Russian President Vladimir Putin has grown increasingly paranoid over time and Russian propaganda is wholly dishonest, former NATO Secretary-General George Robertson claimed in his latest interview with Deutsche Welle.
The conversation began with discussion of the situation earlier this week, when an American drone crashed into the Black Sea after an encounter with two Russian planes in international airspace. There were some doubts in the international community about it being a potential casus belli.
“I think we've got to be very worried about incidents that can take place that might lead to escalation. I'm not sure whether this particular incident falls into that category — we need to know much more about it — but I think it's being handled reasonably soberly at the present moment.” said lord George Robertson.
“The invasion of Ukraine was one of the biggest provocations we have seen in the last 30 years, so we can probably expect more provocations in the future and we need to be ready to face them,” the official noted.
“We believed Putin would be a partner in many of the difficulties we faced when he came to office. Terrorism, climate change, and population movements were difficulties for Russia. As a result, many of the risks were widespread, and it appeared that Vladimir Putin shared a common perspective on security at the time,” he pointed out.
Lord Robertson believes that Putin “has gradually altered his viewpoint over time, growing much more neurotic, demanding, and immersed in some idea of Russian history.”
“Vladimir Putin seems to claim that Gorbachev was tricked on NATO enlargement. He seems to claim that [former President Boris] Yeltsin was tricked into signing the Budapest Memorandum and the Helsinki Accords,” the British official said, adding that Putin’s propaganda is based on “total dishonesty”.
“What I know is that in May 2002, Vladimir Putin himself signed the Rome Declaration along with me and 19 other signatories, which protected the territorial integrity of all states. And specifically that day he guaranteed the territorial integrity of Ukraine. So the Russian propaganda is based on lies,” he concluded.