Sputnik: On Saturday you took part in the peace rally here in Brussels, and now the activists have gathered for a counter-summit. What's on the agenda?
Reiner Braun: NATO has its annual meeting on Wednesday and Thursday. The first point of this meeting is the "2 percent GDP for military spending," which is, from our understanding a totally stupid idea. Why should the European countries spend billions of dollars for military purposes, when we need money for social welfare, for health care, for education, for science? It is a wrong way of solving global problems. We'll never solve world problems militarily. We need much more development in civil and international purposes, and that's why we are against "the 2 percent."
The second point is nuclear weapons. We are deeply against the so-called "modernization" of nuclear weapons, which is wrong wording, because there is a new generation of nuclear weapons, which they want to bring, for example, to Europe. The B61-12 is aggression against Russia. It's a strategic weapon and not a tactical weapon like the old one. So we are against the development of new nuclear weapons.
We need a security system which includes all countries, but not excluding some so-called "enemies" — that is our main job today. We were doing this yesterday during the rally and we will definitely continue doing this in preparation [for] the 70th anniversary of NATO next year.
Sputnik: The situation in the world is changing drastically. North Korea decided to go along with requests from the international community when it comes to its nuclear program. What other developments could we expect in that region?
Reiner Braun: Talks are always better than using weapons. So I'm in favor — in any conflict — of dialogue and negotiations. So, I'm happy about the talks between South Koreans and North Koreans. I think this could be a way out of [an] un-normal situation when both countries, in reality, are in war: there is no agreement between South and North Korea about [a] ceasefire or even [a] peace treaty.
I'm a little bit in doubt about the results of [the] negotiations between Trump and North Korea, because Trump is using big words, and is doing the opposite. I'm for the world free of any nuclear weapons, but I can understand that North Korea will not give up its nuclear weapons before they will really get clear commitments for their country and for [the survival] of their country.
And if he doesn't come back quickly to his words of aggression and wars, we will see what will happen. I think for all peaceful forces in the world it's a huge obligation to support all negotiations, the disarmament process, knowing that it will be a long-term process.
Sputnik: NATO is "flirting" with potential new members such as Ukraine, and is continuing "war games" on Russia's borders. What do you think about NATO's confrontation with Russia?
Reiner Braun: NATO is developing confrontational politics against Russia. They were doing this, in reality, all the time; they have never given it up. But now we are in a new situation where they are in a really aggressive confrontation with Russia. It means they could try to encircle Russia, to develop military bases, to make trainings along the Russian border.
The concept of NATO is not to develop a new equal world order, it's to be more aggressive, and to believe that with more aggression and with more military forces they could overcome their weakness. It is a mistake, but it's more than dangerous, and I think that this is a key point: we are really in a political situation where a big war, a big international war is not any longer out of discussion. And this is very dangerous, and this is one of the reasons why peace activists are gathering today in Brussels.
The views and opinions expressed by Reiner Braun are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.