“It's my belief that the U.S. and NATO are exploiting the Balkan countries to promote their own political, economic and political interests,” Dr. Bramhall said.
The full text of the interview has been presented below.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has recently said that “The European Union is making a regrettable mistake by following NATO’s strategy of pushing eastwards and giving the post-communist countries a choice between ‘West or Russia’.” What’s your take on this? How has the EU-Russia battle for influence in the Balkans influenced the region?
Stuart Bramhall: I agree with Lavrov. The U.S. is playing a very dangerous game of brinkmanship in the Balkans by pushing NATO troops right up to Russia's borders. I am especially concerned about deploying tactical nuclear weapons in the Balkan countries, as well as Poland and Ukraine. It's my impression that Balkan countries are being forced to make a choice between the West or Russia. I think this is wrong – I don't see why it can't be left up to them to have political and commercial links with both the U.S. and Russia – especially as they remain very dependent on Russia for gas and oil. I get the sense many Balkan governments are afraid not to ally themselves with NATO and the EU – owing to the risk they will face CIA-sponsored terrorist violence or even CIA-sponsored “colored revolutions”.
What role is NATO playing in the Balkans? Has it been successful in increasing the security of the Balkan countries?
Stuart Bramhall: It's my belief that the U.S. and NATO are exploiting the Balkan countries to promote their own political, economic and political interests. If anything, the NATO incursion into former communist countries has reduced security in the Balkan region owing to deliberate U.S. provocation of the Russians.
Russia wants to discourage the Western Balkan countries from joining NATO and the EU. Is this to the benefit of the Balkan countries?
Stuart Bramhall: I think so. I'm not sure what benefit the Balkans can derive from joining the EU, other than enabling their population to become guest workers in the rich EU countries (France, Germany and the UK) and remit transfer payments to their families in their native countries. In my mind, this is a third world trap. It's my sense that Russia (and China) have a far stronger motivation to assist Balkan countries to develop healthy economies in their own right. By joining the way the EU is currently structured, the best the Balkan countries can hope for is becoming debt ridden "pigs" like Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain.
Shouldn't it be up to Balkan countries to choose their partners, as opposed to being pushed – whether by Russia or the West – to do so?
Stuart Bramhall: Yes. Absolutely. The decision should be up to Balkan countries who they want to ally with. Any other approach undermines their sovereignty.
There have been mounting fears in the West that Russia is using Serbia to foment tensions in the Balkans. What could you say about this?
Stuart Bramhall: In my view, this is pure CIA disinformation and propaganda. All the evidence suggests just the opposite – that the CIA is using Serbia and Kosovo to foment tensions in the Balkans.
Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall: Retired child psychiatrist, activist, author, blogger, and journalist with new young adult novel called A Rebel Comes of Age.