During a period of greater hope for Russia tempered by uncertainties, President Bill Clinton sought both to enlarge NATO and build a strategic partnership between the Alliance and Moscow. As part of his National Security Council staff, we three worked on the approach that produced the 1997 “Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation.” It formalized a NATO-Russia relationship that we thought of as a potential “alliance with the Alliance” and contained security assurances for Moscow.
While the Founding Act produced tangible results in its early years, Europe today faces an aggressive, revanchist Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions have destroyed the basis for cooperation. NATO should suspend the Founding Act and, in particular, renounce its assurance regarding the stationing of conventional forces on the territory of new member states.
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