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Doctorow was one of the first commentators on the air immediately after Putin's Thursday speech. Here are his comments.
A very rough transcript follows below, auto-generated by YouTube.
A reaction from Gilbert Doctorow, he's an independent political analyst , good afternoon Gilbert thanks for coming on.
Mourad ended his piece there by saying it's we wait and see how the West will react to what President Putin said today how do you think they will react?
Well I think that this is a speech of enormous importance and it will be discussed extensively in all world medium particularly in the States for coming days of course there'll be a great deal of attention to the military hardware that he described but I'd like to put his speech into two contexts, one is part of an electoral campaign because we are in the midst of that and yesterday on the 28th of February the seven other candidates had their debates on the PRV Canal and to what was he saying to the West besides showing off in a non bluff way what Russia has achieved in military hardware and coming back to the first point the electoral campaign he made their other candidates look like a kindergarten.
All the discussion of the liberal and and communist candidates was featured on centered on the question of how can a country that only represents 2% of the global GDP how can such a country which has only 10% of the military budget and 10% of the GDP of the United States how can I compete and and project its ambitions for a role in the world the answer was clear by being head and shoulders above the rest of the world yeah precisely in its defense capabilities and demand demanding the respect of its capabilities and of its intelligence and of its people and the dedication through the development of these systems.
So he has run circles around the competition he also answered in a way a question that many in the West for example the Financial Times we're posing of a day before his speech what would he say about the economy what kind of structural reforms would there be the answer is that he said a lot about the economy he said a lot about social welfare but it was all in the nature of an evolutionary change that can generation of programs that have been put in place around the country in pilot projects and to generalize them for the sake of the of the general stylist of these move forward of Russian society and prosperity.
As to the message to the West it's extremely important he said and I believe I am not misquoting that Russia stood ready to defend its friends and allies with instantaneous response to any attack on them if I'm not missreading that means an attack on Syria and attempt to remove the Assad regime could could result in a direct nuclear showdown with the United States the same was true of Iran and of Russia's other friends whom the United States has been trying to bully in every which way.
I think that his purpose was to sober up the discussion to move on from the Russiagate and all the frivolous talk that has captured the whole of us and Western media.
Just quickly we haven't got much time but I just like to play to you president Putin's view on why Russia has developed these new ballistic missiles I think we can have a listen now essentially we're saying it was in response to what the US was doing. Let's just listen but at least be previewing and :
Despite all our protests the u.s. machine started working the conveyor belt started rolling there our missile defense systems in Alaska and California as a result of NATO's eastward expansion they've set up missile systems at two new european locations one has already been deployed in romania and another will be set up in poland soon even now they're working at full speed I mean
Russia has said since that speech that hopes that Russia sorry the u.s.might reassess its foreign policy do you think that will happen or do you think the US will just become more entrenched and will enter a new arms race
Well we already are in a new arms race entrenched more entrenched there's no way that can be more entrenched except when President Trump gets ready to press the nuclear button we are at one another's throats right now so I don't see an intensification of hostile talk or scheming and planning as in the cards what is possible and what was what was Vladimir Putin's intent was to sober up the West and to bring them back to realities.
I don't think anyone in in the US mainstream media is going to pay attention to the proceeding to the cause of Russia's military buildup they'll only look at the consequences what Russia has done but that's not a matter of importance.
What Russia has done is breathtaking and I as I said it will make the US generals the Pentagon the whole military budget that's been endorsed by Congress look like chumps so the United States whatever it says publicly is going to have to have a deep rethink of everything that's spending now on military because it's useless.
That's an important point isn't it Gilbert because even Alexei Pushkov ,he's a member of Russia's Federal Council ,when he spoke to us just not long ago he said look we expect an hysterical reaction from the Western media over this but long-term deep down we hope it might mean a reassessment of foreign policy and perhaps an invitation to sit down with Russia and talk and equal terms about what can be done gee is that how you see it?
Nobody is going to speak about revising u.s. foreign policy that would be politically unacceptable in the Congress as its presently constituted Washington is deeply set against Russia but I think we may expect it's very reasonable to expect in the short term there will be a calling upon Moscow to re-enter into the overall full landscape arms negotiation talks that is certainly the greatest likelihood and it's certainly what Vladimir Putin was is looking for.
Okay very interesting look but really good to get your thoughts we appreciate your time this afternoon that was deal bit dropped arrow independent political analyst thank you
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