But such talk was never presented to Russia as an official diplomatic offer.
Said Charles A. Kupchan, who served as director of Europe on the National Security Council at the Obama White House, said Putin’s muted response to such talks 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 apparently he didn’t pick it up,” said Mr. Kupchan.
“I believe that in the early 1990s, US foreign policy easily rejected Russian objections to NATO expansion,” he added. Having said that, given the events of the past two months, the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO seemed to me more like a smokescreen than the substance of the matter” to Putin.
Understand the Russian attack on Ukraine
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 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Russia-Eurasia Program. Putin’s things. He said Moscow is “intelligently focusing on longstanding complaints about Ukraine’s theoretical suitability for NATO membership, knowing that this issue excites many people in the West.”
Weiss said the US had a “futile and predictable academic debate with ourselves about whether the policies of previous administrations were unnecessarily provocative toward the Kremlin.” He added that this debate favored “isolationists like former President Trump who argue 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 lie beneath the surface, Potemkin’s diplomacy in the Kremlin has paid off,” Weiss said.
It’s hard to say whether Mr. Putin takes diplomacy seriously, said Corey Schack, director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. But she said he expected the invasion to divide the West and make concessions. “Having downplayed Western loneliness, he may have felt trapped, unable to contain himself and had nothing to prove,” she said.
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