"Too bad, Vladimir, you looked for it": the former head of American diplomacy, Hillary Clinton, mocked Tuesday, September 26, Russian President Vladimir Putin, about the enlargement of NATO since the invasion of Ukraine by Moscow. The former diplomat was speaking at the State Department where her official portrait was unveiled, accompanied by former President Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State Antony Blinken. "It was a real point of contention. And we have always said that no one is forced to join NATO, that people choose and want to join NATO," she said in a short speech.
Finland, which became a member this year, and Sweden, still waiting, sought to join the Western military alliance after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, turning the page on decades of neutrality. The Russian president partly used the enlargement of NATO to Eastern Europe and the prospect of Ukraine's eventual membership as a pretext to justify the invasion, which in response sparked massive Western support for Kiev.
When she led US diplomacy in 2009, under President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton led the famous "Reset" of relations between Washington and Moscow, already quite bad after the attack, the previous year, of another former Soviet republic, Georgia, by Russia. But relations between the two powers had deteriorated again when President Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012, who personally accused Hillary Clinton of fomenting protests by Russian opposition officials.
Democratic candidate for the White House in 2016, she was defeated by Donald Trump, amid accusations of Russian interference in the presidential election.