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The Kremlin’s Credibility Is At Stake
Paul Craig Roberts
The CIA and British intelligence are feeding the public through their media assets the story that Russia’s security concern is really a cloak behind which hides Moscow’s plan to create a new Russian sphere of influence over eastern Europe. Of course, Washington has a sphere of influence over eastern Europe called NATO, but it would be the end of the world for Russia to have any influence with countries that border it.
Another part of the CIA disinformation is that the White House is willing to discuss part of the Russian security demand but not the parts the White House disagrees with. This, of course, is nonsensical as the Kremlin made it clear that its demand for a halt to NATO expansion is not divisible. Expansion stops. Period. Or there will be “dire consequences.”
Western orientated Russian intellectuals at the Russian International Affairs Council are already at work undermining the Kremlin’s position on the non-expansion of NATO. The mission of the Council is to facilitate Russia’s peaceful integration into the global community, something that can only happen on Washington’s terms. The Council’s director, Andrei Kortunov, quickly undermined the Kremlin’s position by describing the Kremlin’s ultimatum as “a bargaining position.” Washington already doesn’t take the Kremlin seriously, and Kortunov’s idiotic statement makes it certain Washington will dismiss the ultimatum as well. Indeed, as I reported, NATO’s Stoltenberg, the White House press spokesperson, and Biden’s national security adviser have already dismissed the Kremlin’s demand.
To make certain that the Kremlin understands that its demand is rejected, General Tod Wolters wants an even more aggressive response to the Kremlin. He is calling for NATO/US troops to be deployed in Romania and Bulgaria. Called Enhanced Forward Presence it amounts to the US military occupation of Eastern Europe–the exact opposite of the response demanded by Russia.
Perhaps the Kremlin is learning, belatedly, that years of sweet-talking the West created the expectation that Russian complaints never have to be taken seriously. As I warned, the Kremlin’s behavior encouraged more provocations, which eventually would go too far and force the Kremlin to put a foot down.
With the CIA misrepresenting the Kremlin’s expression of a non-negotiable security concern as a plot to rebuild the Soviet Empire and the Russian International Affairs Council describing the Kremlin’s red line as just a bargaining position, we will see if the foot stays down or whether the Kremlin blows forever its credibility.