Ukraine: This Putin debate taken up by the presidential candidate

Ukraine-Note the unwritten promises in diplomacy. And for those people too. All eyes east as Vladimir Puttin admitted the independence of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine on February 21 and chose to oppose the West by ordering his army to enter the separatist territory. Has been directed to.

Support for the Kremlin is fairly timid, but in France, some presidential candidates justify this aggressive strategy if the West, especially NATO, “keeps its promise” not to expand to the East in 1990. I tried. , We wouldn’t be there. In fact, a useful discussion.

Discussion of broken promises

“When the Soviet Union collapsed, the Russians promised that NATO would not expand to the east. This promise was not kept,” accused Jean-Luc Melenchon at a press conference on February 22. “No matter what your motives or the logic of the situation, it does not prevent Russia from being responsible for the” escalation “that must be” blamed “,” he said.

The same accusations on the side of Eric Zemmour CNews February 20: “There is a big strategic problem. Contrary to all the promises of Gorbachev’s senior George Bush, extending NATO to the east for 30 years is legally regarded as a Russian aggression. “There is,” he explained, but nevertheless, Emmanuel Macron admitted that “there is a reason to avoid the war.” ..

The argument taken directly from Vladimirputin’s mouth was first raised on March 18, 2014 to justify Russia’s merger of Crimea. .. This was caused by the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to the east and the deployment of military infrastructure at the border. “

The price he updated on February 1st during his speech. “We have been fooled. We have been promised that NATO’s infrastructure will not move an inch east. They said one thing and did the opposite.”

The Real Promise of the US Secretary of State

Did the Westerners really break their words and deceive the Russian giants?

To better understand the situation, let’s return to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Since then, the future of reunified Germany has been debated, and one of the major questions is whether it is neutral or integrated into NATO. Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev has great reservations and fears military and strategic imbalances in Europe.

For the Soviet Union to accept, US Secretary of State James Baker assures Mikhail Gorbachev that “NATO’s current military jurisdiction will not expand an inch east.” This is evidenced by declassified documents and minutes of meetings from archives in the United States, the Soviet Union, Germany, the United Kingdom and France. The famous promise was thus well formulated. Similar statements were made several times during these negotiations.

Gorbachev’s big “mistake”

Did NATO lie? This is where opinions are divided. Certainly, there are several factors to consider. On the other hand, this guarantee that Baker would not extend east to Gorbachev was seen in and within the framework of the discussion on Germany and East Germany. The final document of the Moscow Treaty, signed on September 12, 1990, effectively refers to “a ban on the deployment of non-German troops on the territory of the former East Germany.”

This promise could not relate to the eastern nations, as they could hardly foresee at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the scattering of the nations of the Soviet block. “At that time it made sense. The Soviet Union and its alliance did not collapse until 1991. The idea of ​​expanding NATO to Central and Eastern Europe was irrelevant. We are just talking about GDR. I did. ” France information Jean-Silvestre Montgrenier, Deputy Researcher at the Thomas More Institute.

Finally, this is where the shoes pinch, especially for Russia: this promise of “not moving forward an inch towards the east” does not appear in the official text. It only appears in “memo”, the explanation of the debate between the Soviets and their major Western interlocutors. “Gorbachev’s mistake was undoubtedly not requiring written confirmation of these commitments,” said Charles Tibout, Vice Researcher at IRIS.

NATO is a word game, Moscow smoke

And that’s what Vladimir Putin is familiar with. The issue was raised when he met American director Oliver Stone in July 2015. After that, the Russian president said “sketch” and “laughter”, saying:

“Nothing was written down. It was Gorbachev’s mistake. In politics, even if you often violate paper guarantees, you have to submit everything in writing. Gorbachev just argued with them. So I thought this word was enough, but that doesn’t happen! “

Interview published in Conversation with PutinWritten by Olivier Stone (Albin Michel, 2017), The world of diplomacy..

This is also based on NATO’s claim. Faced with criticism from Putin, who had just annexed Crimea in 2014, a NATO review written by Michael Rühle, head of energy security, pleaded for “myths” and criticized.So-called promise “:” There has never been a politically or legally binding commitment on the part of the West to not extend NATO beyond the reunified German border. ” The big nuance is “legally binding”.

Russia violates the signed promise if NATO breaks the written promise

The promise to Gorbachev was not made to deceive him, but the fact remains that the collapse of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Yugoslavia completely remodeled the card and opened up new perspectives. In particular, since 1975, the Helsinki Charter recollects IRIS since it guarantees all countries the right to choose their own alliance.

However, the collapse of the Soviet block did not mean the disappearance of the Russian Federation, nor did it mean the collapse of NATO member states’ moral commitment to the Russian Federation.

If NATO deserves a debate about not keeping promises, it won’t happen on Russia. Vladimir Putin violated his own pledge, well documented in the Budapest Memorandum of Understanding signed in 1994. The latter guaranteed Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Like the Minsk Agreement, the promise he ended on February 21, 2022, trampled by the 2014 Crimean annexation.

See also HuffPost: In Ukraine, tanks enter Donetsk after Putin’s remarks