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French Presidential Hopeful Zemmour Explains Why Russia's NATO Expansion Concerns Are 'Legitimate'

© AFP 2022 / GINTS IVUSKANSCanadian military troops stand guard for a picture at the Adazi military base, Latvia on November 29, 2021
Canadian military troops stand guard for a picture at the Adazi military base, Latvia on November 29, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.12.2021
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NATO has repeatedly staged military drills in Russia's backyard, reiterating its drive to continue the alliance's eastward expansion amid growing tensions between Moscow and Washington over Ukraine.
French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour has argued that Russia's cautious stance on NATO's eastward expansion is legitimate, an issue that he said should be considered in light of relations between Moscow and Kiev.

In an interview with the French news network BFM TV, the 63-year-old said that Ukraine has been an integral part of Russia "for centuries", which is why he noted that "you have to understand that the Russians do not want to see the Americans and NATO disembark at their borders".

Part of the reason pertains to Washington's failure to deliver on its pledges given to Moscow in the late 1980s and early 1990s, according to Zemmour.
© REUTERS / CHRISTIAN HARTMANNFrench right-wing commentator Eric Zemmour, a candidate in the 2022 French presidential election, attends a political campaign rally in Villepinte near Paris, France, 5 December 2021.
French right-wing commentator Eric Zemmour, a candidate in the 2022 French presidential election, attends a political campaign rally in Villepinte near Paris, France, 5 December 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.12.2021
French right-wing commentator Eric Zemmour, a candidate in the 2022 French presidential election, attends a political campaign rally in Villepinte near Paris, France, 5 December 2021.

"I want to remind you that when the Berlin Wall was destroyed and the Soviet Union collapsed [in 1991], US President George H.W. Bush promised Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that America would not deploy its troops close to Russia's borders", the journalist-turned-presidential candidate said.

He added given that "the Americans failed to keep their promises", it is absolutely "legitimate" that Russia is "very cautious" about NATO's incessant advance toward its borders.
The remarks come amid simmering tensions between Moscow and Washington over what the US describes as Russia's military buildup near its border with Ukraine.
Servicemember of the 76th Guards Airborne Assault Division during exercises (file). - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.11.2021
Stoltenberg Says No Consensus for Ukraine to Join NATO, Warns Russia Against ‘Aggressive Actions’
Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations made by the West of "aggressive actions", stressing that it does not plan to attack anyone, and that allegations about "Russian aggression" are being used as a pretext to deploy more NATO military equipment closer to Russia's borders.
Russia's Foreign Ministry previously noted that the West's statements about its readiness to help Kiev contain the "Russian threat" are both ridiculous and dangerous.

The Russian Embassy in Washington, in turn, underlined in a statement on its Facebook page that "Russia is not a threat to any country".

"The deployment of Russian troops on the nation's territory is our sovereign right and no one's business. It is NATO and its member states that are recklessly moving their military forces and infrastructure to Russia's borders", the embassy emphasised.
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