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"False claim of NATO not expanding east" Topic

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williamb22 Jun 2022 6:16 p.m. PST

One of the reasons claimed for provoking Russia's invasion of Ukraine is that NATO agreed to not expand into eastern Europe. This is a false claim. NATO only agreed in 1990 to not put non-German troops in the former GDR. This is confirmed by an interview with Gorbachev who made the agreement with NATO


Druzhina22 Jun 2022 8:01 p.m. PST

Very informative.
I had a look at the link to the Address by Secretary General, Manfred Wörner to the Bremer Tabaks Collegium [1990]. He said "We have left behind us the old friend/foe mind-set and the confrontational outlook." He didn't see Putin coming.

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raylev322 Jun 2022 8:15 p.m. PST

the truth is irrelevant to authoritarians…they just keep repeating the same lie and if it suits you, you believe it. I've pointed this point out to Cuprum several times, but he kept repeating the lie. So it goes.

Thresher0122 Jun 2022 9:33 p.m. PST

Nations wouldn't want and need NATO membership if Russia's leaders weren't such bad actors.

They ARE solely responsible for driving their former occupied "Republiks" into the arms of NATO.

HazeGray23 Jun 2022 5:35 a.m. PST

The nations that border Russia are only reacting to several hundred years of Russian aggression against its neighbors.

Legion 423 Jun 2022 8:32 a.m. PST

Raylev, Thesher, HazeGray – Spot On !!!

All those former WP nations and some on the Russian border, etc., don't want to be under Russia's/Putin's boot. In some cases again …

Heedless Horseman23 Jun 2022 10:21 p.m. PST

And the EU is still at it.. having started things off in the first place! UNDERSTANDABLY, Ukraine now needs all the 'friends' they can get… and WILL for the future to rebuild… but Putin will sway opinion HIS way…regarding 'influence'.
EU is NOT NATO… so another bad call from EU…. unless EU will give more HARD support… fat chances of that, given political vacillating.
Zelensky will welcome ANY support that Ukraine can get… but EU bears lot of blame for 'trying to 'extend influence' and giving Putin an excuse to 'defend' Russian status.

SBminisguy24 Jun 2022 8:28 a.m. PST

If Putin was afraid of NATO expansion, all he had to do to end NATO was…NOTHING! NATO had been floundering since the 1990s, with France using its influence to push for an end to NATO, replacing it with a European Army without US involvement.

NATO only expanded to Poland, etc, because of their justified fears of Russian aggression and actions. The eastern European countries were pretty much also the only ones meeting defense spending obligations, which is why Trump took Germany and others to task for being defense slackers.

So if Putin's Russia would simply not prey on and assault its neighbors and focus on being a regional economic hegemon, NATO would just evaporate. But an old KGB man can't change his stripes, and the solution to every problem is a bullet – not a trade treaty…

SBminisguy24 Jun 2022 8:30 a.m. PST

EU bears lot of blame for 'trying to 'extend influence' and giving Putin an excuse to 'defend' Russian status.

No, neither the EU nor the US bear *any* responsibility for RUSSIA's choice to invade Ukraine and other neighbors. That's like blaming the victim for being assaulted.

"Say Ukraine, you shoulda known better than to dress up like that and walk around in Russia's neighborhood!!"

Legion 424 Jun 2022 11:53 a.m. PST

+1 SB ! The only one to blame for this war is Putin and his cronies … period …

StillSenneffe24 Jun 2022 3:40 p.m. PST

Quite correct, putin is to blame for aggression against Ukraine- and russia and the russians are to blame for putin.

NATO only expanded at the voluntary request of countries that wanted to escape centuries of russian bullying. No one is coerced or bribed into joining NATO. Anyone who still thinks that is getting NATO confused with the Warsaw Pact…..

Mearsheimer, Kissinger et al claim to be describing the situation in its most basic form, but actually they are painting an unnecessarily complicated picture- unfortunately a too-common academic trait.

Their biggest error is (by complicated sophistry) to equate the (generally) good example that the USA and several other Western democracies set to the world, with the medievalism represented by today's russia and several other essentially totalitarian countries.

I'm no Tolkien expert or fan. But given the often suggested similarities between russia and Mordor, I wonder whether the same morally corrosive effect is at work on men such as these academics who have, like the golem, invested the focus of their lives on one object. Perhaps they think of russia and consider that is how the whole world is and must be? If so that makes me shiver.

Heedless Horseman24 Jun 2022 8:48 p.m. PST

Putin IS the ONLY culprit in this War… HE INVADED.

But… 'Victim Blaming' has been 'invented' by 'pressure/support' groups…. albeit with good intent.
I DEFY… ANY Man… or many Women… to have NEVER thought… "Jeez… 'She' Shouldn't be dressed like THAT!"

Yes… someone SHOULD be able to 'Dress' or have any 'Inclinations' as They like..or be of any Colour, etc.. But… Someone will object… to Some Degree. It is THAT 'Degree' of 'objection' that becomes Evil.

