Richard Nixon, Beyond Peace (1994):

Any attempt to reestablish the Russian empire by force, coercion, or destabilization of its neighbors would be contrary to U.S. interests. To avoid any possible misunderstanding, the American government should make this clear to the Russian leadership at the outset. In addition, the other newly independent states need to be reassured that America’s desire for partnership with Russia does not imply neglect of their security interests

If Russia were to revert to authoritarianism, a strong Ukraine would be a vital deterrent to aggression. A prescription for disaster in Europe would be a weak, vulnerable Ukraine joining forces with a newly imperialist Russia. Also, Ukraine is far more likely to follow through on its disarmament commitments if our relations with it remain strong. We should move forward on the full range of cooperative policies, including military-to-military contacts, economic assistance, and wide-ranging educational exchanges. Once Ukraine adopts real economic reforms, every assistance program open to Russia should be open to Ukraine. Moscow may question our efforts to build up Ukraine. Its concerns will be understandable. We can ease them by finding ways to be pro-Ukraine that do not appear anti-Russian and by stressing that our policy is based on the manifestly correct view that our interests and those of Moscow and Kiev will benefit from both nations’ being strong, open, and free.