Nikolai Patrushev: “the World should thank us for Crimea”
From: Politikus.ru, 27.01.2016
Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev does not like to communicate with journalists. But he is he narrow circle of the top leadership of the country. For almost ten years — from 1998 to 2008, Nikolai Patrushev headed the FSB. But since the arrival of Dmitry Medvedev in the presidential chair he has been the head of the Security Council.
Our conversation with Nikolai Patrushev lasted more than an hour. But in the process of negotiating the text of the interview he ruthlessly cut his direct speech, leaving in their answers only the most important. However, I think even this is enough to compose a consistent picture of Nikolai Patrushev about his views and beliefs about how he sees Russia and the world.
– “— Nikolai Platonovich, is an example of modern Russia, with only part of the resources of the former Soviet Union, conduct foreign policy, which was set in the era of the superpower level, the Soviet Union?
— Naturally, we understand that Russia is only a part of the former Soviet Union and Russia is not a superpower. Unlike USA we are not trying to dominate the world. But this does not mean that Russia has no national interests. We are obliged to defend them, including through effective foreign policy.
— How long, from your point of view, can last active phase of this confrontation between Russia and the West?
— The Russian Federation is not interested in confrontation with the West. Moreover, the basis of Russia’s foreign policy stems from a desire not only to defend their own interests, but also take into account the interests of other partners. The initiator of the current conflict is the USA. Europe subject to their will. So the decision on the termination of confrontation does not depend on Russia. We are for the resumption of equal cooperation.“
– “— You say that we didn’t start the confrontation. I suspect that any Westerner you will object: is it not you took away the Crimea from Ukraine and has included it in structure of Russia? You could not do it!
— Crimea really isn’t our initiative. We are here to “thank” US. Washington has initiated the process of anti-constitutional state coup in Ukraine. The Crimea was joined to Russia not because Russia wanted it, but because the population of the Peninsula held a referendum and an absolute majority of votes have decided: we want to live in Russia and not in Ukraine.
The only real alternative to joining the Crimea to Russia was the mass bloodshed on the Peninsula. Therefore, I am convinced that the international community we must say thank you for the Crimea. Thank you for the fact that in this region, unlike Donbass, there were no mass deaths.
— And what, from your point of view, the real chance that the international community will tell us thanks for the Crimea, for example, in the form of recognition of the lawfulness of his entry into Russia?
— The international community recognizes Crimea as Russian territory, as the decision of the Crimean people should be respected and the referendum on the status of Crimea consistent with international law and the UN Charter and took into account including the Kosovo precedent.
— And the fact that the region is in word and deed, will return to the Ukraine, do you believe?
— Donbass from structure of Ukraine did not come out. We are interested that Ukraine has been preserved as a single state, and is not interested in the collapse. We believe that the Minsk agreements should be fully implemented. The question is, is there such a willingness from the authorities in Kiev.
— And whether the strategic defeat of Russia the fact that Ukraine turned to the country whose “national ideology” are de facto extreme forms of hatred towards our country? Were, from your point of view, the opportunity to prevent such developments?
Russian analysts, including in the government, warned of the potential escalation of the situation in Ukraine. However, they predicted that it comes to coup with anti-Russian overtones. And we had Ukrainians had massive material and financial assistance. Currently, the leadership of Ukraine are the appointees of the U.S., which do somebody else’s will, aimed at further distance their country from Russia. Such a political course and no future. If it is not time to give up, then it will lead to a complete collapse the Ukrainian economy, and to the disintegration of Ukraine.
However in the Russian Federation, and Ukraine resides, essentially, one people, which is still divided. Ukraine will inevitably be a time of rethinking what is being done. In the end, normal relations between our countries will be restored.
— You mentioned the possibility of the collapse of Ukraine’s economy. And what are the prospects for the Russian economy? Americans, it seems, on this and build their calculations, saying that soon Russia will run out of economic resources and it will raise his hands up.
— Russia — self-sufficient country, which can itself provide. You asked me about the collapse of the Soviet Union. The USSR, by the way, broke up not because of problems in the economy. The leaders of the USSR simply lost. They did not understand what and how they had to do, didn’t see solutions to the problems of the country. And most importantly, the Soviet leadership didn’t take responsibility. It forgets the basic principle of governance: if you decide you for it and respond. Recall, for example, the decision to use troops in Georgia or Lithuania. Does anyone believe that they took on the level of the performers? Listen, you cannot be serious.
— I agree that it is not serious. But what does this have to the economic problems of the USSR or modern Russia?
It has the most direct relation to the decomposition of the state system. The leadership of the Soviet Union at the right moment has not shown political will, he had no conviction in their ability to preserve the country, including not been accepted and the necessary measures in the economy. The current leadership of Russia is not proved that the political will he has and it is able to maintain and strengthen the constitutional order, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state.
— And if solvable in principle contradictions between Russia and NATO? What, from your point of view, is a specific strategic goal of NATO against our country?
— In order to understand NATO”s purpose, we first need to take the following: the NATO are clearly in the mainstream of American politics. To neutralize the “overly independent” members of the Alliance (France, Germany and Italy) Washington skillfully uses anti-Russian orientation of the Eastern flank of the North Atlantic bloc. The US leadership outlined the plan to dominate the world. In this regard, they do not need a strong Russia. On the contrary., they need to weaken our country. The achievement of this objective is not excluded, by the collapse of the Russian Federation too. This will open up the United States access to rich resources, which, in their opinion, Russia has unfairly.
We are concerned by the increasing power potential of NATO and the empowerment of global functions in violation of international law. The intensification of military activities of the bloc countries, further expansion of the Alliance, the approach of its military infrastructure to Russia’s borders pose a threat to our security.
— The USA does not exclude or want the collapse of Russia?
— Washington believes that, if desired, can play a catalytic role in this process.
— Would we choose to grab a bit of other people’s resources? Recently, a number of Latvian and Ukrainian the Internet-editions wrote about some of your interviews where you allegedly talked about plans of the Russian Federation on power to counter NATO until the capture of certain countries.
— Nothing like I said. Representatives of the Ukrainian and Latvian electronic mass media has attributed to me words which I never said. They, apparently, was wishful thinking.
— How realistic is Russia assessed the situation, taking the decision to launch a military operation in Syria? Do not drag the chestnuts out of the fire for others — for example, to Assad or to Iran?
— Recently in North Africa and the Middle East intensified international terrorist organizations such as ISIL, al-Qaida and “Dzhabhat EN-Nusra”. The scale of their operations creates a security threat to many countries, including the Russian Federation. Military defeat of the Syrian Arab Republic and its collapse would inevitably lead to the intensification of these terrorist organizations, and eventually to re-direct the extremists on Russian territory.
We have already faced with the actions of international terrorists in Russia. But most of such will be tolerated. In this regard, we are fighting international terrorism outside of our country. In Syria we are defending primarily their own interests, as well as the security of other countries from international terrorism.
— And if our military operation in Syria to the category of those that are relatively easy to start but very difficult to finish? Not does one have to fight in this country for many years?
— In Syria there are issues that we must solve. It will take some time, but the sooner the military operation ends, the better.
Author: Mikhail Rostovsky