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Europe

Video: ‘Putin partially improvising’ on Crimea, Brzezinski tells FRANCE 24

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-27

In an exclusive interview, FRANCE 24 spoke with former US national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served under Democratic President Jimmy Carter, about Crimea, Ukraine and the new stand-off between Russia and the West.

Click on the player below to watch the full interview.

 

Key extracts from the interview:

 

  • On US President Barack Obama:

“I do hope that privately [Obama] is conveying to the Russians more explicit concern that if they exaggerate what they have already done, if they try to apply some form of military pressure either in Ukraine or Moldova, there will be much more serious consequences for the relationship of the international community -- and specifically of the United States -- with Russia, potentially doing much damage to long-term Russian interests.”

  • On Russian President Vladimir Putin:

“My sense is that [Putin] is partially improvising. He reacted in great anger because he felt that the Ukrainian decision essentially to become an increasingly more democratic Western state undermined his grand concept, his great quest in terms of the future -- namely, a Eurasian union. So he acted in anger, but also acted very deliberately, in such a way that he could protect himself by deniability. His soldiers were dressed like thugs -- they didn't wear uniforms, they wore masks -- but that made it possible for him, if push came to shove, to disown them, to say they don't represent Russia, and to quickly withdraw them. I hope he hasn't reached a wrong conclusion that some similar stunt can be pulled off regarding Moldova or Ukraine as a whole.”

  • On the comparison between Putin and Hitler:

“It is obviously an exaggeration in view of what followed [Hitler's first territorial expansions]. But if you look at specific events, namely what [Putin] has done in Crimea and what Hitler did for example in Austria, the famous [1938] Anschluss, in which nobody was killed but the whole country was incorporated into Germany, there are some striking similarities. The point is to make sure that such incidents don’t become more and more dangerous to the international community.”

 

Date created : 2014-03-26

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