ukrainian armed forces without benefit of a court or trial, are a flagrant violation of one of the most fundamental of human rights – the right to life.
Recently adopted documents in regard to Ukraine: the US House of Representatives anti-Russian H.Res. 758 and H.R. 5859 – the Ukraine Freedom Support Act – signed by Barack Obama will help escalate Ukraine’s internal conflict, transforming it into a permanent state of affairs. These legal acts are in conflict with the agreements on Ukraine reached in 2014 in Minsk, Geneva, Berlin, and Kiev.
Since the creation of the North Atlantic alliance, neither the USSR nor Russia has ever had a “privileged relationship with NATO.” The creation of the NATO-Russia Council and the signing of the NATO-Russia Founding Act does not signify that they automatically have such a relationship, when the alliance’s eloquent statements and pronouncements continue to be at odds with NATO’s real actions in the world and with the way the alliance has behaved toward Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Finland is one example of a state that is not a formal member of the transatlantic alliance, but which has a “privileged partnership” with NATO, and that country long ago adopted the military and organizational standards of this, the largest Western bloc.
Unfortunately, 25 years after the adoption of the Paris Charter, the United States and the 27 other NATO members have not yet managed to “promote unity in Europe.” Looking back, we can confidently say that the North Atlantic alliance made no real effort to accomplish this during those years.
From a military/political point of view, the unjustifiable increase in Europe of the military capabilities of NATO and of the US (based on no genuine need) is not conducive to the strengthening of security in this densely populated region. On the contrary, these actions lead to suspicion, weakened trust between the states located here, and a return to an entirely new Cold War, which the current US military/political leadership has launched with the full consent of many European states. These military preparations violate many international agreements that were signed shortly after the official end of Cold War 1.0 in November 1990.
NATO is a U.S. geopolitical project
NATO’s purpose is to contain or weaken Russia
NATO has tried to isolate or marginalise Russia
NATO should have been disbanded at the end of the Cold War