Sunday, September 24

The day Russia wanted to join NATO

DFor 73 years they have watched, threatened and spied on each other, although they have never fought directly. Their respective histories are so intertwined that one cannot be understood without the other. What few know is that they have also courted each other, as in the Summit of the Big Four, in the image above, in Geneva, in 1955. From the top right, in a clockwise direction, you can see the representatives from the United States, France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union.

By then, the USSR had been secretly negotiating its accession to NATO for a year. “But are they ruskis sincere?” asked Eisenhower, president of the United States. and first military chief of the Atlantic Alliance. He decided it was a ruse, the talks fell through, and the Cold War began. It is surprising, however, that —despite the fact that historians still have much to dig into in classified military archives and in the no less discreet maneuvers of diplomacy— on at least four occasions the Soviet Union and then Russia asked to join the Atlantic Alliance.

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