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Newly Declassified Documents Highlight U.S./NATO-Russia Cooperative Atmosphere in Early 1990s

April 8, 2024 (EIRNS)—On April 4, the U.S. National Security Archive published a new briefing book with four new recently declassified documents on the cooperation of NATO with Russia in the early 1990s. “Top NATO and U.S. officials worked out cooperative agreements with senior Russian leaders including the defense minister of the newly independent Russian Federation during three years of high-level dialogue and hands-on engagement from 1992 to 1995,” wrote authors Svetlana Savranskaya and Thomas Blanton. On the 75th anniversary of NATO, “the new publication illuminates the all-too-brief period of close U.S., NATO, and Russian security cooperation in the 1990s, which dramatically reduced nuclear arms and risks, addressed peacekeeping challenges in the Balkans, and held out hope of Russia’s eventual integration into Europe and partnership with NATO.”

The four new documents “describe joint U.S.-Russian peacekeeping exercises at Fort Riley, Kansas, breakthrough understandings on treaty negotiations, and meetings of the minds on the future security of Europe with leaders of the Russian Supreme Soviet and its successor, the Duma. In the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the new evidence highlights the tragedy of roads not taken and hopes unfulfilled,” they report. “The documents include the Russian transcript, published for the first time, of NATO Secretary General Manfred Woerner’s lengthy conversation in Moscow with Supreme Soviet Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov in February 1992, where Woerner outlines the NATO vision of Europe as ‘a new security environment from [the Urals] to the Atlantic … built on three pillars: the Helsinki process, the European economic community, and NATO—a view very close to Russia’s own.”

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