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    Pressured by US & UK, Western States Try to Smear Russia – Political Scientist

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    Expulsion of Russian Diplomats Over Skripal Case (109)
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    Commenting on the Skripal case amid heightened tensions between Russia and the West, Aydın Sezer, political scientist and head of the Turkey and Russia Center of Studies (TURAM) in Istanbul, has told Sputnik that the United States and the UK are trying to influence western countries’ decisions and actions towards Russia.

    In an interview with Sputnik Türkiye, Aydın Sezer said that Western governments had launched a smear campaign against Russia and President Vladimir Putin. Sezer explained that according to various opinion polls held in different countries, the Russian President is considered to be a credible foreign head of state, with people showing great sympathy towards him.

    “Taking advantage of the “Skripal case,” the West tries to foment anti-Russia and anti-Putin sentiments. Western governments are concerned over Putin’s positive image, the high level of public trust in him and recent developments, contributing to his growing assertiveness in the international political arena,” Sezer told Sputnik.

    READ MORE: Russian Envoy to US: Skripal Case Pretext to Launch Long-Planned Smear Campaign

    The political scientist proceeded to say that the West tries to stir up divisions within Putin’s entourage and form a large-scale anti-Russia coalition.

    “I suppose that the United States and the United Kingdom have exerted certain pressure on western countries in order to ensure a massive expulsion of Russian diplomatic workers. […] Firstly, it’s a personal attack on Putin’s ‘immunity,’ public trust in him. His image is the key objective of this attack; they try to find ways how to divide Putin’s inner circle and provoke him into any political miscalculation. Secondly, we see it clearly that when pressured by the US and the UK, the West tries to take a collective stand against Russia. They try to present Russia as a serious threat to the world order under the pretext of ‘acting in solidarity.’ This shows that such actions are part of a well-planned anti-Russia campaign,” Sezer concluded.

    Earlier this week, more than 25 countries, including EU member-states, the US, Canada and many others, ordered the collective expulsion of more than 150 Russian diplomats in solidarity with the UK, which had expelled 23 diplomatic workers as a response to Moscow’s alleged involvement in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, former Russian spy. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov promised to provide symmetrical measures against all those countries, sending back the same number of their diplomats from Russia.

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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    Expulsion of Russian Diplomats Over Skripal Case (109)

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    Skripal case, diplomatic expulsions, Vladimir Putin, United Kingdom, United States, Russia
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