In recent days, the world has been closely watching attempts by Russian diplomats to negotiate with the West the future of security in Europe and reduce tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
Washington and Brussels accuse Moscow of preparing an "invasion", stating that Russian troops are being brought to the border with a neighboring state. In this context, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is reinforcing its presence in Eastern Europe. On January 24 it was reported that a Danish frigate was transferred to the Baltic and four Danish fighters to Lithuania, Spanish ships and Dutch fighters to Bulgaria, as well as the possible dispatch of French units to Romania.
Moscow rejects all claims and emphasizes that they are moving troops within national territories. The Russian side also recalls that Ukraine does not comply with the Minsk agreements, which provide for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the contact line.
The first meetings in Geneva (between Russia and the US) still inspired some optimism in the fulfillment of these goals, however, the next round of negotiations in Brussels (NATO-Russia Council. First council meeting in two and a half years) extinguished hopes for a breakthrough. The leaders of the Atlantic alliance intransigently refused to find common ground with Russia on the issue of further NATO expansion and the possible admission of Ukraine into the alliance. Meanwhile, Moscow made it clear that without meeting key requirements, there can be no talk of further negotiations.
A COALITION BLOC CONCEIVED FOR CONFLICT CANNOT BRING PEACE
The West presents NATO as a force for good, the basis of peace and order in Europe. But a review of NATO's actions in the past, shows the exact opposite picture: it was conceived, created and deployed against the Soviet Union (USSR), and its entire history consists of wars and interventions that left traces in the form of destroyed states and millions of refugees.
On March 31, 1954, the USSR Foreign Ministry sent a note to NATO member countries proposing that Moscow join the alliance, provided that the alliance maintained a neutral status. Soviet leaders had no particular illusions about the alliance's reaction, either consent or rejection would be acceptable. An agreement would reduce the military threat to the Soviet Union, since its entry would mean a radical change in the very essence of the alliance, while NATO's refusal would reveal its true nature: it was not interested in stabilizing the situation in Europe, but only in achieving hegemonic dominance.
NATO's response followed immediately and was negative: the USSR was not wanted in the alliance. On other occasions, the Russian Federation considered the possibility of changing the openly hostile state of relations with the Western bloc in order to build a system of security, none of the attempts succeeded, as NATO considered confrontation with Moscow a much more profitable deal.
Despite statements about the "defensive" character of the bloc, in 1999, after the disintegration of the USSR, NATO went beyond and unleashed aggression against Yugoslavia, bypassing the UN position and ignoring the clearly expressed will of Russia, which opposed such actions. The alliance grossly violated its own founding documents, which state that the union of its forces is intended to "create a collective defense and maintain peace and security".
Then, NATO states in 2001 invoked Article 5 and supported the invasion of Afghanistan, the EU supported the US invasion of Iraq and several NATO countries joined them. All operations were carried out without a proper UN sanction. The intervention in Libya in 2011 was also a military intervention formed mainly by NATO countries.
On the other side, Russia has been characterized by changing scenarios of military conflict into scenarios of political discussions, as stated by the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko:
"Russia has historically stopped wars. Among them, civil wars in Tajikistan, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh. Each of these wars is an example of how Russian intervention has contributed to peace by turning a military scenario into political decisions," Grushko said.
At the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century, when Russia took an independent course in the international arena and strengthened the armed forces, Washington and its European allies took advantage of the Ukrainian crisis (self-induced) and the subsequent accession of Crimea to Russia as pretexts for the return of the policy of siege and deterrence against Moscow.
The need to adopt this model and deliberately destroy diplomatic channels with the Russian Federation is due to the fact that the transatlantic alliance has to demonstrate somehow the existence of new threats to justify its existence and continue to generate conflicts in places of geopolitical interest. To this end, it wants to return to Cold War-era patterns by embarking on the course of expanding NATO to the East, provoking instability in post-Soviet countries that now border Russia's territory, and fomenting anti-Russian sentiments.
Currently, the bloc has brought the geopolitical situation to a very complex point. If Ukraine joins NATO, Moscow will be faced with a new military base and new types of offensive weapons right on the border. And even if that doesn't happen, there are other mechanisms for Ukraine and other countries neighboring Russia, under the auspices of NATO, to unleash conflicts that threaten the stability of the region, an strategy that has in fact, already been working: offensive weapons are delivered on the basis of bilateral relations, for example, between the United States and Ukraine, Great Britain and Ukraine, saying that it has nothing to do with NATO.
Russia, aware of the growing risks and negative trends arising as a result of NATO's policy of undermining the strategic balance of forces on the European continent, concentrates all political and diplomatic means on obtaining guarantees for its own security.
MANUFACTURING CRISES FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WESTERN MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
Over the past six years, including pandemic years 2020 and 2021, the North Atlantic Alliance's military spending has been increasing. At the same time, every new dollar or euro goes towards the purchase of new weapons. Something openly stated by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, without hiding his satisfaction, when he presented a report at an online press conference.
As he said in his remarks, despite the negative impact of the pandemic on the economies of NATO member states, the alliance's military spending increased by 3.9% in 2020. In absolute terms, the amount of the alliance's military spending in 2020 amounted to $1.107 trillion. This includes current expenses for the maintenance of NATO formations, their relocation, exercises and the payment of allowances to military and civil servants at the headquarters in Brussels.
Another expenditure that is closely monitored is the purchase of new weapons and military equipment. In 2020, 11.6% of the entire NATO budget was used for purchases of new weapons and military equipment.
Although the figure is absurdly high, in 2014 in Wales, it was proposed to bring NATO military spending to 2% of GDP in each participating country. Washington more actively pushed for this idea, calling on European partners to increase military spending year after year. And most importantly, up to 20% of this spending should go to the purchase of new weapons.
But who manufactures those weapons and is satisfied to sell them? The Western military-industrial complex, especially of U.S. origin. So one can understand the jubilation of companies like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin as they celebrate the deterioration of the political situation between Moscow and Minsk.
The United States remains the world's largest arms exporter, say experts at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. During the period from 2016 to 2020, the US military-industrial complex increased its share on a global scale from 32 to 37%. US weapons were supplied to 96 countries.
THE FASCINATION WITH EXPANSION, THE ONLY THING THAT UNIFIES THEM
Attempts to present the NATO bloc as a union of equal opportunities for all its members and shared values are just words. Instead, hegemonism and colonial behaviors prevail, the orders of the strong and the unwillingness of the weak.
Alliance members have long since ceased to be free even to make their own decisions. It is enough to recall how the US ambassador, not so long ago, literally threatened the German government regarding the continuation of participation in Nord Stream 2. Or how, behind the back of Emmanuel Macron's government, its transatlantic allies broke France's agreement with Australia on military-technical cooperation. The United States, Britain and Australia constituted an alliance without even notifying the rest of the alliance.
The high point of fragmentation and disunity among NATO members was the covid-19 vaccines story, when everyone in the alliance threw out even the simplest principles of cooperation, replacing them with theft and veto among themselves.
Finally, the obsession with expansion has become the only value protected by the United States and other member states that follow in its wake. The historical mark of the West.