Bush warned Obama about Russia’s plans for Crimea, NYT reports

21 February, 07:31 AM
George W. Bush (Photo:REUTERS/Jason Reed)

George W. Bush (Photo:REUTERS/Jason Reed)

In a 2009 memo to his successor Barack Obama, former U.S. President George W. Bush warned that Russia might attack Ukraine, using Crimea as a jumping-off point, The New York Times reported on Feb. 14.

In recently declassified memos, Bush told Obama that “Russian attempts to challenge the territorial integrity of Ukraine, particularly in Crimea, which is 59 percent ethnically Russian and is home to the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet, must be prevented.”

Furthermore, the former president wrote that “Russia will exploit Europe’s dependence on Russian energy” and use political means “to drive wedges between the United States and Europe.”

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These documents suggest that Bush, universally criticized for U.S. foreign policy during his tenure, was prescient in predicting Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine five years before the illegal annexation of Crimea, and 13 years before the ongoing full-scale invasion of the country.

The memos also touched on a number of other countries, vis-à-vis their relationship with the United States.

“India is a friend. Pakistan is not. Don’t trust North Korea or Iran, but talking is still better than not,” G. W. Bush wrote.

“Watch out for Russia; it covets the territory of its neighbor Ukraine. Beware becoming ensnared by intractable land wars in the Middle East and Central Asia.”

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