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British Archive Find Shows West Originally Assured There Would Be No NATO Expansion

Feb. 19, 2022 (EIRNS)—Working on a comparison of the current strategic crisis to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, U.S. historian and political scientist Joshua Shifrinson found documents in the British National Archive which further prove that Western leaders did give Moscow assurances in diplomatic contacts in 1990 and 1991 that NATO would not be expanded Eastward. The documents include one quoting German representative Jürgen Chrobog at a meeting “of the political directors of the foreign ministries of the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany in Bonn on March 6, 1991.” According to the memo, Chrobog expressed, “We made it clear in the two-plus-four negotiations that we would not extend NATO beyond the Elbe. Therefore, we cannot offer NATO membership to Poland and the others.”

The documents also show that U.S. Ambassador Raymond Seitz agreed with Chrobog, saying: “We have made it clear to the Soviet Union—in two-plus-four as well as other talks—that we will not take advantage of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Eastern Europe.... NATO should not expand to the East, either formally or informally.”

All mainstream media are covering this archive find. However—such as Der Spiegel—they claim that NATO did not break a promise, which was never laid down in legally binding form, but just made adjustments of their policies after the conciliatory atmosphere of the 1990s ceased to exist afterward, and because Russia was no longer as weak as it had been during the Yeltsin period. The change in NATO attitudes, and openly breaking their promises, was not “intentional,” as Russia charges, but just developed over the time, Der Spiegel proclaims.

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