Even though the purpose of NATO has always been to safeguard the Allies’ freedom and security by political and military means, Russia has always felt uneasy with this alliance. This is probably because Russia cannot fully exercise its influence over Europe. President Vladimir Putin took advantage of this common misbelief in Russia that NATO is a threat to Russia. Even if, everyone knows that NATO simply is a collective security agreement between European and North American nations. Putin used this fear of NATO to increase his power over the Russian Federation by waging an illegal war against the sovereign nation of Ukraine. Neither NATO members nor Ukraine has ever been a threat to the Putin regime. For instance, the Reagan administration maintained good relations with the Gorbachev administration and several European nations were good economic partners for Russian businesses. In the early years of the Putin Presidency, Putin wanted to repair his country’s relationship with Western powers by going as far as asking to join NATO in the early years of his presidency. Nevertheless, the pandemic affected the mind of Putin; for instance, in early 2022, the Putin administration declared an illegal war on Ukraine using the pretext that NATO broke a promise to never expand its membership to former Soviet republics. On the other hand, the Soviet Union and Russia asked twice to join NATO, but they got a negative answer from the organization; if NATO would have accepted the Soviet Union or Russian membership in the 1950s or early 2000s, the Russian-Ukrainian War might never have happened. These days, Putin seems to want a buffer zone between NATO and Russia. In contrast, NATO should try to find a way to peacefully end the Ukrainian War by finding a common ground between Ukraine, Russia, and Western powers. The Russian-Ukrainian War has cost the lives of thousands of Ukrainians and Russians. Sadly, no one knows when this unjustified armed conflict will end.
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