But such talk was never presented to Russia as an official diplomatic offer.
Said Charles A. Kupchan, who was director for Europe on the National Security Council at the Obama White House, said Putin’s muted response to such talk suggests that more explicit proposals to keep Ukraine out of NATO would be futile.
Was the body language of Washington, Kiev, and every European capital sufficient to provide commercial space if he wanted to? Yeah. But he didn’t seem to pick it up,” said Mr. Kupchan.
“I think back in the early 1990s, the American foreign policy establishment easily rejected Russian objections to NATO expansion,” he added. Having said that, when I backtracked on the events of the past two months, the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO seems to me more like a smokescreen than the heart of the matter” to Mr. Putin.
Understand the Russian attack on Ukraine
What is the origin of this invasion? Russia considers Ukraine from the inside its natural sphere of influenceHe has been exasperated by Ukraine’s proximity to the West and the possibility of the country joining NATO or the European Union. While Ukraine is not part of either, it receives financial and military aid from the United States and Europe.
Russia made impossible demands from the start, but the illusion of diplomacy launched a political debate in the West that served Mr. Weiss, Andrew S. Weiss, head of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Putin’s stuff. He said Moscow has “fairly cleverly focused on old complaints about Ukraine’s theoretical eligibility for NATO membership, knowing full well that this issue excites many people in the West.”
Mr Weiss said the US had engaged in “a meaningless and predictable academic debate with ourselves about whether the policies of previous administrations were unnecessarily provocative toward the Kremlin”. He added that this debate played in favor of “isolationists like former President Trump who assert that American alliances are an unnecessary burden and that Americans would be better off defending the border with Mexico.”
“In Europe, where anti-Americanism and Ukraine fatigue were below the surface, Potemkin’s diplomacy in the Kremlin paid off,” Weiss said.
Cory Schack, director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, said it was hard to tell if Mr. Putin took diplomacy seriously. But, she said, he might have expected the invasion to divide the West and win it some concessions. “Having underestimated Western loneliness, he probably felt trapped and couldn’t hold back and had nothing to show for it,” she said.