The NATO Founding Act was agreed to between the US and Russia in 1997 in order to provide to Russia’s leader Boris Yeltsin some modicum of assurance that America wouldn’t invade his country. When his predecessor Mikhail Gorbachev had ended the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact military alliance in 1991, the representatives of US President GHW Bush told him that NATO wouldn’t move «one inch to the east» (toward Russia), but as soon as Gorbachev committed himself to end the Cold War, Bush told his agents, regarding what they had all promised to Gorbachev (Bush’s promise which had been conveyed through them), «To hell with that! We prevailed, they didn’t». 

In other words: Bush’s prior instructions to them were merely his lies to Gorbachev, his lies to say that the US wouldn’t try to conquer Russia (move its forces eastward to Russia’s borders); but, now, since Gorbachev was committed and had already agreed that East Germany was to be reunited with and an extension of West Germany (and the process for doing that had begun), Bush pulled that rug of lies out from under the end of the Cold War – it didn’t really end (though Gorbachev had been deceived to think it had) – and then began the long process after that time, to surround Russia by NATO troops and missiles and then (as Obama with even greater intensity has been aiming to do) ultimately to swallow it up, like it swallowed Ukraine in February 2014, right on Russia’s doorstep.

Yeltsin was mortified that Bush’s successor Bill Clinton was in the process of trashing that promise which Bush’s agents had given to Gorbachev, and that Clinton was allowing into NATO the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland (three countries that formally joined NATO two years later, in 1999); so, this NATO Founding Act was the only ‘assurance’ Russia had, to indicate that the US government wasn’t going to place the Russian government into an intolerable position of nuclear war: Russia’s being surrounded by NATO nuclear missiles on and near Russia’s borders.