Reader 01/19/2023 (Thu) 09:51 Id: a7934b No.19665 del
>>19664 (continued)
“[French presidential diplomatic advisor Maurice] Gourdault-Montagne warned that the question of Ukrainian accession to NATO remained extremely sensitive for Moscow, and concluded that if there remained one potential cause for war in Europe, it was Ukraine,” reads a September 2005 cable. “He added that some in the Russian administration felt we were doing too much in their core zone of interest, and one could wonder whether the Russians might launch a move similar to Prague in 1968, to see what the West would do.”

This was just one of many similar warnings from French officials, that admitting the two states “would cross Russian ‘tripwires’,” for instance. A February 2007 cable records then-director general for political affairs Gérard Araud’s recounting of “a half-hour anti-US harangue” from Putin in a meeting one day earlier, in which he “linked all the dots” of Russian unhappiness with US behavior, including “US unilateralism, its denial of the reality of multipolarity, [and] the anti-Russian nature of NATO enlargement.”

Germany likewise raised repeated concerns about a potentially bad Russian reaction to a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) for the two states, with deputy national security advisor Rolf Nikel stressing that Ukraine’s entry was particularly sensitive. ““While Georgia was ‘just a bug on the skin of the bear,’ Ukraine was inseparably identified with Russia, going back to Vladimir of Kiev in 988,” Nikel recounted, according to the cable.

Other NATO allies repeated similar concerns. In a January 2008 cable, Italy affirmed it was a “strong advocate” for other states’ entry into the alliance, “but is concerned about provoking Russia through hurried Georgian integration.” Norway’s foreign minister (and today, prime minister) Jonas Gahr Stoere made a similar point in an April 2008 cable, even as he insisted Russia mustn’t be able to veto NATO’s decisions. “At the same time he says that he understands Russia’s objections to NATO enlargement and that the alliance needs to work to normalize the relationship with Russia,” reads the cable.

The thinkers and analysts that US officials conferred with likewise made clear the Russian elite’s anxieties over NATO and its expansion, and the lengths they might go to counteract it. Many were transmitted by then-US Ambassador to Russia William Burns, today serving as Biden’s CIA director.

Recounting his conversations with various “Russian observers” from both regional and US think tanks, Burns concluded in a March 2007 cable that “NATO enlargement and U.S. missile defense deployments in Europe play to the classic Russian fear of encirclement.” Ukraine and Georgia’s entry “represents an ‘unthinkable’ predicament for Russia,” he reported six months later, warning that Moscow would “cause enough trouble in Georgia” and counted on “continued political disarray in Ukraine” to halt it. In an especially prescient set of cables, he summed up scholars’ views that the emerging Russia-China relationship was largely “the by-product of ‘bad’ US policies,” and was unsustainable — “unless continued NATO enlargement pushed Russia and China even closer together.”

https://archive.ph/atHx4