“Will the body language emanating from Washington, Kyiv and every European capital be enough to provide some commercial space if he wants to? Yes. But he didn’t seem to pick it up,” Mr. Kupchan said.
He added: “I think that back in the early 1990s, it was too easy for the US foreign policy establishment to overrule Russia’s objections to NATO expansion. “That being said, when I step back from the events of the last few months, the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO looks more like a smokescreen to me than the crux of the matter,” Putin said.
Understanding Russia’s Attack on Ukraine
What is the root cause of this invasion? Russia considers Ukraine to be inside its natural sphere of influence, and it became irritated by Ukraine’s proximity to the West and the prospect of it joining NATO or the European Union. Although Ukraine is also not included in this category, it receives financial and military aid from the United States and Europe.
Andrew S. Weiss, head of the Russia and Eurasian program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that Russia made impossible demands from the start, but the illusion of diplomacy sparked a contest Political discourse in the West made Mr. Putin’s Purpose. Moscow, he said, focuses “quite deftly on age-old complaints about Ukraine’s theory of qualifying for NATO membership, knowing full well that this problem plagues a lot of people in the West.”
“The United States has engaged in an old and predictable academic debate with ourselves about whether the policies of previous administrations are provocative,” Mr. Weiss said. necessary for the Kremlin or not”. He added that that discussion fell into the hands of “isolationists like former President Trump, who argue that U.S. alliances are an unnecessary burden and that Americans should protect their borders with Mexico is better.”
“In Europe, where anti-Americanism and Ukraine are below the surface, the Kremlin’s Potemkin diplomacy is paying off,” Mr. Weiss said.
Kori Schake, director of defense and foreign policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, said it was difficult to know if Putin would ever take diplomacy seriously. But she said he might have expected the extreme pressure of an invasion to disrupt the West and win him some concessions. “Underestimating the unification of the West, he may have felt trapped and unable to retreat with nothing to show for,” she said.
It is also possible that Putin was shaken by the quality of the Biden administration’s intelligence, including access to his war plans, “and in a fit of rage pulled the trigger,” Schake said.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/us/politics/biden-russia-diplomacy.html State Department says Moscow’s Ukraine diplomacy is a ‘pretend’