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Italian MEP Pino Arlacchi Affirms ‘NATO at the Root of Ukraine Crisis and Its Solution’

Feb. 26, 2022 (EIRNS)—In an article entitled “NATO Is at the Root of the Ukraine Crisis and of Its Solution” posted on his Facebook page and picked up by some web media, Pino Arlacchi—sociologist, anti-crime expert, former UN Under Secretary General at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)—detailed a solution on the Ukrainian crisis that includes sovereignty for Ukraine and security for Russia.

“It is Europe that holds the keys to ending Russia’s military attack on Ukraine, only if it decides to act instead of bickering between Washington and the Kremlin as it has done so far. ... [T]he time for games is over, and ... precise security guarantees must be put on the table. With the attack on Ukraine, Russia has suddenly closed the diplomatic and political playing field in which Macron and Scholz have been moving with a lot of ease.”

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had apparently convinced Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to take the first step, but when Moscow asked him to put it in writing, “Both the Europeans and Biden said no, thinking they could prolong the mockery of a nuclear power of the caliber of Russia that began 30 years ago, with Boris Yeltsin, and continued until three days ago.

“There are those who argue that the real issue for Putin is not the expansion of NATO but the pure and simple reconstitution of the Russian empire. Too bad there is no evidence to support this rambling.

“With the fall of the U.S.S.R. and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact (NATO on the other side), the Western powers offered ample assurances to Russian leaders that NATO would not expand eastward after German unification.

“But nothing was put in writing. No treaty was made, because the two sides did not consider it necessary, given the cooperative and friendly relations established between the two former enemies. And for a couple of years after 1989 NATO itself seemed to have its days numbered.

“The Russians had long feared invasions from the West, be it Napoleon, Hitler or NATO. America’s leading experts on Russia, from the legendary George Kennan to Ambassador to Moscow Jack Matlock to Clinton’s Secretary of Defense William Perry, were unanimous in their belief that Russian fears were well-founded and that their demand for security guarantees was legitimate. The enlargement of NATO toward the East, therefore, was for them an unnecessary, reckless and provocative idea.”

With the expansion of NATO, “Russia felt threatened, and when it felt that foreign forces intended to transform one of the three founding nations of the cultural-religious and political identity of the Russian people—the other being Belarus—into a militant anti-Russian entity, it intervened by force.

“The solution? Since no one has any intention of rushing to the military rescue of Ukraine, and since Putin so far does not intend to occupy the country, the only way forward is an agreement that provides Russia with the security guarantees it has been unsuccessfully demanding for thirty years, in exchange for the cessation of the attack and a long-term commitment to respect the sovereignty of Ukraine.

“This can be done by an European initiative, can include the resumption of the Minsk agreements, and also the creation of a neutral status for Ukraine. It is no longer time for hand-wringing.

“Ukraine is entitled to its sovereignty. Russia should no longer feel in danger. And Europe should stop playing with fire just to please its transatlantic master.”

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