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    US Should Mend Fences With Russia, Shut Down NATO - Ex-Presidential Candidate

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    The United States should improve its relations with Russia by restoring joint agreements and eliminating NATO, former US congressman and two-time candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination Dennis Kucinich told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) —In an interview, Kucinich steressed the importance of shutting down NATO that has become an "anachronism" of the Cold War.

    "We need to repair our relationship with Russia," Kucinich stated. "We need to shut down NATO because NATO has become a menace. There is no legitimate reason for it to exist anymore. It is an anachronism and a relic of last war, the Cold War."

    Kucinich explained that one way to deescalate the current tensions is to go back to a series of agreements that would enable Moscow and Washington to “lead the world in getting rid of all nuclear weapon.”

    “What has happened over the last two years is reprehensible where there is an effort to drive a wedge between Russia and the United States,” he said. “It is being led by neoconservatives who want to extend American power at any cost even if it means putting us on the threshold of conflict, and they are using Syria as a testing ground for pushing a strategy which is dangerous and unbecoming of a government which calls itself a democracy.”

    “I think after this election we need to get together, public officials and private citizens, to reestablish contact with Russia’s officials and citizens and begin a new period of glasnost,” Kucinich added.

    Russia’s relations with the United States and NATO deteriorated sharply since the onset of the 2014 Ukraine crisis, following the beginning of the conflict in eastern Ukraine and Crimea's reunification with Russia. Since then, NATO has been actively building up its military presence in eastern European countries bordering Russia, using Moscow's alleged interference in Ukraine as a pretext for the move.

    Moscow has repeatedly dismissed the Ukraine-related accusations, warning that increased NATO activities near the country's borders could undermine regional and global stability.

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    NATO, Dennis Kucinich, Russia, United States
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