Russia Says that It’s Treating Ukraine the Same Way the US Would Treat a Russian Presence in Mexico

At the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 17, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the security challenges Russia faces in Ukraine are akin to what the United States would face if Russia established a military presence in Mexico. 

In essence, Putin believes that US leaders have shown zero strategic empathy to Russia’s security concerns. 

In his speech, Putin stated, “They started to create an anti-Russian foothold in Ukraine. Let’s try the same and start creating an anti-US foothold on US borders – in Mexico. Do you realize what would happen? For some reason, it doesn’t occur to anyone to do something like that to America.”

“We removed our military bases from Cuba a while back. You know, no one even gives it a thought and doesn’t want to. But what we get is these threats being created for us,” Putin added.

The Russian president claimed that the Russian Federation “a hundred times, a thousand times” put forward proposals that took Russia’s security concerns into consideration to little avail.

“That didn’t happen. Why is this position? Where does this disparaging attitude to everyone, including us, come from? It’s from a contrived sense of greatness that grew out of the Soviet breakup little by little. That’s entirely understandable,” Putin stated.

Whether one agrees with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it’s undeniable that Great Power politics are back in the picture. That means actors like Russia will try to re-assert some form of sphere influence in their backyards. Any efforts to encroach that domain by external actors like the US and the Collective West will invariably create a security crisis. 

The US should have exited NATO after the Cold War and turned over European security matters to the Europeans. Instead, it has decided to stay in NATO and expand the alliance to dangerous levels. Realist foreign policy minds would do everything possible to bring this conflict to a negotiated settlement and take steps towards withdrawing from NATO.

Entangling alliances in Europe were the security arrangements that the Founding Fathers warned about. By participating in them, the US is putting itself in a position to face a nasty military reversal. 

Perhaps it’s time to follow the wisdom of the Founding Fathers for a change. 

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