WASHINGTON, April 9 (RIA Novosti), Petr Martynychev – The escalation of the crisis in Ukraine and the deterioration of Russian-American relations resulted from NATO’s efforts to justify its own existence, Dennis John Kucinich, a former US Representative from Ohio and a two-time presidential candidate, told RIA Novosti Wednesday.
“I don't think that President Obama is looking for any kind of military showdown with Russia. I do think that NATO is trying to justify its existence. You know NATO's last big exercise was in Libya, which was a total disaster,” the former US Representative said.
Kucinich added that NATO’s purview is ostensibly restricted to the North Atlantic region, which is neither on the Russian nor Chinese border.
“And that's what we come to – NATO is an anachronism. And because it's an anachronism it’s trying to see how it can justify its existence by interposing itself in a conflict and stirring it up,” Kucinich said.
“Otherwise it wouldn't be training Right Sector troops right now or bringing them into the military. The idea that somehow Kiev, Washington and NATO are going to tame Right Sector is a myth. That is not happening,” Kucinich said, referring to a Ukrainian right-wing radical group.
NATO is provoking its member countries to spend more and more on defense just like mob racketeering, he added.
“It's an anachronistic nightmare. It really ought to be disbanded. It has become a protection racket. That what's the mafia did in the US in 1930s,” he said.
Tensions between Russia and the West became strained after a regime change in February when the Ukrainian parliament ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and scheduled early presidential elections for May 25.
Russia has described the uprising in Kiev as an illegitimate fascist coup and a military seizure of power that resulted in Moscow taking steps to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine and reunify with Crimea following a referendum in the region.
The steps were heavily criticized by the US and EU, who imposed sanctions against several Russian officials and suspended cooperation in certain areas.
On April 1, NATO ended all practical cooperation with Russia. The foreign ministers of NATO members are to review relations with Moscow at their next meeting in June.
Moscow has called the moves reminiscent of the Cold War.