THAT DOES NOT EXCUSE ACTIONS! And such Actions need to be 'SEVERELY 'dealt With'.

EU WAS pushing for 'influence' by 'Trade Deals'… and still is.

In the situation… Putin… given background and convictions… WAS going to use any 'reason' to attempt to 'bring back' Russian Dominance. EU.. did not care… just pushing…. what politicians do.

Bullet in the Brainpan… for All Scum. Putin is BAD.
But… there is very little 'Innocence' in 'The World'.

Cuprum2 Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2022 9:29 p.m. PST

Lies and hypocrisy. There were commitments to non-expansion of NATO. And they were trampled down.

Automatic translation into English:


Original article:


Thresher0124 Jun 2022 9:49 p.m. PST

The EU, the USA, and any others (aliens, Martians, Bigfoot, etc.) are NOT to blame.

Russian leaders ARE – they've made their bed and now they need to lie in it.

Heedless Horseman24 Jun 2022 9:53 p.m. PST

Cuprum2… LONG time ago. Russia and WEST HAVE BEEN ON BETTER RELATIONS SINCE… UNTIL RECENT YEARS.We cannot keep bringing up OLD views… unless Putin 'with an Agenda' for expansion.

Sometimes, You post sensible stuff… but NOT always.

NATO has NEVER been a 'THREAT!' … only a response TO a THREAT! And that 'Threat' has Returned… and WHO is to Blame? Not NATO.
West DOES NOT want to attack Russia… NO WIN.

I Recognise that Most Russians have similar 'views'… just 'Polarised'.

Druzhina25 Jun 2022 2:50 a.m. PST

There were commitments to non-expansion of NATO

Can more than the headline be read without a spiegel subscription?

Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

Pendekar25 Jun 2022 6:06 a.m. PST


Reddit post with text of article

This reddit post contains the text of the article. (I didn't see the actual article, so it could be changed from the original)

It doesn't include the images though.
This summary article mentions that the notes say the river was the Oder, not the Elbe, this was likely the picture mentioned in the text that can not be seen in the Reddit version.

Here is a 2014 article that says that Gorbachev said expansion of NATO wasn't discussed, it was about East Germany.

Gorbachev says no in 2014

The article from Der Spiegel refers to a meeting of the political directors of the US, UK, French and German foreign ministries in Bonn on March 6, 1991, where they said that they had agreed not to expand East of the Elbe river (clarified in the comments as the Oder river between germany and Poland). So, it may not matter if Gorbachev said that there was no agreement, if this claim is true, the Western side believed there was at this time.

The speech referred to by President Putin when saying that NATO agreed not to expand West.

williamb25 Jun 2022 8:33 a.m. PST

Again, the claims that NATO expansion into Eastern Europe violates a signed treaty are false. According to a 1997 treaty signed by NATO and Russia which is cited below NATO can expand into Eastern Europe.

The Reddit post states "not expanding beyond the Elbe" being discussed not the actual treaty that was signed. The Elbe is between the former GDR and West Germany. NATO agreed to in not posting non-German troops in the former GDR in the signed treaty.

The Reddit post also states that "the Russians have been claiming that expanding NATO to the east violates the spirit of the two-plus-four treaty." Violating the spirit of a treaty is not violating the written words of the treaty and the 1997 document makes this claim no longer valid.

From: link

An analysis by Marc Trachtenberg in 2021 concluded that "the Russian allegations are by no means baseless". Mary Elise Sarotte in her 2021 book Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of the Cold War Stalemate balanced out these different interpretations, concluding that Russian claims of betrayal are actually untrue in law. But to them, they have psychological truth.

Now, this does give some credence to Putin's phobias about NATO's expansion, but again the 1997 treaty allows NATO to make alliances and can include Eastern European nations.

Nations have to ask to join NATO and membership is not guaranteed as all NATO members have to approve the membership request. Ukraine asked to join NATO, but its request was denied. Now, if Ukraine's membership request was denied, how does that justify Putin's invasion of Ukraine? Don't sovereign nations have the right to choose who they make alliances with and not need approval by Putin? Currently there are five countries seeking NATO membership. Two of them are recent due to Putin's threats and behavior.

The 1997 treaty:
"In 1997, NATO and Russia signed a treaty stating that each country(NATO and Russia)) had a sovereign right to seek alliances."

StillSenneffe25 Jun 2022 8:43 a.m. PST

That's such total nonsense as an excuse by putin for russia's latest aggression. Even if such a meeting happened and even if 'political directors' (what is a 'political director'? Nothing like that job title exists in the UK, and not AFAIK in France or Germany either- this looks like an poor-quality invention of a story), such a conversation has nothing whatever to do with NATO expansion. It's not a NATO meeting, definitely not a quorate NATO meeting- as anyone with any knowledge of NATO would understand.
Whether NATO expands by accepting applications from new members is a matter for NATO countries, not for NATO as an organisation- as Turkey is proving to the world at this very moment.
NATO does NOT decide to expand- it is a voluntary alliance, and no meeting of officials in three of its countries makes any difference to that- russia knows this well of course, but many russian people are sadly ignorant of it.
putin has been clutching at the thinnest of straws to justify his 'peter the great' imperialist aggression, but his hands can't even grasp those straws as there is too much blood on them.

