Russia Encircled by Hostile NATO States: Arms Control Expert
BRICS, 5 Jun 2017
Kozin said that it is a “fairy tale” that Russia interfered in the U.S. election.
27 May 2017 – On a recent two-week trip to Russia with a delegation of 30 Americans organized by the Center for Citizen Initiatives, we had the opportunity to have informative meetings with numerous people, including the following military leader.
Vladimir Kozin is an arms control specialist and a member of the Russian Academy of Military Science who has worked on arms control issues since the 1970s. Kozin said that Russians see themselves being encircled by NATO. Of the 16 countries bordering Russia, eight have anti-Russia sentiments. He noted that the U.S. military budget is 12 times greater than that of Russia and increasing.
Kozin said that it is a “fairy tale” that Russia interfered in the U.S. election. What is NOT a fairy tale is that the U.S. spent a huge amount of money to influence Russian elections in the past and funded 400 Non-Governmental Organizations which were part of the destabilization campaign in Ukraine leading to the 2014 coup.
Regarding key conflict points, Kozin said that Crimea was part of Russia since 1783. He noted that despite the presence of 16,000 Russian troops and 18,000 Ukrainian troops, the Crimea plebiscite to reunify with Russia was handled without violence, with a huge turnout and overwhelming vote in favor.
Regarding hostilities in eastern Ukraine, Kozin questioned why this has happened. If Scotland can consider secession from the U.K. and Catalonia from Spain, what’s wrong with Donbass (eastern Ukraine) wanting more autonomy within Ukraine? Why has Ukrainian President Poroshenko turned to military conflict instead of negotiating with the forces in eastern Ukraine? he asked.
Kozin believes it is vital to have an arms control summit meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. He thinks we should work toward the complete elimination of nuclear weapons by 2045. In the meantime, the easiest way to reduce tension and the risk of war would be an agreement on “No First Use of Nuclear Weapons,” he concluded.
Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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