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    Protesters run away from teargas as they clash with riot police during a demonstration against the visit of U.S President Barack Obama, in Athens, Greece

    NATO Revived Threat of Nuclear War, Makes Europeans Less Secure - Analyst

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    President Obama arrived in Greece on Tuesday on his final overseas trip as US leader before Donald Trump takes office in January 2017. The visit was marked by protesters clashing with riot police.

    Sputnik International political analyst Dimitri Babich told Sputnik Radio's Brian Becker that Obama made the wrong decision to visit Athens, as "Greece still owes to its debtors 320 billion euros."

    "All that huge debt was accumulated during [the presidency of] George Bush the junior and during the early years of Obama, the problem is not being resolved," he said. "So Mr. Obama may be popular with the officials in the European Union (EU), but he is not popular with the Greek people. That's why we have this demonstration with 4,000 people going on strike in Athens because of Obama's visit."

    According to US media, Obama is seeking to reassure Europe and NATO of stable ties to the United States. Babich specified, however, that the primary goal is to reassure the European elite, not European voters.

    "Yesterday Mr. Obama pressured the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to adopt the anti-Russia sanctions and to maintain them in a sign of so-called solidarity inside the EU. And Tsipras said that he would keep the sanctions," Babich said.

    "But that decision is certainly not popular in Greece, because the Greek people, like many people in Europe, don't see what the goal of these sanctions is. Does Obama want Russia just to abandon Crimea, to give it back to the Ukrainian regime in Kiev? That's not going to happen."

    There are other decisions by Obama that are popular with the EU elite but not with with ordinary European voters, he noted.

    As for NATO member states' concern about a shift in US foreign policy and faith in the alliance after Trump won the presidential elections, Babich remarked that he does not see any value to the alliance, as it is no longer a  "bedrock of peace, freedom and prosperity in Europe," the last a quote by Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg.

    "Look at the recent actions undertaken by NATO. Was Libya a success? No, Libya is a shambles now. Was Ukraine a success? No, because Mr. Obama's support for the coup in Kiev actually [increased] the threat of a nuclear war between Russia and the United States, and NATO was revived," he said. "So NATO is no longer making Europeans more secure. There is a strong suspicion that NATO is making Europeans less secure."

    European and American voters understand and are angered by the re-militarization of NATO in Europe, he added, and it partly explains why Trump was elected and why Obama is being greeted by protests.

    "Mr. Obama revived the threat of a nuclear war, he made Libya and Syria devastated states, not flourishing democracies as he promised in the beginning. So a lot of Europeans and Americans are starting to question ‘Do we need this sort of NATO?,' ‘Does it make us more secure?'"


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    protests, NATO, Alexis Tsipras, Barack Obama, Greece, United States
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