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Russian Ambassador to Canada Takes Hard Line on NATO

In an interview with CTV, the Russian ambassador to Canada took a hard line on NATO, alleged Russian hacks during the U.S. election, and praised Trump’s victory.

NATO summit

In a wide-ranging interview with CTV, one of Canada’s largest television networks, Russian ambassador to Canada Alexander Darchiev took a hard line on NATO’s presence in eastern Europe.

Asked about whether NATO “should be moving additional troops into countries that border Russia,” Darchiev called NATO a “cold-war relic”:

“NATO is irrelevant. It’s cold-war relic, which desperately needs rationale for its continued existence. … If you want [to] divert your resources for [a] NATO build-up, that’s the sovereign choice of Canada.”

NATO says it has built up its forces along Russia’s borders with Eastern Europe because of “Russian aggression,” highlighted by Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Darchiev called the idea of Russian aggression a “major self-deception for the west.”

Darchiev also denied any links between the Russian government and the U.S. election hacks:

“No. We have a definite answer on that,” Darchiev said when asked if Russia was behind the hacks, which saw the documents made public by Wikileaks.

There is strong evidence the Russian government is tied to the hacks.

At the same time, Darchiev praised Trump’s win as “a victory of common sense and pragmatism.”