A less Western view of Putin

#11
Yazata Offline
(May 9, 2022 01:36 AM)confused2 Wrote: I've been visitin' (I occasionally leave the house)

Visiting where? Another country? Do these sentiments reflect widespread opinion somewhere? (They sound like ideas that I'd guess are prevalent many places in the world.)

Quote:This is a view from outside western propaganda.
Putin asked about joining NATO.

Did he? That sounds like a very un-Putinesque thing for him to do. Putin strikes me as an old-style Russian Cold-Warrior. Somebody who just naturally thinks of the West as the enemy. Just as many in the West turn Russia into an evil caricature responsible for everything they oppose. (The Trump-Russia conspiracy theories, the charges of Russian electoral interference, the shrieks about Russian "disinformation" on the internet...)

Quote:[opinion] Rejected - for obvious(?) reasons.

Maybe. Accepting Russia as a NATO member would require big changes in the thinking on both sides. Neither Putin nor most Western leaders are psychologically ready yet. But accepting Russia as a looser sort of partner for NATO, an arrangement where both sides have an organized cooperation mechanism for when it's in the interests of both sides to cooperate, might be more doable. There have already been (not very successful) attempts to set it up. We've seen it working with things like anti-terrorist cooperation.

Quote:Putin asked about joining the EU.

Again, I suspect that Putin sees Russia as a competitor to the EU, a rival as opposed to a member. It's how he thinks.

Quote:[Opinion] Rejected because if the EU included Russia it would be a greater economic power than the US and the US could not allow that.

The US wouldn't be able to prevent it, even if it wanted to. (That would depend on whether joining with Russia would turn the EU into an enemy of the US. The US might applaud if it thought that Russian EU membership might pull Russia into a more friendly posture.)

But... does anyone really believe that Putin would subordinate the Kremlin to the European Commission in Brussels? That he would reform Russia in terms of EU norms? That he would recognize the primacy of European laws and courts?

Quote:Then came something about turning a potential friend into an enemy.

Yes, as is probably implicit in what I wrote above, I think that way myself. (I just reject the anti-American conspiracy theories implicit in how you phrased it.) I've been accused of being a Russian agent on another discussion board, because I suggested that friendship with Russia might be more in the US interest than never-ending rivalry and hostility. Especially when the big challenge for both of us in the 21'st century is obviously going to be China.
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#12
stryder Offline
I really don't think Putin ever considered joining the EU or NATO considering the number of things that have been done that are clearly anti-EU and anti-NATO (Poisonings, Assassinations etc)
Historically there is far more suggesting the intension to harm both for a long while (Various backhanded methods to undermine the economies, funding the Brexit leave campaign through donations etc), it's really more him percieving the EU or NATO as an existential threat to Russia Putins Ego.
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#13
confused2 Online
Accepting that we live in a post-truth age..

Visiting where? An old friend who has been mostly in the UK since 1977. He claims to speak 9 languages and have been to 57 countries - I have no reason to doubt that claim so 90%T. He thinks he is culturally 'English' (20%T).   


Regarding Putin and wanting to join NATO.. (60%T?)

Quote:On Nov. 4, 2021 George Robertson, a former UK Labour defence secretary who led NATO between 1999 and 2003, told The Guardian that Putin made it clear at their first meeting that he wanted Russia to be part of western Europe. “Putin said: 'When are you going to invite us to join Nato?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia%E..._relations

Quote:4 Nov 2021 · Vladimir Putin wanted Russia to join Nato but did not want his country to have to go through the usual application process and stand in line ...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/n...n-his-rule


Regarding Putin and wanting to join the EU.. (4%T?)

A good story but no evidence found.

Yazata Wrote:The US wouldn't be able to prevent it [Russia joing the EU] , even if it wanted to.
20%T?

