Gorbachev blasts NATO eastward expansion

RIA Novosti – 2 April 2009

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has criticized NATO’s eastward expansion and the failure by Western powers to keep their promise not to deploy military bases near Russia’s borders.

Gorbachev said in an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper published on Thursday that Western Germany, the United States and other powers had pledged after Germany’s reunification in 1990 that “NATO would not move a centimeter to the east.” …

NATO has enlarged since 1999, admitting three ex-Soviet Baltic republics and four Communist-bloc states in Eastern Europe. The membership was more recently increased on Wednesday, when Albania and Croatia formally joined the alliance.

The expansion has strained relations between the West and Russia, which is concerned by the new military bases emerging along its borders. …