RT-Engels: 07-06-2024,

The RT contributor was barred from traveling to St. Petersburg by the US government

Western governments need the people to perceive Russia as a threat, so they target anyone who tries to show the reality of the country, American political commentator Scott Ritter said at a St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) panel on Friday.

Ritter was invited to take part in an RT-hosted panel discussion on Western efforts to vilify Russia. He was not able to do so in person because his passport was seized by the US authorities just as he was boarding a plane, so he joined the event remotely via video link.

The former US Marine and UN weapons inspector in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq became a vocal critic of Washington’s foreign policy in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of the Middle Eastern country. Anyone who goes against US national security goals, including the escalation of tensions with Russia, is “deemed an enemy of the state – literally,” he told the audience.

”It comes down to perception vs. reality, and perception is going to win if you are not able to put an alternative point of view out there. It’s a constant struggle.”

The US and its allies need Russia as an enemy, since they are consolidating resources on the pretext of countering a threat, Ritter, who is an RT contributor, explained.

Apart from Ritter, the event gathered several high-profile speakers,

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