This article argues an alternative (maybe even complementary) view regarding the cause of the Russian invasion of Ukraine:

(..) Russia’s security concerns are in fact genuine, and NATO expansion eastward is seen by Russians as directed against their country. Putin has been clear for many years that if continued, the expansion would likely be met with serious resistance by the Russians, even with military action.

In this regard, when NATO leaders reiterated the decision taken at the 2008 Bucharest summit that Ukraine would become a member of the Alliance with the MAP as an integral part of the process and Ukraine's right to determine its future and foreign policy, the likelihood of Russia issuing a military response increased.

According to this answer, besides quite a few disadvantages (inflation, nuclear war risk, etc.), the US might eventually benefit from the war, despite the short-term issues and risks. However, I cannot see why the European NATO members risked a military escalation in Ukraine.

Turkey blocking (or delaying) Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO is an example of how easy one NATO member can place a roadblock on one another's country joining NATO. I guess that it would have taken only two or three important members (e.g. Germany and France) to oppose supporting Ukraine's ascension to NATO in order for June 2021 Brussels summit declaration to sound very differently.

My question is basically what's in it for the European NATO members to support Ukraine's accession to NATO? In the short term, there seem to be important negative consequences.

To make my question more specific, I am asking why did European NATO members agree with Ukraine's accession to NATO, as per point 69 in the Brussels Summit Communiqué?

We reiterate the decision made at the 2008 Bucharest Summit that Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance with the Membership Action Plan (MAP) as an integral part of the process;

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    This Q is somewhat confusing. A number of NATO countries (and depending which time we're talking about, this included Germany & France, not just Hungary) clearly were not supportive of Ukraine gaining membership anytime "soon". Which as we know can mean decades at least. So are you asking why they didn't go as far as Russia wanted and say "never"? Or are you asking about those countries (like the US or Poland, IIRC) which sometimes did [verbally] support quicker membership... even though they probably knew of the opposition from the others? (Recall that joining NATO requires unanimity.) Jul 2, 2022 at 15:34
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    Thanks for the edit. But you can see from the para you've quoted that Ukraine's application was essentially frozen since 2008, when Russia/Putin made a big deal out of it... and since the war in Georgia (which still has a nearly identical para in 2021) made it clear that he meant it. NATO not "taking back their words" while also not admitting Ukraine is face-saving, basically. Jul 2, 2022 at 15:50
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    Why would it be Putin's business to have any input in membership of an association?? Does he get a say who can join your tennis club too, just because he claims it affects him?
    – Aganju
    Jul 3, 2022 at 4:08
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    @aganju if he has nuclear weapons then he does. Even if you do too, because you don't want to use them. Unlike your tennis club, there's no police to complain to if you don't like it. Might is right in international politics.
    – qris
    Jul 5, 2022 at 12:17

10 Answers 10


I would first contest the premise made by the paragraph you cited.

(..) Russia’s security concerns are in fact genuine, and NATO expansion eastward is seen by Russians as directed against their country. Putin has been clear for many years that if continued, the expansion would likely be met with serious resistance by the Russians, even with military action.

The author here uses "Putin" and "Russians" interchangeably, implying that Putin speaks for Russians and derives the legitimacy of his power from the mandate of the Russian people. This is a common fallacy made by people who live in democratic countries. Russia is an authoritarian state where only one person holds decision making power, that being Putin, the will of the entire Russian population is irrelevant here.

When we're talking about the response of NATO vs Russia. We're in fact talking about NATO vs Putin. NATO is a collective of democratic nation whose leaders are accountable to their voters, whereas Putin is completely unaccountable to anyone and his decisions are solely his own.

This creates a dynamic where both sides operate on entirely different sets of psychology.

  • To NATO members, the ascension of Ukraine is a positive development not necessarily in terms of military or economic gain (though that is part of it), but primarily in terms of value. It is a sign that Ukraine is coming to its own as a democracy, making its own decisions, and most importantly it is choosing to look West rather than East. It signifies an expansion of democratic Europe and a loss of influence of authoritarian Russia.

  • To Putin, however, the loss of Ukraine signifies something entirely different. As Ukraine looks West rather than East, he sees a set of geopolitical plots orchestrated by United States to oppress Russia. And Ukraine - in Putin's mind an integral part of the Russian empire - is something that has to be reeled back into where it belongs. It should not be understated that Putin is profoundly paranoid (colloquially called "dictator syndrome") and he has been living in his own make-believe reality for a long time. And as he becomes more paranoid, his decisions become more erratic and unpredictable.

