Moscow, 2000: Russia and NATO, usually these two words don’t generally imply an alliance however back in 2000, the idea was floated.

Currently Vladimir Putin is being interviewed with American film maker Oliver Stone for a documentary on him and according to an excerpt of the interview the Russian President said that early on in his tenure as Russian President he floated that idea of Russia joining NATO.

The history of NATO was that is was established to order to counter the expansion of communism in eastern Europe and dampen the expansion of the USSR. Ten years later and after the fall of the Soviet Union, a Russian President considered the prospects of the old communist state joining the long term adversary.

The comment was made during a state visit by then US President Bill Clinton to Moscow; at the time Putin said to Clinton “Let’s consider an option that Russia might join NATO?” which was met with a warm reaction from the US President but not from the US delegation that was present. Putin hadn’t be opposed to Russia joining the alliance before the June 2000 visit.

Despite the interest in joining the alliance, the Russian President has criticised the alliance for expanding eastwards towards the Russian border and has described Russia under his leadership as seeking to improve its relationship or status quo with the United States however finding themselves frustrated by Washington’s ‘imperialist mentality’.

Time however will tell; the Russian President currently has an American President that is warm to improve relations however the two have yet to meet in person which could potentially happen in the near future.

42 COMMENTS

  1. He asked Obama at a meeting live on tv what about Russia joining nato Obama just looked away and laughed … Russia simply can’t spend big on defence

    • Me too, I’ve mentioned it on here before, it’s been on the NATO wikipedia page for ages as well, although I think it’s a defence minister or something talking about Russia joining NATO.

      Would of more or less put the lid on over 2000 years of European conflict and rivalry, it’s a shame it was not a European country at the head of NATO, probably would of happened.

      • Despite whether Putin is a SOB or not, I like the Russian people myself and I sympathise with their paranoia due to NATOs constant eastward expansion to Russia’s borders, and the hypocrisy of the west in general.

        And being well read on the Great Patriotic War I know what they went through, what Germany did and how they are forever mistrustful after while being surrounded by US bases.

        Might not be a popular view on here and I understand NATOs concern at Russian behaviour and the likelihood of Russian involvement with the Salisbury business.

        • Wow. Never mind Russia invaded Poland and Finland before ww2, and was in a military alliance with nazi Germany to dismember Poland before it was invaded. Let’s also skip past the horrors it inflicted on its empire or more recent invasions of Georgia and Ukraine. NATO isn’t some greedy empire snapping up East European states. The independent and sovereign states of Eastern Europe chose to join NATO because it was in their own national interest.

          • Anthony,
            Whilst you are correct in pointing out what Russia got up to before Hitler invaded. Daniele did state:
            “Russian people”
            and not the Russia political elite.

            However that said, since 2000 Putin has built up a cult around him and that has resulted in a huge polarization of a lot of Russian peoples towards a very myopic , bigoted and Xenophobic nationalistic mindset. As seen in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, (and of late in China) that isn’t a good thing.

          • I agree with all of that, to your surprise no doubt.

            Read my piece again.

            I understand their view. There are always two views whether one likes it or not.

            Where did I say NATO is a greedy empire? I said I see the Russian viewpoint as it creeps eastward which the west said in 1991 it would not.

            NATO is the bastion of European security, I’m all for it. I’m totally against the EU and the EU Army being planned.

            You didn’t mention my comment on western hypocrisy. Good job too as I could really go to town there.

            I shall make a nice list for you to try to debunk if you like.

          • Russia and Germany signed the Non Aggression pact as a means to give each time to prepare for the coming war.

            We chose to appease when the Nazi’s annexed Czechoslovakia and marched into the Rhineland. Was that to give time or equally underhand?

            And just to correct Russia attacked Poland once World War 2 was underway.

            Don’t forget Katyn too. Terrible behaviour by Beria, the NKVD and Stalin. I still stand by my comment that I understand the Russian point of view concerning NATO and the west.

          • NATO is America’s Trojan horse, it is not benign or primarily about keeping Europe safe. It is a tool with which the US manipulates European governments.

