In their arrogance, American policymakers have stopped listened to anything but their own propaganda. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:
American foreign policy, wrapped up in hubris inside American exceptionalism, is incapable of recognizing a dangerous situation.
And a dangerous situation is what we have.
The Russian deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov speaking for the Kremlin has made it clear that Russia will tolerate no further movement of NATO toward Russia’s borders. Russia has ruled out any possibility of the former Russian provinces of Ukraine and Georgia becoming NATO members. If this red line is ignored, the consequences, Ryabkov said, “will be dire.” Russia will respond militarily, and the West, he said, will find it has undermined its own security, not Russia’s.
In other words, as the Kremlin sees it, the incorporation of Ukraine and/or Georgia into NATO is an unacceptable threat to Russian national security. Period. It is not negotiable.
In a rational world such an unequivocal statement by a preeminent military power with hypersonic nuclear missiles would be taken seriously. But the Western World is no longer rational. It is a world drunk on arrogance. The NATO secretary replied to what is, in effect, an ultimatum from a nuclear power by rejecting out of hand that power’s security concern: “Whether Ukraine joins NATO is up to the bloc’s member states and its leadership, and Moscow doesn’t have input into the decision.” The idiot NATO secretary went on to boast, foolishly, that NATO was so little impressed with Russian objections that NATO was “already training Ukrainian troops and consulting with them, and are conducting joint exercises and providing military supplies and technology.”