It's very important to recognize that both sides are not living in the same reality. And they both underestimate how wide the gap is between their realities.

To answer your question: Why do European NATO members support Ukraine ascension to NATO:

  1. The first reason is that they believe it is a relatively low-stakes decision. Ukraine joining NATO was meant to be a symbolic positive gain for democratic value rather than an actual preparation for Russian attack. They thought that Putin was more or less on the same page, but they were wrong.

  2. The second reason is they underestimated Putin's paranoia. They did not expect that Putin would do such a thing because Putin himself had kept his thinking elusive. It would be inconceivable to convince NATO members that Putin believed what he revealed to believe since the invasion began. They simply did not know how to think like a dictator.

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    People in Russia have seen NATO as the main threat to their country long befor putin, this was one of the reasons he became president 2000.
    – convert
    Jul 2, 2022 at 19:17
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    This answer contains a great deal of speculation, without a single reference to a comment or decision made by any NATO member state. I don't see how this can possibly constitute a good answer to the actual question, in its current form. Jul 3, 2022 at 10:05
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    A native here. You're dead right on saying that there's a wide gap in perception of reality between Russia and NATO... Inability to understand each other realities (and account for them) could even be the cause of those violent outcome that we're seeing now... But I'm writing this comment to share my observation (anecdotal, I admit, based on my social circle; and no, I do not qualify as "elite", not even close) that many Russians do support Putin's goal to keep NATO further away, even though the military action wasn't expected. So the fallacy mentioned in the answer isn't that undisputable.
    – Igor G
    Jul 3, 2022 at 10:47
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    NATO is a collective of democratic nation — that's not true. Turkey is n NATO, and Greece was in NATO when ruled by a military junta. Nato was founded as a collective of anti-Soviet Union nations, to assist in mutual defence against a perceived threat from the Soviet Union and its satellite states.
    – gerrit
    Jul 4, 2022 at 8:08
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    @Itération122442 Of course France is a democracy. A democracy is a system in which the authority of the government is based on the will of the people. Since the French President is accountable to the voters and the French Prime Minsiter is accountable to the demcoratcially elected parliament, France therefore qualifies as a democracy. Jul 4, 2022 at 14:09

Look at this decade-old Carnegie study.

  • Some European NATO members believed that a fight with a resurgent Russia was about to come, anyway, and wanted Ukraine to fight on the NATO side instead of providing recruits and war materials to Russia. Or, if they did not think that the war would certainly come, they saw it as a distinct possibility.
    Keep in mind that Russia used to have an empire, both under the Czars and then under the Soviets. This empire has been much diminished with the fall of the Soviet Union. To many Russians, restoring the empire is righting a historical wrong. Many of the ex-Soviet, ex-Czarist nations are now part of NATO and the EU.
  • Some European NATO members believed as a matter of principle that any country between Russia and NATO should be free to make a NATO membership application without a Russian veto. The application would then be for NATO to approve or reject. It does not necessarily follow that the application would have been granted, just that the Russian notion of a privileged position in the "near abroad" was rejected.
  • Many European NATO members are also EU members, and saw a deep economic relationship between Ukraine and the EU as an advantage for the EU. (And also as a long-term advantage for Ukraine, but that might not get them involved quite as much.) Membership in the EU and NATO is not necessarily linked, but there is a significant overlap.
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    Actually, most European NATO members are also EU members. (Otherwise, it's a good answer.)
    – toolforger
    Jul 4, 2022 at 14:57
  • @toolforger, I was giving greater weight to the Brits than to the Portugese, even if each are one nation. Of course one could also counter with France vs. Macedonia ...
    – o.m.
    Jul 4, 2022 at 15:36
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    Even if you go by population size, it's still most European NATO members are in the EU, Brexit notwithstanding: 600 million in the NATO, 400 million in the EU (admittedly it's getting closer, and I'm ignoring EU members not in the NATO but I'm unaware of any significant countries in that bucket). (EDIT: Turkey IS significant I see.)
    – toolforger
    Jul 4, 2022 at 15:43
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    @toolforger, I'll edit, but note that France never left. They just pulled their forces out of the NATO command for a time -- which many US forces never entered.
    – o.m.
    Jul 4, 2022 at 16:34
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    @toolforger, France had a strategy of reserving the option to leave. So they built a Force de Frappe they could maintain on their own, while the Brits merely purchased US delivery systems they could launch on their own.
    – o.m.
    Jul 4, 2022 at 17:27

NATO is a defensive organization based on belief that security cannot be achieved by "not provoking Russia". They assume, if Russia thinks they can rather easily win over NATO or whatever, they will attack regardless how polite you are and what discounts do you offer them. If they see a danger to lose, they will not, regardless if you send them where that ship has gone or you not. This is the philosophy.

It is the military power where the safety is. More fight-capable members means more military power and hence more safety. Hence it is useful to include as fight-capable member as the Ukraine is.

You can read here about the official NATO philosophy: if you want peace, prepare for war. The nuclear war is not everything they think about, they also think about the graduated response to a non-nuclear crisis.

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    Are there any sources corroborating the claims in this answer. Did anyone from NATO say something along these lines? Jul 2, 2022 at 19:25
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    While not cited in the answer, I'd argue yes: nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_133127.htm NATO bases their existence on deterring an attack, both via nuclear means and conventional strength, through article 5.
    – vidarlo
    Jul 2, 2022 at 20:55
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    Reference added
    – Stančikas
    Jul 2, 2022 at 21:15
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    The reference is one commentator's opinion of what he thinks NATO is about. It mostly quotes from NATO documents written before 1968, when the USSR wasn't terribly capable of wiping out life on the entire planet with their nukes. One could easily argue that the various efforts of NATO to engage with Russia, especially after the fall of the USSR point to a far more nuanced approach. OTOH, the view from Poland may indeed be more like what the position paper says, so ironically while this is a misleading answer to the position of NATO visavis Russia 1990-2014, it's less wrong with regard to EE. Jul 3, 2022 at 17:57
  • The reference is a review that covers NATO concepts up to 2010.
    – Stančikas
    Jul 3, 2022 at 21:30

The questions isn't asking what that the US saw or sees in Ukraine's membership, although that is an interesting trip down the memory lane, if one looks back at Bush's statements around that 2008 summit. (Hint: at least in speeches, it had a lot to do with the relatively simple divisions between good and evil that that US administration saw, and how they justified some of their other foreign policy in the name of supporting freedom and emerging democracy, in Islamic countries and elsewhere.)

But if we take the US decision as a given (since the Q isn't interesting in exploring that), the Eastern European countries that had been recently admitted had good reasons to be on the side of the US on this: besides whatever genuine gratitude they may have had for being admitted in essence largely due to the same policies, there's obvious "strength in numbers" as well not wanting to be necessarily on the "front line" if the cold war divisions became more relevant again. Germany probably saw an advantage in that when Poland was admitted in NATO. Poland in turn sees a similar advantage in having Ukraine admitted.

There's also the fact that a number of Eastern European countries already had worse relations with Russia than Germany & France, ranging from conflicts over the Russian minority in the Baltics, to the more symbolic spats over Soviet-era monuments in several other countries from the former Eastern Bloc.

While one is free to speculate whether a "finlandization" of Ukraine was possible, as some paragon of "real" neutrality, Putin never stopped trying to influence countries to its West (and in the former Soviet Union, more broadly). Absent NATO engagement, Ukraine might have become another Belarus instead: a much less democratic country that's essentially a free maneuver ground for Russian troops, occasional enabler of emigrant surges from the Middle-East, and hijacker of aircraft under fake bomb warning claims. Why would Poland want to risk/prefer Ukraine to be like that as well?

Now, fast forward to 2021, and why NATO "stays the course", i.e. why they didn't publicly admit that the membership prospects of Ukraine (and Georgia) were in fact much more unlikely than in early 2008... it surely has a lot to do with saving face on the open-door policy. After all, North Macedonia (if I'm using the right name) and Montenegro had been admitted as NATO members in the meantime, despite the Russian (non-military) opposition to them as well. Neither North Macedonia nor Montenegro had been on the clear list in 2008, so in a sense they "jumped the queue" ahead of Ukraine and Georgia... although North Macedonia was omitted in 2008 due to an outright veto of Greece back then (over naming dispute), rather than other reasons.

