Wednesday, Aug 13, 2008
The former US national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, has called on the world community to isolate Russia in protest over its campaign in the Caucasus, likening its tactics to those of “Hitler or Stalin”.
Brzezinski, who was the national security adviser under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981, and is now an occasional adviser to the Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, said the Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, was “following a course that is horrifyingly similar to that taken by Stalin and Hitler in the 1930s”.
He said that Putin’s “justification” for splitting up Georgia – because of the Russian citizens living in South Ossetia – could be compared to when Hitler used the alleged suffering of ethnic Germans in the Sudetenland as a pretext for annexing Czechoslovakia in 1938.
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In an interview with the conservative German daily Die Welt, he said even more striking were the parallels between Putin’s strategy against Georgia and Stalin’s invasion of Finland in 1939, describing both as “the undermining of the sovereignty of a small, democratic neighbouring state through the use of violence”. He added: “Georgia is to an extent the Finland of today, both morally and strategically.”
Polish-born Brezinski, 80, who earned a reputation as a hardliner due to his anti-Soviet politics, said the world was now being confronted with the question as to how it should react to Russia and what he saw as its efforts to “reincorporate old Soviet areas into the Kremlin’s sphere of control”. He said at the heart of the issue was access to oil and specifically who controlled the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline which runs through Georgia.
“If Georgia no longer has its sovereignty it means not only that the west is cut off from the Caspian Sea and Central Asia, but we can also assume that Putin will exercise a similar strategy against Ukraine if he faces resistance. He’s already publicly voiced threats against Ukraine.”
This article was posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 3:15 am