Chinese diplomat tells West to consider Russia's security concerns over Ukraine

[the accession of former Soviet block countries into NATO] … was a major affront to the Russians …

You're basically saying that someone shouldn't be allowed to secure themselves despite having a long history of being subjected to criminal actions. For instance, if my neighbors installed a security alarm, I would never see it as an affront of any kind, because I'm not a fucking criminal. The very fact that Russia could see their neighbors joining a defensive alliance as provocative is telling. I'm not sure if you realize it, but Russia has never really owned up to its past, and it still denies things like the illegal occupation and annexation of the Baltics. This whole conflict is driven by the Russian disregard for the sovereignty of their neighboring states.

I'm all for the eastern European countries being free of the Russian imperialist boot but I do not think accepting them into NATO was in any way a wise decision.

The security concerns of Russia's neighbors have been more than validated by the events in Ukraine, but you don't want them to be in NATO regardless, because some lip service to freedom from you should be enough for the likes of the Baltics or Poland, right? By that line of reasoning, I guess Russia invading Finland was also justified, since the Finns had the temerity of being too close to Saint Petersburg.

This is absolute hogwash. It is about the 'grand game'. There is no international arbiter who is overseeing the actions of all the players and making sure everyone plays fair (however much we, the US, attempt to fulfill/portray that role). The sovereignty of nations is only inviolable when the strongest party involved [which is generally us] says it is.

Sorry, but calling the peace in Europe "absolute hogwash" shows a considerable lack of clue. Not just in Europe, democracies resolving their differences peacefully is a solid worldwide trend that Russia has been intent on trying to turn around with their zero-sum approach in Ukraine, which is why it stands out so much, and also why bringing up dictatorships like Iraq is not relevant.

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