06:53 GMT24 January 2021
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    Russia-NATO Relations Reach a New Low (121)
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown impressive restraint in the face of continued moves by the United States and NATO to pressure and isolate Moscow, Dr. Helen Caldicott, founder of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Putin was not a hardliner, Caldicott argued, but represented a widespread view held by most Russians that the United States and its allies had relentlessly expanded at the expense of their country and its traditional sphere of influence since the end of the Cold War.

    “Putin has been surprisingly restrained so far, thank God.”

    However, Caldicott argued the military establishments in the United States and Russia have been practicing nuclear war exercises “like little boys in a sandbox.”

    “This is an extremely dangerous situation,” she warned.

    The Ukraine crisis and civil war in the past 16 months had brought these long-accumulating concerns to a head, Caldicott added.

    “I haven’t seen a situation this dangerous since [former US President Ronald] Reagan was so belligerent in his first term in office.”

    The United States and Western leaders, Caldicott explained, had for a quarter century broken the assurances that US President George Herbert Walker Bush gave to then-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990.

    Bush pledged then that Washington would never allow NATO to incorporate any nations in Central Europe that had been members of the Warsaw Pact.

    Yet today, Caldicott continued, every nation that had been in the Warsaw Pact was a member of NATO, and the Alliance had even further expanded to include the three former Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well.

    Moreover, US and NATO were expanding their influence in other former Soviet republics, especially Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan, she added.

    Caldicott, an Australian physician, has been one of the world’s leading anti-nuclear activists for more than 40 years. She is also the founder and leader of the Helen Caldicott Foundation for a Nuclear Free-Future and the author of many books including “If You Love This Planet” and “The New Nuclear Danger: George W. Bush’s Military Industrial Complex.”

    The Smithsonian Institution has named Caldicott one of the most influential women of the 20th century.

    Two Norwegian sailors onboard the Norwegian support vessel Valkyrien
    © AP Photo
    Two Norwegian sailors onboard the Norwegian support vessel Valkyrien
    Russia-NATO Relations Reach a New Low (121)


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