Freelance journalist and Independent political activist, open to offers in both capacities. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Accepts PayPal.
NATO did not march into some of Russia's neighbours and impose itself by force. Countries such as Poland and the Baltic States joined voluntarily. The decision was taken by elected governments and enjoyed popular support.Russian nationalists and their Russophile admirers should stop to think about why theses countries were so keen to join NATO, before bleating about NATO's 'aggressive expansion'.Russian intervention in Georgia and Ukraine is a reality. In Poland and Estonia it is (so far) a far-fetched fantasy. The latter countries are NATO members, the former are not.Ukrainian NATO membership was never really on the cards until recent events. Now, it could quite possibly be fast-tracked.NATO is a far from perfect organisation and western diplomacy is far from blameless for its role in the 'new Cold War'. However, the eagerness of some of Russia's neighbours to join an essentially defensive alliance testifies to Russian aggression, not NATO aggression.As for Putin's comments about a 'new Berlin Wall', he should visit Braniewo, a small Polish town on the border with Kaliningrad Oblast.Every weekend thousands of Russians cross the border unimpeded in order to buy basic goods, especially food and babycare equipment, which is either too expensive or unavailable back home. They have been doing so well before the Russian economy was hit by sanctions and falling oil prices.As for loftier, or simply deranged, arguments about Russia being a Third Rome or the last bastion of white Christendom, it is probably better to leave them where they belong-- in strange people's fantasies.PS: Nothing personal. On domestic matters you're usually right on the money.