Already 20 years ago, it was clear to everyone who studied security policy that a NATO enlargement to the east would sooner or later lead to war. The agreement on Germany's unification in 1990 stated that NATO could not move to the eastern part of Germany. An extension beyond Germany, to Central Europe, was completely unacceptable. Moscow received promises from all Western leaders that this would never happen. The man behind NATO's policies during the Cold War, George Kennan, in 1997 described a NATO enlargement to the east as a mistake of "epic proportions". Anyone who, contrary to expectation, should not have realized that it would lead to war, was reminded of it by Vladimir Putin's speech. . .
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