01:58 GMT08 August 2020
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    Relations between the United States and Russia would change dramatically if Bernie Sanders becomes the next US President, as the Democratic candidate wants Russia to be a part of NATO.

    Sanders called for a radical shift in US foreign policy by creating what he called a "new NATO," which would include Russia.

    "We must work with our NATO partners, and expand our coalition to include Russia and members of the Arab League," Sanders said Thursday during his speech at Georgetown University in Washington.

    The Democratic presidential candidate added that the world needs a new military organization to effectively deal with all the security threats of the 21st Century, including the rise of violent extremism.

    Sanders also lashed out on US allies in the Middle East, specifically Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, stating that they don't contribute enough in the global fight against ISIL.

    "All of this has got to change," Sanders said. "Wealthy and powerful Muslim nations in the region can no longer sit on the sidelines and expect the United States to do their work for them."

    The United States and its Western allies created NATO in 1949 with the primary goal of containing what they thought was the Soviet Union's growing regional expansion. The Soviet Union responded by joining with its Eastern European allies and forming the Warsaw Pact. NATO member states are supposed to defend each other's security, based on Article 5 of the organization's charter.

    Currently, relations between Russia and NATO are far from being friendly, especially after the start of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014. Western states and Kiev accused Russia of involvement in the military conflict in eastern Ukraine and introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions. Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations.

    NATO military reinforcement along Russia's western border has also been souring relations between the alliance and Moscow, with Russian authorities saying it increases tensions and threatens regional and global security.


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