From NATO: For its part, NATO’s goals are to protect its members and to promote international stability, democracy, and the rule of law.

We believe that every country should have the right to exercise its legitimate and sovereign rights – including the right to join or not to join an alliance. NATO will keep an open door.

We do not accept the idea that large countries have spheres of interest that give them license to dominate their neighbors.

And we are eager to work with others, including Russia, to enhance the stability and prosperity of the Euro-Atlantic community, and indeed, the entire world.

Excerpt from Remarks by Madeleine K. Albright at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. (photo: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters)