NATO and the European Union should reconsider relations with Russia and lift sanctions, which were only the small states of Europe, said Greek experts who spoke at the round table "Russia-NATO: Prospects for peaceful coexistence and cooperation." Its organizer was the Greek-Russian club "Dialogue".
Recently, the relations between the North Atlantic Alliance and Russia have begun to recover, interrupted after plans to organize "political isolation" of Moscow, it was noted at the round table.
"Speaking about Russia-NATO relations, we must say that we observe that many actions of the Alliance violate the principles of balance and security.We see the rapid development of NATO military capabilities near our borders.The attempts to create a world-wide missile defense system undermine strategic stability," said the adviser - the ambassador of the Russian Embassy in Athens Oleg Bredikhin.
"We can not watch without worry the attempts of NATO to involve the Balkan countries," the diplomat said, adding that Greece and other NATO countries support the normalization of relations with Russia. He expressed the hope that these voices will be heard.
Lieutenant General of the Greek Air Force retired, Greek public figure, Secretary General of the Friendship Society of Greece and Russia Pavlos Christo believes that the belief that NATO began to expand actively only after the collapse of the Soviet Union is erroneous.
"NATO has always been constantly moving to the borders of the Soviet Union, and now to Russia, and is trying to surround it for unknown reasons." I remember that ten years ago, NATO was a partner with Russia on many programs, I was the representative for the exchange of aviation data. NATO led by the United States said about the threat to Russia, "Christ said.
According to him, this political development lasted for years to come.
Christ said that Greece should change its policy and "go to peace powers," the main of which is Russia.
The general also noted that the fundamentals of strategy, methods of warfare change, and the history of the last 20 years shows the possibility of military clashes between Western countries. "The West intervenes everywhere, but it will have to prevent a war in its home," the expert believes.
Pericles Nerkhu, former Cyprus ambassador to France, said that attempts to geopolitically shift Ukraine from Russia's sphere of influence to the sphere of influence of the West, that is, mainly the US through its admission to the European Union and NATO, caused a natural reaction from Russia.
The diplomat recalled that before that the West had extended its sphere of influence to the Baltic countries.
"It was clear that Russia would not allow such a thing to be done with Ukraine, whose history is inextricably linked with Russia," Nearhu said.
According to him, the situation in Ukraine and Crimea was used as an excuse for anti-Russian policy. He recalled that the Crimea was transferred to Ukraine from Russia, and its population is mostly Russian.
He noted that the new field of NATO expansion, despite assurances given by the North Atlantic alliance to the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, was the Balkans. Montenegro has already entered the structure of NATO, now everything is done to receive the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
"The scenarios of confrontation between the United States and Europe on the one hand and Russia on the other are carried out on the other, the goal of geopolitical exclusion of Russia from the Balkans through NATO and the European Union is clear." For many centuries Russia was represented in the Balkans with their Slavic population, "Neharkh said.
In his opinion, NATO is trying to make Russia a peripheral country without prospects to restore its place as an equal global power, like the Soviet Union.
The diplomat said that Europe does not have political autonomy from the US: in the field of defense, security and foreign policy, Europe follows the American strategy in the spirit of Euro-Atlanticism.
In turn, Konstantinos Grivas called the teaching of the military academy of the Greek Army the myth a statement that the world is unipolar. "There was no absolute and total US domination in the world, it is not even today, but this myth continues to live," Grivas said.
According to him, the myth is that the Soviet Union collapsed because of the military superiority of the West - its nuclear potential was sufficient to deter the United States, and the use of nuclear weapons could destroy the planet.
Grivas considers unsubstantiated allegations about the Russian threat, since the countries of Europe do not conduct military preparations.
"If the West European leaders really believe that Russia is so hostile and intends to seize them, then why do not they do military preparations in the best way?" In Germany, where Europe's largest industry, of the 128 Eurofighter aircraft, only four were operational " gave an example of a political scientist.
In his opinion, Western Europe should stop playing these games and establish relations of cooperation with Russia.
"Europe wants to survive, or wants to commit suicide, if Europe does not know what to do, we must think about it, Greece, a small country in a critical region." The Eastern Mediterranean is now a critical important center of the international system, "the expert said. .
During the discussion, experts noted that the largest economies of Europe - Germany and France - have not suffered from anti-Russian sanctions, they are investing in Russia and in large joint projects. The whole burden of sanctions fell on the small countries that supplied mainly agricultural products to Russia. Greece loses hundreds of millions of euros annually from sanctions, political scientists noted. In their view, Greece should not support the extension of sanctions.
Austria, Hungary and Italy are already demanding the lifting of sanctions, and Greece should be among these countries, the round table said.