‘Russia Would Attack NATO Only In Mad Person’s Dream’ –
June 06, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - "RT"
- Russia is not building up its offensive military
capabilities overseas and is only responding to security threats caused by US
and NATO military expansion on its borders, Russian President Vladimir Putin
told Italian outlet Il Corriere della Sera.
the paper on the eve of his visit to Italy, Putin stressed that one should not
take the ongoing “Russian aggression” scaremongering in the West
seriously, as a global military conflict is unimaginable in the modern world.
“I think that only an insane person and only in a dream can imagine that
Russia would suddenly attack NATO. I think some countries are simply taking
advantage of people’s fears with regard to Russia. They just want to play the
role of front-line countries that should receive some supplementary military,
economic, financial or some other aid,” Putin said.
Certain countries could be deliberately nurturing such fears,
he added, saying that hypothetically the US could need an external threat to
maintain its leadership in the Atlantic community. “Iran is clearly not very
scary or big enough” for this, Putin noted with irony.
Russia’s President invited the journalists to compare the
global military presence of Russia and the US/NATO, as well as their military
spending levels. He also urged them to look at the steps each side has taken in
connection with the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty since the collapse of the
Russia’s military policy is “not global, offensive, or
aggressive,” Putin stressed, adding that Russia has “virtually no bases
abroad,” and the few that do exist are remnants of its Soviet past.
He explained that there were small contingents of Russian
armed forces in Tajikistan on the border with Afghanistan, mainly due to the
high terrorist threat in the area. There is an airbase in Kyrgyzstan, which was
opened at request of the Kyrgyz authorities to deal with a terrorist threat
there. Russia also has a military unit in Armenia, which was set up to help
maintain stability in the region, not to counter any outside threat.
In fact, Russia has been working towards downsizing its global military
presence, while the US has been doing the exact opposite. “We have
dismantled our bases in various regions of the world, including Cuba, Vietnam,
and so on,” the president stressed. “I invite you to publish a world
map in your newspaper and to mark all the US military bases on it. You will see
Meanwhile, it would take only 17 minutes for missiles launched
from US submarines on permanent alert off Norway’s coast to reach Moscow, Putin
said, noting that this fact is somehow not labeled as “aggression” in
the media. The US has carried out the oft-cited strategic bomber flights along
Russia’s borders since Soviet times without interruption, while Russia stopped
them in the early 1990s and has only resumed them just recently.
The combined military spending of NATO countries is ten times
higher than that of the Russian Federation, Putin stressed.
America has been setting up “anti-missile systems, bases
and radars located in the European territory or in the sea,” despite
Russia’s repeated warnings that this undermines international security.
Revealingly, it is the United States that chose to withdraw from the ABM treaty
limiting anti-ballistic missile arsenals, which Putin believes was “the
cornerstone of the entire international security system.” The Russian
leader questioned the move: “Did someone expect Russia to disarm
He explained that Moscow had tried to dissuade the US from
withdrawing from the treaty, and instead “create an ABM system together, the
three of us: Russia, the United States and Europe.” This proposal was
declined, and Russia had to, likewise, begin developing “overpowering
anti-ballistic defense” systems to ensure strategic balance. According to
Putin, Russia has made “significant strides in this area.”
“Everything we do is just a response to the threats
emerging against us. Besides, what we do is limited in scope and scale, but is,
however, sufficient to ensure Russia’s security,”
Nevertheless, Putin said he views America not as Russia’s
rival, but rather as a partner and ally on many pressing world issues, such as
global terrorism, Middle Eastern crises and Iran’s nuclear program.
“We are not just partners; I would say we are allies in addressing the
issues related to non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We are
undoubtedly allies in the fight against terrorism. There are some other areas of
collaboration as well. The central theme of Expo Milano…is yet another example
of our joint work,” Putin said.
Expo Milano 2015 is an international gathering in Milan, Italy, which this year
has been promoted under the slogan “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” and
which Putin will also be visiting. Russia is taking part in the event,
presenting its own technologies and innovations.
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