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West's Attitude to Russia as an 'Expansionist State' a 'Fatal Mistake' - Analyst

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Attempts to talk with Russia from a position of strength cause "serious misunderstandings" and lead to conflict between Moscow and the West, German scholar Gabriele Krone-Schmalz believes.

Western countries consider Russia to be an expansionist state; this is a "fatal mistake," former correspondent of the German ARD TV Channel in the USSR, Gabriele Krone-Schmalz, told Luzerner Zeitung.

The analyst noted that Russian foreign policy is exclusively strategic and defensive in its nature.

She explained that Russia is surrounded by potential enemies and feels vulnerable, especially amid the massive eastward expansion of NATO.

READ MORE: Putin Hopes West Gets Tired of Sanctions Path, Ties With Russia Become Normal

"Exactly in these aspects, the West has shown its unwillingness to understand and respect the Russian perspective. It is also convinced that its views are morally right and that Russia must be forced into a Western-style democracy," the newspaper wrote, referring to the analyst.

Krone-Schmalz criticized Western states for their inability to accept and respect Moscow's position. In particular, the analyst believes, that NATO should refrain from accepting Georgia and Ukraine into its ranks, while the EU countries must abandon their attempts to force the Western model of democratization on Russia.

"In dealing with Russia, the position of strength is quite appropriate, but it must be combined with a policy of detente, which takes the position of the other side seriously," the former correspondent said.

According to the analyst, such an approach could help reduce tensions in relations between the two parties.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: German Book Author Says 'Mr. Putin's Geopolitics Is Predictable'

Earlier, the expert said in an exclusive interview with Sputnik that ordinary people in Russia and Germany strive for peace and good relationships. She also noted that cooperation between the EU, on the one hand, and Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union, on the other, would be a win-win situation for both parties.

"Unfortunately, this is not reflected in the mainstream media and political statements," she concluded.

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