‘West scared of BRICS since it can’t control bloc from within’ - Ex-Indian FM ― RT SophieCo

Sophie Shevardnadze: You have said the Western policy towards Moscow is aimed at toppling the Russian political order from within and making Europeans less dependent on Russia. Why does the West want that?

Kanwal Sibal: Because they haven't got over their Cold War mentality. Russia is still the largest country in the world despite the fact that the Soviet Union collapsed. It has very powerful strategic forces and it still has a considerable influence globally and sitting right next to Europe, where there are small countries, there is a sense of Russia looming very large. The Baltic states, especially, and some central European states like Poland and some others, are looking to the United States to defend themselves against what they might think can be a possible Russian threat in the future because they probably understand Russia will not be kept down and sooner or later they will face a resurgent India. And they want to make sure that Russia is geopolitically so weakened, and the threat to the Western Europe and to the NATO alliance reduced as much as possible.

SS: But isn't economically strong and politically stable Russia beneficial to the West?

KS: Yes, indeed. This is a common sense and we are looking at it. Because President Putin, when he first began in 2002 [sic] his stewardship of Russia, he was very pro-European. He wanted Russia to become a European power, to be accepted as a European power, to participate in equal measure with the West in dealing with European security. He had broad ideas about Western security going from Canada right to the Urals. And culturally, of course, Russia has always been a European part. But his view of how to construct European security was not accepted by the West fully. And then they did what we all know, progressively extending the borders of the EU and NATO, not only next to the former Soviet borders, but also trying to penetrate the former territories of the Soviet Union, the heartland of the former Soviet Union if you like.

They tried Orange Revolution in Ukraine, you have the situation in Georgia, then they had this Velvet Revolution and all that in Central Asia. So I think when President Putin spoke recently after the annexation of Crimea, listing up his grievances with the West, I think they were well-founded. And he has been experiencing that over the last 15 years he has been in power.

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