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Bringing Russia in

The expansion of Nato will serve no clear defensive purpose and is likely to strengthen reactionary forces in Russia. Rodric Braithwaite, former British ambassador in Moscow, argues that acknowledging Russia's desire to be part of a European settlement is not appeasement but good sense

At the beginning of July Nato’s leaders will invite a handful of central European countries to negotiate for membership of the alliance. They hope thereby to disprove Thucydides’s first law of international relations: “They that have odds of power exact as much as they can, and the weak yield to such conditions as they can get.”

Over the centuries one great power after another has threatened the stability of Europe. The threat from France ended in 1815, that from Germany in 1945. Both times the victors were intelligent and self-interested enough to bring the defeated as equals into the comity…

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