People rest at a temporary settlement site near Mariupol, Ukraine, March 17, 2022. (Photo by Victor/Xinhua)
“As Mr. Lavrov noted in January, ‘the key to everything is the guarantee that NATO will not expand eastward,'” wrote U.S. political scientist John J. Mearsheimer.
LONDON, March 23 (Xinhua) — “The West, and especially America, is principally responsible” for the Ukraine crisis, John J. Mearsheimer, a U.S. political scientist, wrote in a recent opinion piece published in The Economist.
American and European policymakers provoked the Ukraine crisis by trying to integrate Ukraine into the West and asserting that Russian President Vladimir Putin bears full responsibility for the crisis, said Mearsheimer, a political science professor at the University of Chicago, “But that story is wrong.”
In his view, the Ukraine crisis “is the most dangerous international conflict since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.” The West is now increasing aid to Ukraine while imposing economic sanctions on Russia, a step that Putin sees as “akin to a declaration of war.”
Ukrainian people move towards a border crossing at the border area between Ukraine and Poland. (Xinhua/Ren Ke)
Understanding the root causes is essential to finding a way to bring the crisis to an end. The trouble over Ukraine started at NATO’s Bucharest summit in 2008 when George W. Bush’s administration pushed the alliance to announce that Ukraine and Georgia “will become members,” said the article.
In late 2021, the West ignored Russia’s security concerns, with intentions of including Ukraine into NATO, which led directly to the current war, Mearsheimer wrote.
Furthermore, Russian policymakers have said “hardly anything about conquering new territory to recreate the Soviet Union or build a greater Russia,” said the expert, adding that Russian leaders have repeatedly said that they view Ukraine joining NATO as “an existential threat that must be prevented.”
“As Mr. Lavrov noted in January, ‘the key to everything is the guarantee that NATO will not expand eastward,'” Mearsheimer said. ■