The world's most aggressive "defensive" alliance struggles to justify its own existence. Blame Russia?
Good morning from rainy Moscow. Today is June 19, 2017—and as usual, there's plenty of Russian Meddling in news.
Today's top meddling nightmare has been relayed by Douglas Lute, former US representative to NATO under President Obama. According to Lute, when Trump "talks about" Russia, it helps Putin destroy NATO:
Asked by "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz what Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks when he hears President Trump talk about Russia, Lute said Putin sees the chance to "crack the NATO alliance."
"I suspect he sees an opportunity to do what military force alone could never do, and that is crack the NATO alliance. If he can crack it politically or if he can provoke internal fissures inside the alliance, then Putin sees enormous opportunity to achieve a longstanding Russian goal," Lute said.
What does this even mean? NATO is at risk of "cracking" because Trump wants more cordial relations with Russia? And Putin is using this "opportunity" to somehow meddle with NATO? Baseless accusations aside, we can't even follow the logic here. Please help.
If there are "cracks" in the NATO alliance, it's not because of Putin or Trump: It's because NATO is a major force of instability in the world—making it basically the most ineffective defensive alliance in recorded human history.
In other news:
- Newsweek strikes again: "WHITE HOUSE AND PUTIN AMONG BIGGEST CRITICS OF RUSSIA SANCTIONS BILL" [Newsweek]
- Bershidsky laments that "Interviews of Putin are always pointless" [Bloomberg]
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing yesterday: "It very important for us, of course, to do everything to ensure that the fundamentals of international law and the UN Charter remain the main instruments of building relations between countries and peoples." [TASS]
- The Russian State Atomic Energy Corp (ROSATOM) is hosting an energy expo in Moscow which will include 5,000 participants from 62 countries. [ABS-CBN]
- The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that "anti-Cuban" actions recently announced by Washington were regrettable and that Moscow confirmed its solidarity with Havana. The ministry also said that the new approach toward Cuba by the U.S. administration resembles a "Cold war rhetoric". [Reuters]
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