France and Germany, on the other hand, probably saw more of an advantage in a "soft veto" over Ukraine & Georgia, where they simultaneously agreed to the admission-in-principle to placate the US and the Eastern European members, while putting out clear statements that they didn't see Ukraine's membership happening anytime soon, to placate Russia. (France and Germany were also the main European supporters of the Minsk agreements.) Probably not much had changed in that compromise by 2021. If one looks at the NATO summits after 2014, there were various "Comprehensive Action Plans" for Ukraine, but which US commentators complained that the US was bearing the majority of the costs thereof. (Also, the parts regarding Ukraine in NATO communiques were pretty much copy-paste, year after year, according to [part one of] that analysis.)

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    Yeah, before someone else comments on this, I realize that the 2022 invasion ended up sending many more (Ukrainian) refugees in Poland than Belarus could have possibly ever managed to funnel, even assuming they kept at it for decades. On the other hand, Poland was much more used to Ukrainian temp workers etc.; the acceptance of immigrants from Islamic countries being much lower in Poland... to put it diplomatically. Jul 3, 2022 at 1:28

[The opposing view argues that] Russia’s security concerns are in fact genuine, and NATO expansion eastward is seen by Russians as directed against their country. Putin has been clear for many years that if continued, the expansion would likely be met with serious resistance by the Russians, even with military action.

This seems like a rather problematic premise.

In effect, it's saying that countries aren't allowed to create treaties with one another if those treaties can be seen as a threat to another country (regardless of how unreasonable this perception may be). And this justifies said country from starting a war in other countries to prevent said treaty from going into effect.

Specifically in the face of these threats, what NATO members gain by supporting Ukraine's accession to NATO is:

without having this be dictated by the fears and threats of another country.

Although these threats were presumably taken into account when making the decision.

There may also be somewhat of an implication in the question that European NATO members are somewhat to blame for Russia invading Ukraine, which is also problematic. The only party responsible for Russia invading Ukraine is Russia.

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    Very strange of you to call "just a treaty between countries" an organization that have military bases worldwide and wage wars of aggression however they like for decades.
    – Denis
    Jul 25, 2023 at 12:05

They lost trust in the usefulness of peaceful means

The invasion in Ukraine meant that Russia would refuse to accept any non-military bounds[1], so the only recourse available is military.

Also, there are signs that Russian leadership considers the European countries "soft" and unwilling to wage a even defensive war; not engaging in the Ukraine war will confirm that impression, and possibly make Russia attack NATO countries directly. [2]
A military defense in Ukraine is much cheaper than defending against Russian aggression in one's own country, anyway. NOT defending and simply submitting to Russian demands would almost as expensive, as Russian economy is considered ineffective (poor standards of living, top government not just mildly corrupt like in Western countries but outright cleptocratic).

Additonally, Ukraine is the perfect candidate for countering Russian expansion plans:

  • Ukraine has demonstrated willingness and ability to withstand Russian attack (given enough military equipment, but that would be needed against any military aggression).
  • NATO troops in Ukraine would scare Russia, deterring them from military aggression.
  • NATO would be in control of how much pressure they exert, which is a pretty attractive thought even if you know you have to avoid triggering a Russian suicide attack.
  • The cost is roughly the same, whether you deflect it in Ukraine or elsewhere. (Russia cannot attack other countries while occupied in Ukraine, they lack the military power for that.)

[1] They refused to let themselves be bound by daily communication: They claimed that the troop movements near the border were a maneuver, but that turned out to be untrue.
They refused to let themselves bound by older promises: There had been promises that Ukraine would not be invaded, or its borders altered by aggressive means.
They removed economic ties to the best of their abilities, by building up foreign exchange reserves.
They never accepted self-restraint as a bound; losing the Warsaw Pact states as vassals is widely considered a tragic loss, and Putin has been reinforcing that idea on several occasions.

[2] NATO countries need to declare that they want NATO help to fend off an attacker. If Russia can overwhelm a NATO country faster than it can invoke help, or threaten massive destruction so that the country will rather submit to agression rather than defend, Russian can indeed attack and subjugate a NATO country without triggering a NATO response.


There is no immediate advantage. In fact, the disadvantages are massive.

But Ukraine is one of those countries that are on the edge between the Russian and the Western sphere of influence. In Geo-Politics, bringing Ukraine into the western sphere of influence enlarges that sphere, while reducing that of Russia. It doesn't matter that it makes no sense in other ways, especially economically.

