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Former Canadian Ambassador criticises Western Policy


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James Bissett, a former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia, Albania and Bulgaria has published an article strongly critical of western policy towards Russia. 

Bissett is the second former western ambassador to criticise western policy (see the article by Sir Anthony Brenton we published earlier).  Bissett’s criticism are however more far reaching.

Bisset holds NATO is responsible for a new “Cold War”. He points out that NATO was originally a defensive alliance to protect the west from Soviet attack.  He says that following the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO should have been wound up.  Instead, possibly because of the extent to which the US economy has become dependent on high defence spending, NATO survived practically unchanged.  Moreover in order to justify its existence, it looked around for a new adversary.  In the end, perhaps inevitably, it found its new adversary in its old adversary, pretending that nothing had changed and that post-Soviet Russia was a threat as the Soviet Union had once been. 

Bissett characterises western behaviour towards Russia as full of “duplicity, double standards and hypocrisy”.  He complains that NATO has set aside its own Charter by transforming itself from a purely defensive alliance to an increasingly aggressive one.  He points to NATO’s attack on Serbia without UN authorisation and its illegal decision to recognise Kosovo in violation of a Security Council Resolution it had previously supported.  He points out that at the same time NATO was busy expanding east to include Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, in the process breaking its promise to Gorbachev not to move “an inch east” in return for Russian agreement to a united Germany within NATO.

Bissett places the blame for the current crisis in Ukraine squarely on the western powers.  He argues that since NATO has pushed to surround Russia with hostile NATO states ever since the Soviet Union collapsed it was inevitable that Russia would react.  He says NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen should stop threatening Russia.   He concludes by calling for NATO to revert to the terms of its own Charter by not threatening or using force except in self-defence or where authorised by the United Nations.

The full article in Ottawa Citizen can be found here 





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