The Dutch ex-NATO boss Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has been, deservedly, criticized on this blog.
Now, however, for a change, he has said something right. Reminding me a bit of ex-United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, with his lies on behalf of the George W Bush administration, promoting war in Iraq, which Powell later regretted. Unfortunately, many politicians seems to become wiser only after retirement than when they still had powerful jobs.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
‘NATO should not have proposed membership to Ukraine and Georgia’
Then, Georgia was ruled by dictator and George W Bush pal Saakashvili. In Ukraine, people demonstrated against NATO membership and against George W Bush. Even the ‘pro-Western’ ‘orange’ Ukrainian government opposed Bush’s NATO missile plans.
NATO has driven Vladimir Putin into a corner, making him more radical. These are not the words of Russia, but those of NATO’s former Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.
According to Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the West must respect the Russian red line. The speed of NATO enlargement has contributed to Putin’s aggressive stance in the former Soviet Union.
NATO should not have offered membership to Ukraine and Georgia in 2008, the former NATO executive said. He calls it understandable that Putin has opposed it. …
The NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008 was a breaking point in the relationship between Russia and the West. NATO opened the door for Georgia and Ukraine. Both countries were allowed to join, even though no date was mentioned. That was the wish of the American President Bush. The German Chancellor Merkel resisted. But NATO decided to leave the door ajar. That was unacceptable for Russia and Putin also said that afterwards.
The former Secretary General now says that he underestimated the response and that he should have done more to keep the parties on the same level. According to De Hoop Scheffer, the decision led to a radicalization by Putin.