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History will judge US, allies harshly for 'remarkably foolish policy' on Ukraine: Expert

Ukrainian servicemen walk next to destroyed Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers (APC) in Dmytrivka village, west of Kyiv, on April 2, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

A prominent US-based political scientist and international relations scholar has held the expansionist policies of the United States and its NATO allies responsible for the simmering war in Ukraine.

In an article published in National Interest magazine, John Mearsheimer said the US and its NATO allies played a "crucial role" in stoking the flames of war in Ukraine and are now "playing a central role in the conduct of that war".

Mearsheimer referred to Washington's intentions of bringing Ukraine into the NATO fold as an “existential threat” for Moscow, which he said prompted Russia to carry out a military operation in the former Soviet republic.

“The tragic truth is that if the West had not pursued NATO expansion into Ukraine, it is unlikely there would be a war in Ukraine today and Crimea would still be part of Ukraine.” Mearsheimer wrote.

Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Moscow’s recognition of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said one of the goals of what he called a “special military operation” was to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.

According to the American political scientist, another reason why the US is directly responsible for the situation in Ukraine today is that the Biden administration has reacted to the outbreak of war by "doubling down against Russia.”

“The April 2008 decision to bring Ukraine and Georgia into NATO was destined to lead to conflict with Russia,” Mearsheimer said.

"The Bush administration was the principal architect of that fateful choice, but the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations have doubled down on that policy at every turn and America’s allies have dutifully followed Washington’s lead.”

He also slammed the US for not finding a “diplomatic solution” to the raging war and imposing a slew of sanctions to weaken Russia.

Since the start of Russia’s military operation on February 24, the US and its western allies have imposed unprecedented sanctions against Moscow.

Mearsheimer depicted the situation in Ukraine as “perilous”, with a probability of “nuclear weapons” being used as NATO gets increasingly involved in the war.

He rejected Western allegations that Putin was responsible for the war or that he harbored imperial ambitions, saying the allegations amount to western propaganda, with "no evidence to support” the claim.

He cited an earlier article by Putin, which noted that Russia should treat Ukraine “with respect” and Kiev’s future is “up to its citizens to decide.”

“He has consistently emphasized that his principal concern is Ukraine’s relations with the West, especially NATO. He has never once hinted that he wants to make Ukraine part of Russia,” Mearsheimer said, referring to the Russian leader's intentions.

"Those who believe in facts and logic will quickly discover that the United States and its allies are mainly responsible for this train wreck," he stated, adding that history will judge the United States and its allies "harshly" for their "remarkably foolish policy on Ukraine".

More than four months after the Kremlin launched its offensive in Ukraine, Russian troops have liberated nearly the entire Donbas region, focusing their military attention on north-eastern Ukraine.

Staring at the defeat, the Western powers have ramped up their military assistance to Kiev, offering a large cache of weaponry, including advanced medium to long-range surface-to-air missile defense systems, artillery ammunition, and counter-battery radars.

Russia has repeatedly warned the West against fanning the flames of war by providing lethal weapons to Ukraine.

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