“It is necessary to create some kind of cartel.” Yeltsin suggested that Clinton accept Russia into NATO. What did the US respond?

Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin at a meeting with his American colleague Bill Clinton in 1994 stated that with the expansion NATO Russia should be accepted into the alliance first. Negotiations between two leaders declassified American side.

According to the document, at a dinner with Clinton in Novo-Ogarevo on January 14, 1994, Yeltsin said that Russia “was to be the first country to join NATO,” followed by “other countries from Central and Eastern Europe.”

Clinton appreciated the idea of ​​Russia joining NATO and predicted a century of peace in Europe

According to the primary source, Clinton responded very restrainedly to his colleague’s initiative: in particular, his speech voiced the idea of ​​Russia’s greatness, “but did not mention the idea of ​​​​creating the unification of countries proposed by Yeltsin or Russia’s membership in NATO.”

It is necessary to create a kind of cartel, including the USA, Russia and European countries, which will help strengthen international security

Boris Yeltsin

first president of Russia

At the same time, Clinton gave a forecast for the development of relations between USA and Russia. According to him, if Washington And Moscow maintain the planned friendly course, a “unique opportunity” will open up for the whole world.

We could guarantee Europe a century of peace or more.

Bill Clinton

ex-president of the USA

The US wanted to pay off Russia for NATO expansion in the 1990s

The Russian side, in turn, had also previously declassified transcript of a conversation between Yelitsin and Clinton during one of their meetings in the 1990s. The former US president offered Yeltsin large investments in Russia in exchange for Moscow’s approval of NATO’s expansion to the East.

Photo: Dmitry Donskoy / RIA Novosti

According to the documents, in response to Clinton’s proposal, Yeltsin said that this measure was similar to a bribe in exchange for Russia allowing NATO to expand to the detriment of its own interests, and three months later – in May 1997 – he refused to sign a secret annex to the Russia-NATO Founding Act .

In turn, Clinton called Russia “one of the best options for investment” and proposed strengthening cooperation between Russian and American companies. “If Russia continues to develop its economy, then [Москва] He will also be able to be an excellent partner in other areas,” he said then.

NATO has expanded significantly since 1994

NATO expansion, which was the subject of negotiations between Clinton and Yeltsin in 1994, occurred five years later. In 1999, three countries joined the North Atlantic Alliance – Hungary, Poland And Czech. Five years later, in 2004, seven countries joined the alliance, including countries of the former USSR – Lithuania, Latvia And Estonia. The block was also expanded in 2009, 2017, and 2020. After the start of the special operation on Ukraine wanted to join NATO Sweden And Finland.

Photo: Doug Mills/AP

In 2000, the current president Vladimir Putin assuredthat he does not object to Russia joining NATO. He noted that Moscow must be a full partner, whose interests in the alliance must be taken into account.

I cannot imagine my country being isolated from Europe.

Vladimir Putin

in March 2000

In 2022 Putin toldthat during the last visit to Russia by the 42nd US President Bill Clinton in 2000, he asked him how America would feel about admitting Russia to NATO. The reaction of the American side was restrained, the Russian President recalls.

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