Why are a nation's stated objectives often ignored in international politics?

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The Politicus
May 16, 2022 07:59 PM 0 Answers
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The Russian State has been clear about its motivations in the recent Ukrainian conflict. Notably, its objection to NATO expansion. However, much Western media, Western discussion, and even Western politicians disregard Russia's stated motivations as "Russian propaganda".

This phenomenon is not unique to Russia, I've noticed that European countries will e.g. have marches condemning Israel when Israel is attacked, selectively adhering to specific events yet ignoring other events. Similarly we've seen this happen with e.g. the United States' attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, NATO's attack on Libya, and many other conflicts from recent memory to before I was born. I would say that presenting both sides of a conflict is the exception, not the norm. Rather, many conflicts are narrated as "bad guys" vs "good guys" by the media, and more importantly treated as such by governments whether they interfere or not.

I can understand that some issues may look different from different points of view. Back to the Russian-Ukrainian example, surely the West would see NATO as not "expanding", but rather as "welcoming new members". But why is the Russian point of view disregarded so easily by Western politicians? Is not the first step of conflict resolution to understand the other side's concerns? I see these concerns outright dismissed by Western politicians (and media):

To be clear, I am not excusing Russian actions in the current conflict. This question concerns the general phenomenon of politicians' disregard of "the enemy"'s point of view, using the specific example of disregard in Western government discourse of the Russian point of view (especially voiced Russian concerns before and after the invasion). This prevents practical application of regard for such concerns, which e.g. could have possibly prevented the Ukrainian invasion by addressing Russian concerns at the NATO-Russia meeting in January.

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