Oliver Stone Says that Putin was Provoked...
So I’m going to take it from there, and just tell you what I think is going on right now. No one really knows what’s going on in the actual sense of being in Russia’s mind, but I do think, from the beginning, this has been a defensive maneuver from the Russian side. The United States and its allies in NATO have been provoking Russia for, since two years now—actually three years over the Ukraine; more. I mean, they started this in 2014.
But they have been using Ukraine as bait, as a temperature-taker of that region. And now we’ve reached this place where they have threatened the Russians so much that they had to react, because I don’t think Putin could have stayed in office if he had not reacted. So this is a game that’s somewhat like the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962; Russia is concerned, very tense; and the United States and its allies don’t seem to be listening to its concerns, don’t seem to care about its concerns about NATO, and specifically Ukraine.
But it’s not just Ukraine. It’s also the Baltic; it’s the constant war exercises in the Baltic region, it’s the pressure from Europe, it’s the United States—in the air, we send our bombers close to the border [unclear]. So we’re constantly provoking them, going into their territory. If we can think of it as Canada and the United States—if Canada were doing that, and sending warnings to us like this, we would be freaking out. I would think Canada is somewhat like—Ukraine is to the Russians like Canada is to the United States. In other words—yeah, go ahead.
Of course, Oliver Stone didn't think that Putin would invade Ukraine:
And this is—it’s not working, and what Putin is saying in general is: lay off; back away. You cannot run war exercises all the time on our borders; you cannot talk this language of calling us the aggressor. And that’s what’s very interesting to me, is the United States media always say—every day I see it in the newspaper or this or that—the Russian invasion, the coming Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Now, this is outrageous, because first of all, they have no proof that Russia intends to invade Ukraine; I doubt that they would. I think Russia is concerned only with the Donbass region. The Donbass region being the eastern sector where the Russian-speaking people are threatened by the Ukrainian government. Why? Because, we saw back in 2014, they were killing them. There was quite a bit of murder going on, and the Ukrainian government did not want to recognize the historic autonomy of the eastern Ukraine, of the people who speak Russian. In fact, Russian language was banned in Ukraine, if you remember correctly.
Some Previous Statements by Vladimir Putin
What we differ in is that we differ in the ways and means we perceive that are suitable for reaching the same objective. And given the nature of the relationship between the United States and Russia, one can rest assured that whatever final solution is found, it will not threaten or put to threat the interests of both our countries and of the world.
So what I am trying to say is that while Russia acknowledges the role of NATO in the world of today, Russia is prepared to expand its cooperation with this organization. And if we change the quality of the relationship, if we change the format of the relationship between Russia and NATO, then I think NATO enlargement will cease to be an issue -- will no longer be a relevant issue. I guess that would be my comment.
I am absolutely convinced that Ukraine will not shy away from the processes of expanding interaction with NATO and the Western allies as a whole. Ukraine has its own relations with NATO; there is the Ukraine-NATO Council. At the end of the day the decision is to be taken by NATO and Ukraine. It is a matter for those two partners.
We of course are not in a position to tell people what to do. We cannot forbid people to make certain choices if they want to increase the security of their nations in a particular way.
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