03:51 GMT05 August 2020
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    The UK's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is poised to call on the other NATO states to keep on pressuring Russia. However, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted that the organization is open to talks with Moscow. Sputnik discussed this with Daniel Kovalik, lawyer and author of "The Plot to Scapegoat Russia."

    Sputnik: What in your view is Britain's Foreign Secretary attempting to do with his proposal to punish Russia for 'reckless behavior'?

    Daniel Kovalik: What clearly is happening is that Great Britain and the United States have decided that they want to weaken competitors like Russia, China, and Iran. That's what this is really about, so they continue to find pretexts to do that, and so when we talk about reckless behavior, it's hard to think about any countries more reckless then the US and Great Britain in the world, just look at the chaos they have unleashed in the Middle East. So you have to look beyond the claims to what the geopolitical interests are and that is to try to weaken a reemerging Russia.

    Sputnik: But why at this time? Russia has been reemerging since after the fall of the Soviet Union, what is it exactly about the timing? And if what you're saying is true, why would this attempt be made now?

    Daniel Kovalik: First of all, there was a long period after the collapse of the Soviet Union where Russia was in fact a failed state under Boris Yeltsin who, of course, the US worked mightily to keep in power for as long as they could, and truthfully Russia didn't appear on the world stage until about 2014-2015, when it started to engage more in places like Ukraine and Syria.

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    So really this is a newer situation where I think the West sees Russia playing an important role in the world and gaining credibility in the world, particularly in the Middle East. So that is what it's about, and that's why the timing we have, and I think meanwhile Russia is getting more credibility in the world the West is losing credibility.

    You know, people now realize, as they should've all along, that the invasion of Iraq was wrong, was a failure, was based on lies, we continue to reap a whirlwind from that situation, of course, the US and Great Britain were the key actors in that, so you look at Libya as well, the NATO to interference there, the West is now being shown not to be the great purveyor of freedom and democracy it claims to be, and so I think the West is desperate, and they're trying to undermine countries that are, quite frankly, outshining them at this point.

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    Sputnik: You've said that you feel that Russia has gained credibility, can you elaborate on that?

    Daniel Kovalik: Throughout a lot of the third world Russia is been reached out to as a stable and reliable ally. If you look at countries that are being sanctioned and marginalized by the US and Great Britain, countries like Venezuela, for example, they are seeking out Russia for help, but I also think in the Middle East as well. I think Russia is being seen by many as frankly having the more coherent strategy in that region.

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    Frankly, Russia has embarrassed the US and Great Britain in terms of its strategy there and the West is now trying to catch up. At the same time I think Russia is a convenient enemy because of the history of the Cold War between the West and the Soviet Union, and incredibly today you often hear people slip when they talk about Russia, they refer to it as the Soviet Union, or talk about Putin as a communist even though he's not; he is anything but.

    I think a lot of that is tapping into old feelings against Russia and it is just a very easy thing to do.

    Sputnik: Boris Johnson is said to ask NATO to maintain this momentum over Russia's 'reckless and destabilizing behavior', what kind of action do you think we can expect on the part of NATO? And will he have support of all NATO allies?

    Daniel Kovalik: What NATO could do more to frankly provoke Russia I don't know, NATO's already up to the Russian border, already has missiles up to the Russian frontier, I'm not sure what else they can do to antagonize Russia, and I don't think that all the countries are willing to go along, it seems to me that Germany is becoming a bit tired of all this anti-Russian hysteria, for example. Again, I think, what Boris Johnson is doing, let's face it, has as much to do with the internal politics of the UK as anything, I think this is for the consumption of the British people who do not like Theresa May, this is a way to divert attention away from domestic policies that are unpopular, this is a classic slide of hand which I think both Theresa May and Boris Johnson are engaged in, and I hope that people in Britain will see through that.

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    Sputnik: What do you think is going to come out of the UK Skripal issue?

    Daniel Kovalik: I think we're not hearing much about it because as far as I can tell the narrative fell apart, there wasn't much to the story, it got a lot of attraction immediately but as the facts came out, I think, there is not enough evidence that Russia was involved in whatever happened to the Skripals, they never had even a motive.

    Sputnik: Despite everything that Boris Johnson said the NATO chief is still saying that he's very open to talks with Russia, do you think that there's much hope for normalization of a relationship between Russia and NATO?

    Daniel Kovalik: I think there should be, I myself don't see you Russia as an adversary or a threat to the West and I think Russia would like to have friendly relations, but I don't see a detente as likely in the near future, again.

    Because of the attitude of the powers that we have particularly in the US, Britain, and France as well, they seem dead set against having a rapprochement with Russia.

    Somehow they see this new Cold War, and that's exactly what it is, as working to their benefit, they'll do everything they can to prevent a detente.

    The views of the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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


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