‘Russia - reason to keep NATO alive’
A huge NATO military march is about to start in Romania. The Pentagon says they aim is to show the US’s strong relationship with the East European country. The exercises come after NATO troops marched through six EU countries in March. That military display was met by protests in a number of cities along the route including the Czech capital Prague.
RT:A NATO commander says the purpose of this ride through Romania is to reassure the country. What do you make of that justification?
Tony Robinson: What the people of Romania and the whole of Europe including Russia [want] is just to live in peace in stability. We are all in desperate need of this, not just on this continent, but all around the world. The great opportunity was wasted at the end of the Cold war to dissolve the military alliances of the time, and only half of the job was done. NATO was never put into retirement and the military commanders in the US and elsewhere permanently looked for a reason to keep it alive. In these days this reason comes in the form of Russia which has been bated incessantly. Russia has reacted. The incorporation of the Crimea into the Russian Federation is just what the US military industry was dreaming of. And it doesn’t matter to the West that Crimea joined freely and enthusiastically in the plebiscite of the people. Going back to the question – what the people of Romania need is not to have their government spend – according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) – the equivalent of $2.8 billion on military spending in 2014. This is criminal when there are so many other human needs.
RT:The NATO Secretary-General has said the alliance is boosting its defenses to confront a more ‘assertive Russia’. Is he right to be concerned?
TR: Anyone is justified if they can make a profit from war. They are not justified if the priorities of the humankind are to live in peace and create security and deal with the current crucial issues of our times which are climate change and the threats of nuclear war which NATO seems to be promoting more than any other side.
RT:This isn’t the first show of force in Eastern Europe close to Russia's borders. What's the message being sent here?
TR: The message being sent here and the image which is being painted in the Western media and especially in Eastern Europe is that the Russians are coming. NATO wants us all to be terrified that an enemy is coming so the military industry can continue to make more profits at everyone else’s expense. It’s terrible manipulation of the people who have only a few sources of information available in their language. Nearly all of them are in the hands of media companies saluting that same military industry.
RT:As we saw from protests back in March NATO's presence isn't always appreciated. Should these drills make citizens feel safer?
TR: I don’t think they make anyone feel safer. There is an overwhelming sense of insecurity. Everyone is thinking that we are getting closer and closer to a military conflict right in the middle of Europe and as you saw [in March] Czechs were demonstrating on the streets of Prague against the movement of NATO troops going through the country. I think people are quite rightly starting to feel increasingly insecure which is of course what the purpose of these troop maneuvers is in the first place.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.