Once upon a time, it was openly entertained in diplomatic circles East and West. In late 1991, the final days of the U.S.S.R,, Boris Yeltsin stunned a NATO meeting by sending a letter with this unilateral declaration: "Today we are raising a question of Russia's membership in NATO." "A long-term political aim," Yeltsin called it then, as he threw down the gauntlet before the West. NATO ministers, as Tom Friedman reported for the New York Times at the time, were "too taken aback ... to give any coherent response." In the ensuing years, as Yeltsin with characteristic bravura continued to raise the prospect, the West kept fumbling for a reply.
Even Putin, in his first days in the Kremlin, seized on the issue. In March 2000, in his first interview with a foreign reporter ... Asked outright if Russia could join NATO, Putin shot back: "I do not see why not."
It seems like Russia is not only feeling snubbed but alone. During the cold war, the Soviet Union had its Warsaw Pact Allies (albeit coerced allies) as a buffer zone towards the West. Now, with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Warsaw pact, NATO's silence about the idea of Russian membership in the alliance, along with the eastward expansion of NATO, Russia's defensiveness is understandable.
Maybe I'm being very naive here, but it's too bad the Western Allies aka NATO didn't embrace Russia as an ally instead of shoving them back into the cold (as the article says). Maybe it's not too late.
Vio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1286 posts, RR: 9 Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1123 times:
I think it's a great idea to have a balance of power. Having the USA as the only super-power is not good for the world, but we don't need a new cold-war. I've lived "under" the Russians (in the 80s in Romania) and the Americans (live in Canada now) and I would much rather have the Americans be the dominant superpower, than the Russians (no offence, communism ruined Romania and the USSR had a big part in that).
Anyway, back to my opinion... Russia should and needs to look like a super power, just to keep a balance in this world.
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.