Alexander Romanovich: we shouldn’t expect any breakthrough in the Russia-NATO relations
Alexander Romanovich, Vice-Chairman of the State Duma, commented on the results of the Russia-NATO Council meeting in Brussels:
Many people got surprised about how quickly the Russia-NATO Council meeting, this time in Brussels, followed the NATO summit in Warsaw (8-9 July). Hardly had Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) called for NATO to clarify some of the decisions made in Warsaw regarding deployment of new military structures near our borders, when the alliance bureaucratic machine issued a proposal for a meeting, however, only at the level of ambassadors and permanent representatives.
As we have always stood for a dialogue, we accepted the proposal but were disappointed. The Russian party was actually offered a protocol review of the summit decisions at best. It was a miniature Warsaw scenario when the NATO members who seemed to be talking about their commitment to a dialogue, actually pointed to the reason (from their point of view) why it did not succeed; of course, it is our fault.
Following the results of the Russia-NATO Council, Yens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of the alliance, seemed to have uttered something about the necessity of a political dialogue with Russia during the period of tensions, but then, he backtracked at once and specified that recovery of the former relations with Moscow was not possible.
The Plenipotentiary representative of Russia to the Alliance Alexander Grushko was more particular: "Russia and NATO do not have a positive agenda now, trust between the RF and NATO is impossible without decrease in the military activities of the alliance near the Russian borders."
We can’t but agree with this opinion. We shouldn’t expect any breakthrough in the Russia-NATO relations in the future. Let’s remember that even after signing the NATO-Russia Founding Act at the level of the heads of the NATO member-countries governments and the RF President, in Paris in 1997, the alliance still has not changed its policy. Regular meetings held at different levels, with participation of the defense ministers, heads of diplomatic missions and plenipotentiaries were just an ‘umbrella’ for NATO’s persistent eastward expansion and for some other steps that are certainly unpleasant for us...
The NATO members destroyed the Union Republic of Yugoslavia, invaded Iraq and Libya, took a quantity of former Warsaw treaty countries, some of the post-soviet republics, tried to "charm" Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. I think this line will be continued as it completely fits the strategy of the US-led West aimed at deterrence of Russia, artificial transformation of Russia into a ‘threat to security’ which might put new life into the growing decrepit of the Atlantic alliance, and this will help to ‘nourish’ the military-industrial complex of the West.
Our leadership knows its opponent perfectly well; it ‘psyched it out’ long ago, and that’s why it is so calm about the Atlanticists’ rhetoric, at the same time thinking through, in a balanced and competent way, the counter measures in response to NATO eastward expansion. Our country had a powerful vaccination against carelessness and trustfulness during the Great Patriotic War. Now we consistently do everything required for protection of our national interests, and we will not miss any maneuver of either NATO or the USA that might threaten our borders. At the same time, we are not going to reject a formal dialogue with NATO. This is useful for both exchange of opinions and removal of pretensions connected with refusal from contacts.