Stoltenberg: “Yes, We Baited Putin”: Blinken: “Yes to Firing US Missiles at Russia”

September 12th, 2023 - by Dave DeCamp /

Putin asked for a guarantee that Ukraine wouldn’t join NATO
as a ‘precondition’ not to invade.

Stoltenberg Acknowledges Putin
Invaded Ukraine Over NATO Expansion
Dave DeCamp /

(September 11, 2923) — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged last week that Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine last year to prevent NATO from expanding into the country.

“The background was that President Putin declared in the autumn of 2021, and actually sent a draft treaty that they wanted NATO to sign, to promise no more NATO enlargement,” Stoltenberg told EU Parliament officials, referring to a series of security proposals Russia sent to the US and NATO in December 2021.

“That was what he sent us,” Stoltenberg continued. “And was a precondition for not invade Ukraine. Of course we didn’t sign that.” Chief among Russia’s demands was a guarantee that Ukraine would never join NATO, an issue the Biden administration refused to address.

Stoltenberg made the comments when discussing Finland’s recent admittance into NATO and Sweden’s expected membership. The NATO chief said the “opposite” of what Putin wanted happened after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“So he went to war to prevent NATO, more NATO, close to his borders. He has got the exact opposite. He has got more NATO presence in eastern part of the alliance and he has also seen that Finland has already joined the alliance and Sweden will soon be a full member,” Stoltenberg said.

The NATO chief’s comments contradict the claim made constantly by the US government and many media outlets that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was “unprovoked.”

Stoltenberg mentioned other proposals put forward by Russia before the invasion. “He wanted us to remove our military infrastructure in all Allies that have joined NATO since 1997, meaning half of NATO, all the Central and Eastern Europe, we should remove NATO from that part of our alliance, introducing some kind of B, or second class membership. We rejected that,” he said.

Blinken: US Does Not Oppose Ukraine
Targeting Russian Territory With US Missiles
Dave DeCamp /

US likely to arm Ukraine with ATACMS. Range:190 miles.

(September 11, 2023) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that it was up to Ukraine whether or not to target Russian territory with US-provided weapons, a policy that brings the US and Russia closer to a direct clash.

Blinken made the comments after ABC News reported that it’s likely the Biden administration will soon arm Ukraine with Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), which have a range of up to 190 miles.

While appearing on ABC’s ‘This Week,’ Blinken was asked if he was OK with Ukraine using ATACMS to hit targets deep inside Russian territory. “In terms of their targeting decisions, it’s their decision, not ours,” Blinken replied.

When asked about the increasing Ukrainian drone attacks inside Russia, Blinken claimed the US does not “encourage” or “enable” the operations. However, The Economist recently reported that Ukrainian drone attacks on Russia frequently use intelligence gathered by Kyiv’s Western backers.

As the war has dragged on, the Biden administration has been less and less concerned about the risk of Ukrainian attacks inside Russia escalating the war. The administration previously feared that Russia could respond to such attacks by targeting a NATO country.

The US has also brushed off Russian warnings against providing Ukraine with longer-range missiles, as Moscow has previously called them a “red line.” According to a US official speaking to ABC, the ATACMS “are coming.”

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