Would 'most democracies' rather have Russia or America as an ally? A formal agreement isn't required - most (all?) are likely to choose America.(?%T)

Reason (one of many):
history Wrote:Along with the (73,000) Americans were 61,715 British Allied liberators and 21,400 Canadian troops. In total, 156,115 Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy (June 6, 1944 ).
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#14
Secular Sanity Offline
I don’t see any indication in our government documents that Russia didn’t want to join EU and NATO, quite the contrary, and there’s plenty of evidence that points to us stringing them along.

CC's statement is more accurate.
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#15
confused2 Online
(May 11, 2022 04:28 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote: I don’t see any indication in our government documents that Russia didn’t want to join EU and NATO, quite the contrary, and there’s plenty of evidence that points to us stringing them along.

CC's statement is more accurate.
More accurate than..? CC didn't comment specifically on NATO and Putin, Yazata didn't think Putin would ask to join NATO (un-Putinesque) and I gave links showing that Putin did (maybe) want to join NATO.
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#16
C C Offline
(May 11, 2022 01:31 PM)confused2 Wrote: [...] On Nov. 4, 2021 George Robertson, a former UK Labour defence secretary who led NATO between 1999 and 2003, told The Guardian that Putin made it clear at their first meeting that he wanted Russia to be part of western Europe. “Putin said: 'When are you going to invite us to join Nato?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia%E..._relations

4 Nov 2021 · Vladimir Putin wanted Russia to join Nato but did not want his country to have to go through the usual application process and stand in line ...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/n...n-his-rule

Regarding Putin and wanting to join the EU.. (4%T?)

A good story but no evidence found. [...]

Boris Yeltsin stated Russia's long-term desire to join NATO in 1991. [see footnote #1]

As the Western reaction indicated, this would have meant undoing the very purpose of NATO (it would have to be redefined as protecting Europe from some other potential threat, or the alliance restructured to serve an entirely different function than collective defense).

So as part of Yeltsin's administration during the latter '90s, it's likely that Putin absorbed and entertained such as well, and "informally submitted" the unrealistic goal to others [like Robertson] in the 2000s. Though probably more as an additional "propaganda grudge" to justify eventual complaints and Kremlin action.

Aside from the NATO identity problem that Yeltsin's suggestion posed, the ensuing turbulent decade (1990s) of the ex-Soviet state sowed no confidence in the West about Russia's future. 

Yeltsin himself was not initially paranoid about the first instance of NATO enlargement, but other factions were (they put the screws to him to quickly change his tune). [footnote #2] 

After Yeltsin's resignation in 1999, the gradual emergence of Putin's nationalism, crackdown and persecution of journalists and broadcasters who criticized him, and stated desires to restore Russia's might, along with systematic opposition to liberal ideas and policies... Aroused suspicion and the deep alarm bells in the political climate of Western Europe.

But even minus that stimulant for pessimism, NATO's risky receptivity to more members (sans Russia) might have continued. (Snowball already tumbling down the...)

- - - footnotes - - -

[1] Soviet disarray; Yeltsin says Russia seeks to join NATO (1991 NYT): In yet another sign that the disintegration of the Soviet Union was turning global politics upside down, the Russian President, Boris N. Yeltsin, wrote to NATO today saying Russia hoped to join the alliance some time in the future.

Mr. Yeltsin's letter was sent in conjunction with the first meeting ever held at the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization between NATO foreign ministers and those of the former Warsaw Pact -- the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania.

[...] In his letter, Mr. Yeltsin said: "This will contribute to creating a climate of mutual understanding and trust, strengthening stability and cooperation on the European continent. We consider these relations to be very serious and wish to develop this dialogue in each and every direction, both on the political and military levels. Today we are raising a question of Russia's membership in NATO, however regarding it as a long-term political aim."

[...] Mr. Yeltsin's "long-term aim" to join NATO -- which follows earlier appeals by the other members of the former Warsaw Pact, particularly Hungary and Czechoslovakia -- could eventually present a serious challenge for NATO. Formed four decades ago precisely to deter a Soviet invasion of Western Europe, it now finds itself having to deter a stampede from the newly liberated nations of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, which want to join the Western military alliance.

