MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. NATO expansion eastwards and the former Soviet Union republics’ joining it dashed hopes for a continent without dividing lines, Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote in an article "Being Open, Despite the Past" timed for the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Soviet Union’s 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany.
"Since 1999, five more "waves" of NATO expansion have followed. Fourteen new countries, including the former Soviet Union republics, joined the organization, effectively dashing hopes for a continent without dividing lines," Putin said in the article published on the Kremlin’s website on Tuesday.
This was warned about in the mid-1980s by Egon Bahr, one of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) leaders, who proposed a radical restructuring of the entire European security system after German unification, involving both the USSR and the United States, Russian President noted. "But no one in the USSR, the USA or Europe was willing to listen to him at the time," he added.