Presidents Vladimir Putin and Bill Clinton, 06.05.2000 © Vladimir Rodionov / Sputnik
Russian President Vladimir Putin once suggested to then-US president Bill Clinton that Russia join the Washington-led military alliance, Putin said in an interview with American film director Oliver Stone.
“I remember one of our last meetings with President Clinton, when Clinton was still in office. He visited Moscow and during a discussion I said, ‘So, what if [we] consider an option of Russia maybe joining NATO,’” Putin said in one of his conversations with Stone.
While Clinton replied that he “didn’t mind,” the rest of the American delegation became visibly nervous, Putin went on to say, smiling.
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Update: Putin asked Bill Clinton to consider option Russia might join NATO (TASS)
Update #2: Trust but Verify: Putin Asked if Russia Could Join NATO to Gauge Bloc Intentions (Sputnik)
WNU Editor: I know there was a push near the end of President Clinton's term for Russia to join NATO. Why it never panned out is a question that I would love to have the answer to. Was it because it died when the incoming Bush administration killed it .... or 9/11 diverted U.S. focus away from Russia to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Was it the Russians changing their mind? Was it just because no one decided to carry it further? I am hoping that Oliver Stone asked these questions. When will we find out .... The Putin Interviews is a four-night event beginning on June 12th at 9PM ET on the U.S. cable channel SHOWTIME. The trailer to this special is below.