The NATO-Russia Council met in Brussels for the first time in nearly two years. “We are not afraid of dialogue,” announced alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Alas, he explained: “it was reconfirmed that we disagree on the facts, on the narrative and the responsibilities in and around Ukraine.”
Of course, this should surprise no one. After all, Russia is in a mini-Cold War with the U.S. and Europe over Ukraine.
Only reassessing everyone’s respective national interests will change the existing relationship. Should the West maintain permanent confrontation with Russia over Ukraine?
None of the allies has made a security commitment to Kiev. Indeed, few if any of the 28 NATO members are willing to go to war with Russia over its neighbor.
Should the U.S. and Europe treat Kiev as if it was a member of NATO? There’s a reason the alliance has a membership process. One criterion is not to induct countries with a casus belli or two trailing behind.
More fundamentally, inclusion only makes sense if it makes the existing allies more secure. No one seemed to consider this issue during the madcap alliance expansion after the Cold War because the organization was treated as an international gentleman’s club.