Reader 01/19/2023 (Thu) 09:51 Id: a7934b No.19664 del
>>19663 (continued)
By the middle of the 2000s, US-Russian relations had deteriorated, partly owing to Putin’s bristling at US criticism of his growing authoritarianism at home, and to US opposition to his meddling in the 2004 Ukrainian election. But as explained in a September 2007 cable by New Eurasia Foundation president Andrey Kortunov, now a Russian foreign policy advisor who has publicly criticized both Kremlin policy and the current war, US mistakes were also to blame, including Bush’s invasion of Iraq and a general sense that he’d given little in return for Putin’s concessions.

“Putin had clearly embarked on an ‘integrationist’ foreign policy at the beginning of his second presidential term, which was fueled by the 9/11 terrorist attacks and good relations with key leaders like President Bush” and other leading NATO allies, Kortunov said according to the cable. “However,” he said, “a string of perceived anti-Russian initiatives,” which included Bush’s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and “further expansion of NATO,” ultimately “dashed Putin’s hopes.”

What followed was a steady drumbeat of warnings about NATO’s expansion, particularly regarding neighboring Ukraine and Georgia, much of it from Washington’s NATO allies.