News Release

Expert: NATO Expansion Cause of Conflict with Russia

DAVID GIBBS, dgibbs@email.arizona.edu
Gibbs is a professor of history at the University of Arizona who has written extensively on NATO.

He said today: “As we approach the 2021 NATO Summit meeting, it is worth recalling how much the alliance has weakened world security since the end of the Cold War, by inflaming relations with Russia. It is often forgotten that the cause of the current conflict arose from a 1990 U.S. promise that NATO would never be expanded into the former communist states of Eastern Europe. Not ‘one inch to the East,’ Russian leaders were promised by the U.S. Secretary of State at the time, James Baker. Despite this promise, NATO soon expanded into Eastern Europe, eventually placing the alliance up against Russia’s borders. The present-day U.S.-Russian conflict is the direct result of this expansion.”