US foreign policy shares much of the blame for what is happening now in Eastern Europe. This isn’t solely the fault of the Obama administration either. When the Soviet Union began to fall, President Reagan promised Russia that NATO would not encroach on Russia’s borders. The promise was that if Mr Gorbachev would remove the Berlin Wall, then Germany is as far as NATO would go and the former Soviet republics could choose to remain independent or align themselves with a democratic Russia.
We lied. The agreement largely held through Bush I, but beginning with the Clinton administration and moving forward, we have reneged on our word time after time. The fruit of our dishonestly is more than just about NATO, the EU and free trade. We have sought to destabilize the region in order to weaken the rule of Vladimir Putin. At some point we should stop, and now would be a good time to cease our behind the scenes efforts to effect regime change in Ukraine.
If our word is to ever count for something, then we must hold our government accountable when it steps out of line. Right now we’ve not only crossed the line, we’ve stomped it in disdain as we crossed.