Kennedy shares opinion on key US mistake with Russia
Instead of listening to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s warnings about “red lines,” the US has repeatedly crossed them, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said in an interview published on Wednesday. The Democrat running for US president added that Washington should have either invited Moscow to NATO or dismantled the anti-Russian alliance after the Cold War.
“We should have listened to Putin over many years. We made a commitment to Russia, to Gorbachev, that we would not move NATO one inch to the east. Then we went in, and we lied,” Kennedy told the outlet UnHerd.
Instead of offering to integrate Russia into the West, as many diplomats urged in 1991, the US expanded NATO to its borders. “What is the purpose of NATO other than to oppose Russia? If you’re addressing Russia in a hostile way from the beginning, of course their reaction is going to be hostile back,” Kennedy said.
He described what happened in Kiev in 2014 as “essentially a coup d’etat” supported by the US, recalling the infamous phone call in which Victoria Nuland was “handpicking a new cabinet” hostile to Moscow.
“If Mexico did that and then started killing – they killed 14,000 Russians in Donbass, the Ukrainian government – if Mexico did that to expatriate Americans, we’d invade in a second,” Kennedy said, adding that Putin “repeatedly told us: these are red lines, you’re crossing.”
American leaders should be able to “put yourself in the other guy’s shoes,” just like his uncle John F. Kennedy did during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, stepping back from the brink of nuclear war, which all of his advisers were pushing for.
Kennedy condemned the “barbaric and illegal invasion” of Ukraine and called Putin a ‘gangster’, a ‘thug’ and a ‘bully’, but said the conflict needed to be settled quickly, because the US had already “sacrificed 300,000” Ukrainians in battle. While the White House presented aiding Kiev as a humanitarian mission, “every step that we’ve taken has been to enlarge the conflict and to maximize bloodshed,” he said.
“Let’s be honest: It’s a US war against Russia, to essentially sacrifice the flower of Ukrainian youth in an abattoir of death and destruction for the geopolitical ambition of the neocons” to see regime change in Moscow, Kennedy said. He added that the people who created the problem weren’t capable of settling it.
Asked about his proposed solution, Kennedy said that something like the Minsk accords, agreeing to keep Ukraine out of NATO, and removing nuclear missile launchers from Russia’s borders might work.