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Like Every Nation Russia Has Right to Defend National Interests – Kinzer

© Sputnik / Michael Klimentyev / Go to the photo bankRussian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin - Sputnik International
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The Russian President is acting rationally by confronting US efforts to create a Western foothold in Ukraine, since no country would tolerate the emergence of potential rivals on its borders, US journalist and academic Stephen Kinzer says.

Ukrainian government soldiers sit on top of their vehicle driving on a road stretching away from the town of Artemivsk, Ukraine - Sputnik International
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Ekaterina Blinova — President Putin is acting totally rationally by confronting Washington's efforts to turn Ukraine into a Western foothold and defending Russia's perimeter, since no country would tolerate the emergence of potential rivals near its borders, expert says.

All countries try to prevent the emergence of enemies near its borders, emphasized Stephen Kinzer, an American journalist and academic. "If Mexico was to invite Russia to build a military base in Tijuana, or if Canada were to allow Chinese missiles to be deployed in Vancouver, the United States would certainly react," the expert stressed, adding that the US "would preempt the threat — by military means if necessary."

Russia has a long history of withstanding foreign invasions, including German, Polish, Swedish and French interventions. So far, Moscow has reasonable grounds for trying to create a buffer between its potential rivals and its own state.

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According to the journalist, instead of accusing Moscow of "aggression" in Ukraine, Washington should admit that over the past decades it was wilfully pushing NATO's military power onto Russia's borders, taking advantage of the trusting Mikhail Gorbachev, then-leader of the USSR, in 1991.

The Alliance took over the Baltic States, planning to expand its power over Ukraine, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Remarkably, "Ukraine's piece" of the plan nearly worked, when the US-backed protesters in Kiev ousted Ukraine's democratically elected president

Yanukovych in 2014 and demonstrated their willingness to invite anti-Russian forces into the country, Stephen Kinzer noted. According to Kinzer, no responsible leader could tolerate this. Instead of waiting to be encircled, a country should defend its perimeter.

Regardless of the Western stance, Russian President Vladimir Putin, like any leader, "must devote himself above all to defending his country against foreign power," the expert emphasized. Besides promoting democracy in Ukraine, the West is evidently trying to threaten Russia. However, before sending weaponry and military advisers to Kiev, Washington should answer the question how it would react if Russia did the same in Mexico or Canada, the journalist concluded.

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