The West has committed serious mistakes in its relationship with Russia, including its reaction to the reunification with Crimea, all stemming from when George W. Bush advocated Ukraine’s accession to NATO. That would have meant that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet would have been stationed in a NATO area, according to a prominent German politician.
There is a need for a new security architecture in Europe, key German politician and The Left (Die Linke) party deputy Gregor Gysi said in an interview with German daily Die Welt.
However such a system can’t be introduced “without or against Russia” as there would be neither peace nor security in Europe.
Meanwhile, the politician said, Europe and the US have committed serious mistakes in their relationship with Russia, repeatedly disregarding its interests. As an example, he recalled the West’s attack on Yugoslavia and the intervention into Iraq.
“When the West attacked Serbia without the resolution of the UN Security Council, Moscow drew its conclusions: if you violate the law, then it no longer applies to us,” he told the newspaper.
Another example is the deployment of missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic.
“Imagine that Russia deployed its missiles in Mexico under the pretext that it is defending itself from Colombia. Would the Americans have believed it?” he wondered.
Likewise, the Russians don’t believe the announced purpose of the deployment of US missiles in Eastern Europe, he explained.
With regards to Russia’s reunification with Crimea and Western retaliatory measures, the politician explained that it all dates back to when George W. Bush advocated Ukraine’s accession in NATO.
That would have meant that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet would have been stationed in the NATO zone, and President Putin’s response was reunification with the Peninsula.
Even though the politician denounced Russia’s move as “violating the international law,” he nevertheless said that western anti-Russian sanctions were a mistake as they are hitting the European economy harder than they are hitting Russian.
Moreover, he added, Russia is looking for alternative markets in Asia and Latin America. And if successful, Moscow will need Europe significantly less.
“We are already seeing that Putin, in response to the sanctions, does everything to weaken Europe. He has reconciled with Recep Tayyip Erdogan and will continue his course. You can tell only later what the fallout from this will be,” said Gregor Gysi.
The politician reiterated that the EU could have resorted to other measures, such as certain diplomatic steps, adding that after unlawful annexation of Kosovo Russia hadn’t introduced any anti-Western sanctions.
Commenting on the developments in Syria, the politician said that Barack Obama’s major mistake was to tell Putin that Russia is a “regional power.”
He explained that President Putin is the type of person “who fights like a tiger,” and it is plain wrong to say something like this to this type of person.
In addition, in his point of view, “there is no chemistry between Putin and Obama.” As a result, “Putin showed the Americans in Syria that Russia is a world power.”
However he added that if the major powers want peace in Syria, they should take into account the interests of all key players: the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia.
And Russia and the US should find a compromise otherwise no one will win, he added.
The politician also criticized the EU, saying that at the moment it is “neither democratic nor socially just.” It is “bureaucratic and non-transparent.”
“Look at how they negotiated the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US. As if they were secret talks!” he exclaimed.
Nevertheless, the EU has achieved a lot, he said, citing as a major achievement the absence of wars between its member countries.
“If the EU collapses, the old conflicts between nation states would flare up sooner or later and maybe one day would trigger new wars. That’s why we have to save the EU,” he finally stated.