Dr Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann OPINION
The philosopher Schopenhauer’s Three Stages of Truth:
“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
Declassified cables examined by academics from Georges Washington University (https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/russia-programs/2017-12-12/nato-expansion-what-gorbachev-heard-western-leaders-early) proves that Western leaders gave multiple assurances to Soviet Union that NATO should not enlarge to the East and this promise was made to also secure Soviet support for German unification. American and German (the most pro-enlargement) but also French and British Governments later have not kept the numerous promises they made to the Russian government, and pushed for NATO enlargement.
Vladimir Putin recently underlined that Russian officials were too naïve at that time since these assurances were not written clearly in treaties. The declassified documents prove that everything was done by the Western political leaders a that time, Bush, Gates, Baker, Kohl, Gensher, Woerner, Mitterrand, Thatcher, Major, to make believe the Soviet government in these assurances. This latest research work reinforces the Russian interpretation and “Realists” academics, that the “West ” did not give a proper place to Russia in the new European security architecture, but tried to take advantage of the situation. The objective was to weaken further Russia, instead of bringing it into a “New Concert of Nations”, like Metternich and Talleyrand did with France after the Fall of Napoleon, in order to bring more stability to the European continent and overcome divisions.
We can bet this episode will be considered by future historians, as the biggest geopolitical mistake made by European politicians. But when you look at the Ukraine crisis and the alignment of most European governments on the Euro-Atlanticist priorities, in contradiction with their rational interest and those of the European nations they are in charge of, what is new ?
It is time for change and work for European strategic autonomy, in the form of cooperation between sovereign nations from “Brest to Vladivostok”, outside EU and NATO frameworks unless they can reform. However, these organizations were created during the Cold war, their paradigm are obsolete and face huge difficulties to reform properly since member states do not share the same European finalities. There are still many hurdles to overcome but this is the only reasonable project for the next decades and the only way to preserve the European civilization in the multipolar world.
Dr Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann – Geopolitician – President of Eurocontinent