US leaders should not have violated agreement with Gorbachev on NATO: Chomsky

Washington, May 31: None of the actions taken by the successors of former US President George H.W. Bush in violation of the agreements between him and then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on NATO should have taken place, renowned US academic and philosopher Noam Chomsky told Sputnik.
Chomsky noted that Bush and Gorbachev agreed that Germany should be unified and joins NATO, but the military alliance should not extend “one inch to the East” of Germany.
“The documents, which are clear and unambiguous, are readily available on the website of the National Security Archive. President Bush lived up to the agreement,” Chomsky said.
However, Chomsky said Bush’s successor, Bill Clinton, violated the agreement, overriding the strong objections of high-level US diplomats and a wide range of political analysts, who warned that actions to expand NATO were reckless and provocative.
“His successors went further, also abrogating major arms control agreements that had significantly reduced the threat of war. None of these actions should have taken place, in my opinion,” Chomsky said.
Ties between Russia and NATO remained strained after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The growing tensions were primarily driven by NATO’s eastward expansion despite Russia’s warnings that steps to include new states close or on its borders directly threaten its national security.
Bilateral relations reached an impasse in 2014, following the events in Ukraine and the accession of Crimea to Russia. At that point, NATO announced the suspension of civil and military cooperation with Russia, while Moscow approved a new edition of its military doctrine, which specified the build-up of NATO’s military potential and its expansion toward Russia’s borders were declared to be the key military threats.
A significant new deterioration in relations took place in late 2021, when NATO started boosting its eastern flank along the borders with Russia and Belarus by dispatching additional troops and sending Western instructors to the Donbas region.
In response to Moscow launching a military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, NATO further reinforced its flanks by deploying more ships, planes and ground troops to the region and putting them on high alert. These events marked the highest point in tensions in the relations between the parties.