NATO officials, from Secretary General Worner on down, seemed too taken aback by the Russian letter to give any coherent response. Mr. Worner suggested at his news conference that Mr. Yeltsin was not actually asking to join.

"I have seen the letter," Mr. Worner said. "He did not apply for membership, he just raises a question, and then says he regards that as a long-term political aim. My reaction is that nothing is excluded, and we will have time enough to develop relations."

Mr. Worner's ambivalence about the Yeltsin letter is not surprising. To admit Russia, which is expected to be the main successor state of the Soviet Union, would require NATO to redefine itself fundamentally.



[2] Enlargement of NATO, end of the cold war: Despite the developing trade between the US and the Russian Federation, Russia did still hold mixed views to possible NATO expansion in the 1990s. During an August 1993 visit to Poland, Yeltsin told Polish President Lech Wałęsa that "Russia does not oppose Poland's membership in NATO and does not perceive its membership in NATO as a threat to Russia."

Under pressure from opposition within Russia, this informal declaration was retracted the following month, and Yeltsin wrote that October that expansion violated the spirit of the 1990 agreement, marking the beginning of this grievance among Russian elites.

Russian leaders [who?] believed NATO would not expand into former Soviet states because NATO had no strategic reason to do so, and generally sought improved relations with its members.  In May 1997, Yeltsin signed an agreement with NATO that included text referring to new membership, but then described NATO expansion as a threat in his "National Security Blueprint" that December.
[Another switcheroo, playing both sides?]

Yeltsin's negotiations with NATO would be halted in 2000 when he was succeeded by Vladimir Putin, who's views on NATO have devolved since his presidency began. In a 2007 speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin cited a 1990 quote from Manfred Wörner to further imply that guarantees about enlargement were made, and this impression was later used by him as a potential justification for Russia's 2014 actions in Ukraine and the Russian Invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
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#17
confused2 Online
What follows is a story about 'spin' and lack of media control.

There are parts of Wales where everyone has the same surname.
Our hero is a stranger sitting in a pub listening to the landlord greeting customers.
"Good morning Jones the Postman.".
"Good morning Jones the Sweeper".
And so it goes on including..
"Good morning Jones the Sheep Shagger".
As it happens both our hero and Jones the Sheep Shagger end up drinking at the bar some distance from the other customers.
After several drinks our hero can't resist asking Jones the SS how got his name.

I built a factory and gave people work and the people in this valley are the richest for miles around but, oh no, they don't call me Jones the Factory.
With the money I made I built a hospital and the people in this valley are the healthiest for miles around but of course they don't call me Jones the Hospital.
What you find is that if just one person on just one occasion sees you in a field of sheep with your trousers down - that is the one thing everyone is going to remember.
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#18
confused2 Online
Here's a CNN interview (May 15, 2022) with Tony Blair (ex British Prime Minister) once highly respected (?) now known as "Blair the weapons of mass destruction" after being caught with his trousers down in Iraq.

Quote:Tony Blair convinced himself with unjustified certainty that Iraq’s President, Saddam Hussein, had weapons of mass destruction, when intelligence reports had not established "beyond doubt" that they existed, the long awaited Chilcot report has damningly concluded.
^^ From [we all knew this anyway] Wednesday 06 July 2016 11:11
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/po...22361.html

Partial extracts from the interview (for what it's worth)..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNZ41bIxMbc

Quote:The first Putin I met was Western facing .. [anxiously seeking?] a good relationship with the West..
People even used to talk in the old days .. could Russia become a member of the European Union? Could even [unintelligible] be accommodated within the structure of NATO?

We can't now know which leader charmed or deceived the other but it does look [IMHO] like things could (possibly) have played out differently.
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