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Brzezinski calls for NATO assurances

PR dla Zagranicy
Jo Harper 30.06.2015 11:42
Russia needs to be assured Ukraine will not join NATO, former US National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, told Der Spiegel in an interview.
Photo: PAP / Piotr WittmanPhoto: PAP / Piotr WittmanPAP Piotr Wittman

"But at the same time Ukraine should have the right to freely choose its political identity and link more tightly with Europe if it chooses. That is the solution,” Brzezinski said.

Brzezinski said he supported weapons supplies to Ukraine and said NATO should go to war with Russia if Putin invaded the Baltics.

“If we hung a sign on our house ’We are off, the doors are not closed.’ Do you think that’s a smart security strategy?"

“I do not want war, but I’m not prepared to be intimidated by the assertion that we might provoke a war with a symmetrical response. On the contrary, if we do not react this is the most likely way to bring about a war,” Brzezinski went on.

The 87-year-old, who works at the think-tank Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS ) in Washington, appeared to be his usual realist self. “We have long been in a Cold War. Fortunately, it is still unlikely that it will become a hot conflict.”

“If Ukraine does not break down, then the pressure will force Russia’s leaders at home to look for alternatives,” Brzezinski went on.

Asked if Putin was in fact ‘smart’ enough to look for alternatives, Brzezinski answered: “It’s hard to say. He has definitely over instinctive cunning, he has great finesse. I just wonder why he almost willfully pushed 40 million people in a neighbouring country against him. The Ukrainians had indeed until recently no hostile feelings towards Russia.”

Brzezinski drew a line against comparing the 1930s with today. “Between Putin and Hitler there are similarities and differences. Hitler, for example, was never really interested in getting rich. Putin is. Perhaps this life perspective is able to moderate his political passions. But it is particularly dangerous that Putin is a player.” (jh)

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