Geo-politics are game played over decades and centuries. In that perspective, it matters little if Ukraine is a drain on the EU economy for years and years, or if a couple billions are lost to military equipment, or if a few trillions are lost in economic power due to sanctions backfiring and rising energy costs. The only currency in the game that matters is power.

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    I have upvoted your answer, as I THINK I agree with you. My own view is that since the end of the cold-war, open-access and "defensive" NATO has been pushed far too readily by the major western powers into the former Warsaw-pact territory and beyond. There is a reason why we are having to deal with a Putin and not a Gorbachev. (In the same way there was good reason why Hindenberg became Hitler - Versailles and all that.) We are inexorably driving Russia into a corner. And that is not a good place to push the world's second-largest nuclear power.
    – WS2
    Jul 3, 2022 at 9:27

The interest of most European nations in Ukraine joining NATO wasn't about NATO, it was about Ukraine being a Western facing country politically and economically. Bringing the Eastern European countries, in general, into the Western European fold has provided new markets, new suppliers, a stronger workforce, and greater political clout to the collective. The same applies to Ukraine. Accepting Ukraine as a potential future NATO member was part of this general political outlook, rather the primary point.

Meanwhile few people in the collective West believed that Russia would engage in a major military conflict in Ukraine. Even in February, immediately before the invasion, many commentators argued that war was unlikely. The MacDonalds theory of conflict was widely believed, and European countries believed that building stronger and stronger economic ties would prevent any major conflict from flaring up (aside: I find it frankly bizarre that this belief continued post-2014, but that seems to have been the case).


Most of the European NATO members support Ukraine's aspirations to joining NATO for these reasons:

  • Ukraine has unparalleled recent experience in fighting overwhleming Russian forces with skill and bravery.
  • Ukraine spends about 5% of its GDP on defense, more than an average NATO country.
  • Ukraine provides a safer buffer against Russia.
  • Ukraine has been a NATO partner for almost 30 years.
  • Ukraine offers NATO access to Ukraine’s physical, technological and human capital.
  • Ukraine's NATO membership and associated anti-corruption, pro-democracy and pro-free market reforms will provide an example for similar reform forces in Russia, leading to greater peace and stability in Europe long-term.


  • Ukraine’s military and political leadership has unparalleled recent experience in resisting and combatting Russia's cross-domain assertiveness and even aggression that all NATO member-states would benefit from. This applies to both the kinetic and - arguably even more so - non-kinetic realms.
  • The Ukrainian military’s first-hand knowledge of Russian military thinking and action is probably second to only Belarus’. Most members of Ukraine’s current top military leadership were educated and trained alongside Russia’s current top military leadership. This deep knowledge of the Russian military has furthermore been significantly enriched - including in an intelligence sense - during four years of both ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ battles.
  • Ukraine currently spends about 5 percent of its GDP on defense, more than all NATO members except the United States. Its membership would contribute far more to NATO capabilities than Montenegro’s recent accession – a country with a small army, no public consent on NATO and a strong pro-Russian lobby.
  • Kyiv would be able to provide means of transportation to quickly redeploy NATO troops and equipment from Central and Western Europe to Poland or the Baltic states. Not only would it improve the overall operational mobility of NATO forces, but it would also send a clear message to Russia that NATO is well-prepared.
  • Ukrainian military reform, while still decidedly suboptimal, has nevertheless rendered its armed forces more performant than ever before - a development that has not been lost on Russian military leaders. [...]
  • The West’s cautious attitude towards Ukrainian membership thus far may have only emboldened Russian assertiveness. Russia has made it increasingly clear over the past few years that it only respects ‘force’. Offering Ukraine a Membership Action Plan would send Russia a uniquely bold and unambiguous deterrent signal.
  • Ukraine has been a trustworthy NATO partner for almost 30 years, making rather humble, but still important contributions to the collective security. Since 1990's, Ukraine has been providing its troops, equipment and intelligence to assist numerous NATO-led peace-support operations in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Mediterranean Sea. Ukraine has also been participating in numerous joint programs with NATO [...]
  • Better security would have a stabilizing effect on Ukraine’s economy, which would enable it to become a better economic partner for NATO countries.
  • NATO membership would give NATO unfettered access to Ukraine’s physical, technological and human capital at uniquely attractive price points. This applies to Ukraine’s military-industrial economic potential, but arguably even more so to its outsized broader agricultural and IT resources. [...]
  • Europe (including Ukraine) will never be fully safe and secure without a transformed Russia. Under current circumstances, such a transformation in Russia is highly improbable - first and foremost in identity and cultural terms - in the short- to mediumterm. Many Russians expect Ukrainian reforms to fail, thereby ‘proving’ that there is no ‘other way’ for them. (Re-)Integrating Ukraine into the European and transatlantic family of nations is therefore an indispensable first step towards not only Ukraine’s, but also Russia’s return.
  • Ukraine embodies a unique combination of 'Western' and 'Eastern' values that is different, but not entirely dissimilar to Russia’s. Acceptance in NATO would demonstrate that convergence of these value systems is feasible.