Legion 425 Jun 2022 9:05 a.m. PST

Bottom line … again, many former WP nations joined NATO as they didn't want to risk being under Russian boots. They did not like being Russian puppets, minions, fodder, etc. That has to be clear. And Putin cannot tell another free nation whether they can join NATO, the EU or the book of the month club. Especially with Russia's poor military performance in the Ukraine. They can't back up a threat short of using nukes.

Putin et al as proven to be 2d rate tyrants, dictators, criminals, thugs, etc., etc. So, by saying NATO is expanding too far East is pure propaganda, as was their excuse for invading the Ukraine to go hunting Nazis.

My only regret is Putin, et al will not be brought to justice for all the war crimes they have committed. They should be pariahs to the West for all trade, etc. He can get richer selling his oil as he is now to the PRC, India, etc.

We need to help the Ukraine to continue to attrite Putin's forces so as they will not be able to do this sort of thing again by invading a neighbor. For a very long time … if ever. This costed them dearly in blood & treasure. Even if Putin et al don't care … Many Russian mothers, wives, etc. will never see their loved ones again. This is no one's but Putin's fault.

Druzhina25 Jun 2022 3:14 p.m. PST

Hmm, the minutes didn't "clarify" he was referring to the Oder River, they confused it.
This is foreign ministers discussing an agreement about eastern Germany that has already been made. If one of them was confused, this does not change the agreement.

Was there a next meeting where the minutes were read and the other ministers were able to point out to the confused minister his mistake?

I note the actual text of the minutes haven't been given.

Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Jun 2022 10:30 p.m. PST

Speaking about expansion….

Russian President Putin Says Russia Will Supply Belarus With Nuclear-Capable Iskander-M Missile Systems


Russia Launches Rocket Attacks Across Ukraine With Some Attacks Originating From Belarus



nickinsomerset26 Jun 2022 1:39 a.m. PST

Lies and hypocrisy – Sums up the scum who want to recreat the soviet union, and the puppets who blindly follow them,

Tally Ho!

StillSenneffe26 Jun 2022 6:48 a.m. PST

Recreate the soviet union, or indeed the tsarist empire…..

Arjuna26 Jun 2022 7:52 a.m. PST

According to a ruzzian military expert the real danger for Russia was not NATO or the West but:

"the unviability of the state model, the complete incapacity and lack of professionalism of the system of power and administration, the passivity and disorganization of society."

How that same ruzzian military expert foresees the grapes of ruzzias rape of Ukraine:

"The use of military force against Ukraine would, first, call into question the existence of Russia itself as a state; second, it would make Russians and Ukrainians mortal enemies forever. Thirdly, there will be thousands (tens of thousands) of young, healthy guys killed on one side and on the other, which will certainly affect the future demographic situation in our dying out countries."

And so it will end:

"the final destruction of Russian statehood and the extermination of the indigenous population of the country"

All written by Col.General (ret.) Leonid Grigoryevich Ivashov and the Russian Officers' Assembly, 06 February 2022

You may find the original text on, those bloody ruzzian bastards took the site down in March 2022:
Address of the All-Russian Officers' Assembly to the President and citizens of the Russian Federation – On Echo of Moscow

Echo of Moscow – On Wikipedia

Just translate it with in case you don't speak ruzzian.

And just in case you're in doubt with what the West is dealing with, just let it be explained to you by Mr.Ivashov:

"I've checked, who was the last person, speaking in such a manner in Europe. It was Hitler, who putted forward an impossible ultimatum to the very same Danes. We are back in those days."

Col.General (ret.) Leonid Grigoryevich Ivashov – On

SBminisguy26 Jun 2022 8:32 a.m. PST

Too bad Ukraine gave up its nukes in 1994, eh?

jeffbird26 Jun 2022 8:58 a.m. PST

That's true, should have kept them.

Legion 426 Jun 2022 9:17 a.m. PST

Until somethings cause a major change, Russia will be an oligarchy/dictatorship. with those at the top who care little about their people. Of course that could be said about one or two other nations.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2022 3:45 p.m. PST

"Too bad Ukraine gave up its nukes in 1994, eh?"…

They did to avoid any future conflict/invation… that speak a lot to made a deal with Russians…


Legion 427 Jun 2022 8:52 a.m. PST

I don't think if the Ukraine had nukes would have stopped Putin's invasion. Putin has more & bigger nukes. This is not a MAD situation. The fallout, radiation, etc. would affect everybody. Albiet Putin and his cornies, etc., will survive in his very deep underground bunker, regardless.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2022 10:48 p.m. PST

As U.S. troops reach 100K in Europe, questions mount over endgame, long-term effects



Legion 428 Jun 2022 7:03 a.m. PST

NATO RRF increased 650% …

From :


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