15:47 GMT15 January 2021
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    Austrian journalist Von Marco Maier argues that Russia has conducted itself in an extremely restrained manner amid constant NATO provocations.

    In an article for the Austrian weekly Contra Magazin this week, journalist Von Marco Maier argues that by ignoring US provocations in the form of NATO exercises right on its borders, Russia is saving the world from a new World War.

    "US warships are putting around in the Black Sea, NATO is holding exercises only a few hundred meters from the Russian border, a rocket shield aimed against Russia [is being built] – the list of provocations by the US and its NATO vassals is long," Maier argues. "However, the reaction of "the 'Russian Bear' looks more like the friendly Baloo from The Jungle Book than an aggressive grizzly…Even if Moscow ever decides to flex its muscles, it will not be in order to provoke; that is NATO's specialty."

    Maier's article, entitled "Military Maneuvers: Equal Rights for All?" asks how the US would react if Russia conducted military exercises near Florida: "Imagine if Russia and China, together with Cuba and Venezuela, were to hold military maneuvers…directly in the Gulf of Mexico, right in the United States' backyard. Imagine the outcry in Washington, the massive media smear campaign that would unfold in the face of this 'indescribable military provocation'. One can only imagine…"

    Maier reminds readers that in accordance with the Monroe Doctrine, all of America is considered to be within the US's sphere of influence, and that the US government doesn't tolerate lightly other powers in the region "even while the military playground of the US has long been the whole world." The journalist recalls that "Cuba and Venezuela, as well as Ecuador and Brazil, are already a painful thorn in the side of the 'Monroeists'."

    Maier believes that it is only thanks to Russia's present leadership that Russia has not responded in kind to US actions. "It would be perfectly in their right to do so. Namely, if American battleships 'play war' along the Russian maritime border, it would only be fair if Russian warships conducted their exercises in the Caribbean."

    The article concludes that if "another man were president of Russia," Russia would have responded to US provocation, "and the world would be brought one step closer to a new World War. We Europeans especially should be grateful to Mr. Putin for his prudence."

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    NATO, expert opinion, opinion piece, opinion, Von Marco Maier, Vladimir Putin, Russia, US
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