Why NATO May Want Ukraine: The Western Case in Favor of Ukrainian NATO Membership. Stephan De Spiegeleire, Khrystyna Holynska, Yevhen Sapolovych. The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. April 10, 2018: https://kse.ua/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Khrystyna_180410_Why_NATO_Might_Want_Ukraine_-_Final_HCSS_version_Print-1.pdf


You ask: ...what's in it for the European NATO members to support Ukraine's accession to NATO?

The answer is that it satisfies the cold-war mindset with which the major NATO powers are still imbued.

The Gorbachev era gave us an opportunity to move beyond that - it was an olive branch. And there is a reason why we now find ourselves having to deal with a Putin rather than a Gorbachev. (Similarly there were reasons why Hindenberg gave way to Hitler - and the reasons were not all German induced.)

As Shakespeare pointed out "There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their lives is bound in shallows and in misery." - or words to that effect in Julius Caesar.

That tide came in the 1980s to the Reagan and Thatcher administrations. They didn't have to do anything to get it - it simply presented itself. The Russians even allowed the pulling down of the Wall - the very icon of Soviet defence. The USSR was virtually bankrupt - economically and politically.

Benefitting from hindsight it is clear now that we should have better managed the transition of European defence architecture. Installing "defensive" NATO up to the borders of Russia - installed in the very lands across which the Polish Commonwealth, Napoleonic France and the German Third Reich had savaged their way, and caused untold bloodshed before discovering that their supply lines were too long to sustain the momentum - was not a smart idea.

Pushing the world's second most powerful nuclear power into a corner might sound an attractive proposition - but only to people suffering severe myopia.

Churchill in his history The Second World War states as the "Moral of the Work" four aphorisms : In War - Resolution; In Defeat - Defiance; In Victory: Magnanimity; In Peace - Goodwill. It was the third of those that escaped our consideration.

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    I note the drive-by shooter has done his or her worst. Would the discourteous lady or gentleman care to explain themselves?
    – WS2
    Jul 3, 2022 at 11:15
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    Regardless of our opinion on NATO I don't think 'occupying' is the best choice of words given that >70% of Poles, Lithuanians, Hungarians, Estonians, Latvians etc. wants to stay in NATO. Also NATO border is nowhere close to extent of Polish Commonwealth during Dimitriads. The border was behind Smolensk making it about 350 km to Moscow. Ukraine is slightly less than 500 km from Moscow. Now you might argue successfully that it imbue on Russian psyche. You may argue that it wasn't smart from western perspective to extend NATO. But I think you try to erase that NATO was and is wanted by people... Jul 4, 2022 at 7:49
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    ... in those countries. And rightly or wrongly those countries feared Russian expansionism. Based on history. In Ukraine you had Holdomor; In Poland, Stalin is not remembered the best to say at least and tsardom partition is still remembered; etc. You can argue if those feeling are justified and if the expantion of NATO was justified but bottom line was that "occupation" is very much misrepresentation of situation on the ground. In many cases the countries are less occupied than western Europe based on support. Jul 4, 2022 at 7:56
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    "The Gorbachev era gave us an opportunity to move beyond that - it was an olive branch." Are you talking about him sending tanks to Lithuania? Jul 4, 2022 at 12:27
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    The (likely) reason you're attracting all these downvotes is that you've barely attempted to answer the question beyond "it satisfies the cold-war mindset with which the major NATO powers are still imbued". The entire rest of your answer is just your personal opinion on what should have happened, which has nothing at all to do with the question. To improve the answer you should delete all paragraphs except the first 2, and then expand upon the 2nd to justify it.
    – JBentley
    Jul 5, 2022 at 10:38

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