Ukraine war: this map holds an important clue about Kremlin fears of Nato expansion,

Nick Megoran, professor of Political Geography, Newcastle University

[…] Eastern European leaders requested membership and arms industry lobbyists such as the US Committee to Expand Nato campaigned vigorously for enlargement in order to open new markets for their products. Supported by influential anti-Russian hawks including Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brezezinski, this lobbying culminated with the 1996 passing of the NATO Enlargement Facilitation Act by both the US Senate and House of Representatives.

This occasioned a striking intervention by retired US diplomat, George Kennan, who was influential in the 1940s in formulating the US Cold War policy of “containing” Russia. In an opinion piece in the New York Times in 1997, the 92-year-old argued that “expanding Nato would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era”. It would, he cautioned, squander the “hopeful possibilities engendered by the end of the cold war,” by inflaming “nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies” in Russia, hindering nuclear weaponry control negotiations, restoring the “atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations,” and impelling “Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking”. Läs artikel