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Russia's mistake was to believe NATO is not expanding eastbound -- Russian diplomat

Russia made a mistake as it believed oral promises from Western leaders, who claimed NATO would not expand, Russia's Ambassador to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov told the "EU-Russia Relations: Which Way Forward?" international conference at the Royal Flemish Academy on Monday.

"The USSR did not make a mistake as it was withdrawing the troops from Germany. The mistake was to believe the oral promises from Western leaders, who said NATO would not expand. This is a lesson for new generations of Russian leaders," he said.

The Western leaders promised 25 years ago, as the Berlin wall was falling, NATO would not be approaching the Russian borders. "After that event began a complicated negotiation process between Mikhail Gorbachev and the Western leaders about conditions of uniting two German countries. The US former Secretary of State James Baker in order to have Gorbachev approve the unification promised to him if Germany is united NATO will not move "an inch" towards Eastern Europe," Russia's Ambassador, former Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Adamishin told TASS.

"Unfortunately, this guarantee from the high-ranking US politician was not fixed legally. Anyway, a public promise by a representative of the Department of State and the promise that was not observed may be considered a lie at the high level, which is proved by NATO's expanded presence in Eastern Europe, especially in connection with the events in Ukraine," the diplomat said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Brussels, 02Feb15]

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