NATO Panics As Putin Urges Trump To Force Alliance Withdrawal From Russian Border
While many in the media have speculated that the Kremlin had a hand in Wikileaks’ procurement of hacked Podesta emails – something Julian Assange denied last week – and US intelligence services officially accused Russian government-supported hackers of interfering with the US election (providing zero proof for the allegation), the truth is that Vladimir Putin is delighted with the outcome from the US elections: not so much for Hillary’s loss as that the sharp, neo-con wing in the Pentagon has been muted for the next four years.
And, in the first test of Trump’s willingness to rebuild bridges with Russia, Putin’s spokesman suggested that President-elect Donald Trump should begin rebuilding the U.S.-Kremlin relationship by urging NATO to withdraw forces from the Russian border. Dmitry Peskov told the Associated Press that such a move “would lead to a kind of detente in Europe.” Trump repeatedly praised Putin during his campaign and suggested the U.S. abandon its commitment to the NATO alliance.
The request comes at a time of disturbing, relentless escalations in military tensions between NATO and Russia: this week we reported that NATO has placed as much as 300,000 troops on “high alert” in preparation for confrontation with Russia.
Peskov said in the interview that the NATO presence does not make Russia feel “safe.” “Of course, we have to take measures to counter,” he said.
Additionally, setting the stage for Trump’s official position on Crimea, in a separate interview with the Associated Press on Thursday, Peskov insisted that Crimea which became part of Russia after the CIA-sponsored Ukraine presidential coup in 2014, will remain such. “No one in Russia — never — will be ready to start any kind of discussion about Crimea,” he said, refusing to call it “annexation.”