27 September 2023,   09:21
NATO’s membership expansion is one reason why Russia invaded Ukraine - Republican candidate for the US presidency

Republican 2024 presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy tells NatSec Daily that NATO’s membership expansion is one reason why Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, writes POLITICO.

“I know you’re not supposed to say that, but it’s factually true,” he said. “NATO expansion has been a disaster”. Ramaswamy cited the example of Russia invading Georgia shortly after the alliance in 2008 said the country would eventually become a member.

He spoke to POLITICO reporters in their offices Monday just one day after he told ABC News that the U.S. could end the fighting by making “some major concessions” to Russia. NatSec Daily pressed him after the meeting on what that would mean.

“Putin would end [up] with Crimea and most of the Donbas”, he told us. Furthermore, NATO should vow that Ukraine won’t join the alliance and the U.S. should restore “full economic relations” with Russia. “Those are big concessions. There’s the deal I would love for us to do: freeze the lines of control, Korean War style, armistice agreement”.

NatSec Daily pointed out that the U.S. has nearly 30,000 troops on the peninsula to keep the war from restarting. “NATO can have oversight and visibility capabilities,” he responded, but “I do not believe we need actual troops on the ground in Ukraine”.

Ramaswamy believes a deal is required to stop Russia from moving closer to China — a stronger bond between them makes an invasion of Taiwan more likely, he said. In exchange for America’s approval for seizing Ukrainian territory, Russia would be required to cease joint military exercises with China, remove nuclear weapons from Kaliningrad and the ones on their way to Belarus, as well as end its military presence in the Western Hemisphere, specifically Cuba and Venezuela.

If the U.S. can make that deal, well then “we have now completely secured our objectives,” he said.