        • So are we supposed to ignore Poland attacking Russia in the middle of a civil war, and western blockade to take advantage of Russian vulnerabilities. Then seizing territory beyond the Curzon Line, overall not exactly a endearing series of events to the Soviets. What would you have expected that ,“paragon of forgiveness among men”, Stalin to do? Give them a hug and tell them,” It’s all going to be okay comrades.”
          Russia has been attacked at different times by the following European countries Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Sweden, and Turkey. Note not the United States. The EU and NATO seems like an all star cast that Russia not without reason has a grudge against.
          NATO is in no way a benefit to the United States it’s like the world’s most expensive case of herpes. Just when you think it has gone for good it flares up worse than ever. When then candidate and later President Trump stated that he believed that countries who did not pay their way shouldn’t receive mutual defense. You could hear the autistic screeching and accompanying glass being shattered in from across the Atlantic. With people like Merkel and the Baltic States acting like they were owed the lives of Americans. Despite constantly berating the US for everything from law enforcement to healthcare to foreign policy. Constant interference with American allies by European countries. To date the only ,“NATO”, mission outside of Europe or the Mediterranean has been Afghanistan. The level of commitment and rules of engagement of European troops there would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

  2. Personally, I’ve never really Understood The Russia hate……….. Take that Putin Chap and stick him on St Helena and the Whole World would be a nicer place……………

  3. Don’t trust Putin if they would have been allowed to join he’s hidden a agenda would have been to divide Nato from within .

  4. Daniele. In addition the Soviets did not sign the pact to prepare for war. Stalin perged the red army and refused I believe her had betrayed him when Germany invaded. It also supplied Germany with raw materials during that time.

    • Agreed on some of that Anthony. One train even crossed the border on the eve of Barbarossa! And a German train heading the other way carried Brandenburg commandos.

      I myself do believe the pact gave both sides time. Stalins purge of the red army was at its height a few years before. He then bought Marshal Zhukov back from the far East when the danger from Germany became apparent.

      The Germans were suspicious of Soviet intentions with regards to the Ploesti oilfields in Romania, and, sure enough, most of the Soviet armoured formations were concentrated there.

      • According to the Neville Chamberlain letters, his aims at getting appeasement from Hitler was to buy time. Most of Europe and the UK were coming out of the “Great Depression” and were in no position to counter Germany industrially or militarily. Our forces were still geared for policing the Empire not fighting another WW1 scenario. If you look at the equipment of the BEF (1935 – 1939) most of it dated to the late 20’s to early 30’s. The Airforce was also not in a great place, only the Navy’s ships were mostly up to date, their FAA aircraft were seriously dated however!
        The Munich Accord was signed with the hope that Hitler would see sense a quit his onward path to a Greater Germany. On his return he put industry in gear to start rearming the military with more modern equipment, however he didn’t put them on a war footing, in case Germany got the wrong idea. We later learned that Stalin knew about the deal and what Chamberlain was up to due a number of traitors placed in key positions. I wonder if Stalin passed on this information to Hitler to speed up the invasion of Poland, whose to say?

  5. Daniele. The point I’m trying to make is that it’s not up to the west or Russia what independent sovereign states in eastern Europe decide to do. It’s not a conspiracy. NATO isn’t creeping eastwards. Countries are free to apply to join. Yet whenever new countries consider this Russia threatens some and invades others. Paranoia, history and hypocrisy doesn’t excuse this behaviour.

    • Agreed. My point was it’s impact on western Russian relations. I’d also suggest Cuba had a choice to decide and look how that went down with the USA with a potential enemy on their doorstep.

  6. Anybody can apply to join NATO if they are prepared to obey the guide lines and work within the rules unfortunately Russia wouldn’t meet the criteria

  7. Seems more like April the 1st or reminiscient of the old TV series “Whoops Apocalypse!”

    It’s all water under the bridge now we’ve seen Putin become the Godfather of gangster government in Russia. Both the US & Russia are paranoid. It remains to be seen if Trump is any better.

    • Oh f*** off with that. President Trump has bombed Syria twice and approved aid to the Ukraine. This in addition to increasing sanctions on Russia more than ANY other country. While also increasing the number of US forces deployed to Europe.
      What more would you like him to do? Nuke Damascus? Moscow? It’s pretty damn rich hearing criticism of the leadership of the US when Mrs. May managed to blow probably one of the easiest elections I have ever seen, against an opponent who is an admitted Marxist.

      • Hi Elliott, nukeing anyone would be the act of a madman. It remains to be seen if bombing as a deterrent against further use of chemical weapons will work this time after it hadn’t before. Sorry , I’m no fan of Trump, he’s too immature & bullying to be a serious politician. Yes he’s done a few good things, though the list of disturbing things he’s said or done is staggering. I’m just hoping he doesn’t create an authoritarian USA.
        I’ve never been tempted to vote Tory but I’ll give Theresa May one thing: She’s not Cameron or Osbourne, which is a huge improvement. Politics in recent decades has been woefully short of quality to vote for, more like what shade of numpty would we like?

        I was just bemused at why, after all this time later & the world having moved far away from the possibility, anyone would run this story? It’s hardly an issue.

  8. There had been a brief amount of reporting about that at the time. It was a gambit to get a temporarily under-powered fox into a henhouse.

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