WASHINGTON, June 3. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested to former US President Bill Clinton that Russia might join NATO, Putin told American film director Oliver Stone in an interview for his new project, a series of conversations with the Russian leader.
"I remember one of our last meetings with President Clinton when he came to Moscow. During the meeting I said, ‘we should consider an option that Russia might join NATO.’ Clinton said, ‘Why not?’," Putin said, noting that "the US delegation got very nervous."
"Have you applied?" asked Stone. The Russian president just laughed.
NATO is a US political tool that does not have any allies but just vassals, Putin said.
"Nowadays, NATO is a mere instrument of foreign policy for the US. It has no allies, it has only vassals," Putin said. "Once a country becomes a NATO member, it is hard to resist the pressure of the US, a major country and NATO leader. And all of a sudden any weapon system can be placed in this country - an anti-ballistic missile system, new military bases and if need be, new offensive systems."
"And are we supposed to do?" the Russian president asked a rhetoric question.
"In this case we have to take countermeasures. We have to aim our missile systems at facilities that in our opinion, are threatening us," he said. "The situation becomes more tense."
"Why are we so acutely responding to the expansion of NATO? Well, as a matter of fact, we understand the value or lack thereof, and the threat of this Organization. But we are concerned about is the following. We are concerned by the practice of how decisions are taken (in the alliance - TASS)," Putin said.
"I know how decisions are taken there," he added.
On Saturday, US magazine Politico released preview clips of The Putin Interviews documentary, which premieres on Showtime on June 12-15.