Why Russia Supports Separatist Movements | NBC Southern California
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Why Russia Supports Separatist Movements

Experts say the Kremlin supports separatist parties to destabilize groupings such as NATO

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in the Novo Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow in this April 13, 2015, file photo.

    Russia has invited secessionists from Northern Ireland, Scotland, and those from Spain and Italy for a conference, according to NBC News. 

    “Our goal is to consolidate efforts based on international legal standards [and] to achieve the very democracy the European Union and the United States talk about, but [the democracy] in its true meaning," Alexander Ionov, head of the Anti-Globalist Movement of Russia, which is organizing the event, told NBC News. 

    Sean Rayford/Getty Images

    One of the international standards he referred to is a nation’s right for self-determination — part of the United Nations’ chapter. 

    Western leaders and Russia experts say the Kremlin supports separatist parties to destabilize groupings such as NATO and the EU to thwart U.S. missile installations that Moscow sees as a threat to security.

    They say Moscow also uses these movements as leverage in its political agenda and to push for the lifting of Western sanctions against Moscow after its annexation of Crimea.