Even Stoltenberg Admits NATO Provoked the War in Ukraine

In a speech before two committees of the European Parliament on Sept. 7, NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged publicly what is very well known privately: that Vladimir Putin decided to launch what he termed a “special military operation” in Ukraine in order to block NATO expansionism up to Russia’s borders.

He said: “The background was that President Putin declared in the autumn of 2021, and actually sent a draft treaty that they wanted NATO to sign, to promise no more NATO enlargement. That was what he sent us. And was a pre-condition for not invade [sic] Ukraine. Of course we didn’t sign that. The opposite happened.”

In fact, Moscow proposed at the time that Ukraine remain neutral, and that NATO’s military infrastructure be withdrawn from Russia’s borders – not unreasonable demands by any means. But, as Stoltenberg proudly confirmed to the European Parliament, NATO refused outright, and continued its expansionist policy up to today.

Otherwise, Stoltenberg droned on and on in his fantasy world, claiming that the Ukrainian counteroffensive “is gaining ground”, and that the Ukrainian army on the ground is now stronger than the Russian army! Moreover, he praised the growing cooperation between NATO and the European Union.

The dangerous implications of the North Atlantic military alliance were taken up at the Sept. 9 Schiller Institute conference by Scott Ritter, a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq and outspoken opponent of the U.S. imperialist war policy.

He is adamant that “with the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO lost its reason to exist”. But it was not dissolved, because “it wasn’t just a military alliance; it was a political institution… closely linked to the birth and expansion of the European Union, and to American hegemony. NATO is an extension of American national security and foreign policy.” The Americans “sought to transform NATO away from being a defensive alliance, and instead to become part and parcel of the American bag of tricks that existed when it came to projecting power not just regionally, but globally.” After expanding to the Middle East and Afghanistan, the alliance is now looking to go into the Pacific region.

Scott Ritter stressed repeatedly that NATO “does not represent Europe’s legitimate national security concerns”. If it did, it would not be involved in the “conflict against Russia via proxy in Ukraine”, and it would not have forced Europe to cut itself off from Russian energy and destroy its industrial base. In addition, the U.S. deliberately created a divide in Europe, as then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gloated, by wooing the “new Europe” (the former Warsaw Pact countries) against the “old Europe”.

In Ritter’s view, the “age of the American hegemon is over. The rise of the multi-polarity reality is here upon us. It’s time for Europe to decide if they want to be part of a winning team, that is of course multi-polarity, or if they want to go down with the Titanic that is represented by the American singularity?”

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