According to Blinken, the idea of Russia joining NATO was indeed discussed in the 1990s. The Kremlin said that the doors of the alliance were closed for the country at that time ” alt=”Blinken said that Russia itself refused NATO membership in the 1990s” />
Russia itself abandoned the idea of joining NATO in the 1990s, said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in an interview with The Late Show TV presenter Stephen Colbert. The transcript of the conversation is published on the website of the State Department.
Discussing with Blinken the political situation in the world, including the events in Ukraine and Russia's fears about the possible expansion of NATO to the East, the host proposed a “crazy idea” & mdash; “invite Russia to join the alliance.” According to him, then the Russian authorities would have nothing more to worry about.
The Secretary of State replied that the issue had already been discussed in the past, but Russia abandoned this idea.
“You know what? Back in the 1990s, this question (Russia's proposal to become part of NATO.— RBC) has indeed been discussed. The Russians decided that this was not what they wanted to do, — he said.
The fact that the United States offered Russia to join NATO was also announced in early April by former US President Bill Clinton. According to him, in the 1990s, relations between the North Atlantic Alliance and Moscow developed: it participated in the Partnership for Peace program, the founding act of Russia was concluded; NATO on mutual relations, cooperation and security, and the United States provided financial assistance to Russia for the withdrawal of its military from the Baltics. “All this time we have kept the doors of NATO open for Russian entry, as I clearly stated to Yeltsin, and then to his successor Vladimir Putin,” Clinton said.
The Kremlin, commenting on his words, said that the doors of NATO in the 1990s were closed for Russia. According to the press secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov, the United States has repeatedly spoken about the impossibility of the country's entry into the alliance.
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