Stylistics lessons from the Russian Foreign Ministry: The main format is Russia-USA and a little Russia-NATO | Latest news The Moscow Post
25 May 2022

Stylistics lessons from the Russian Foreign Ministry: "The main format is Russia-USA and a little Russia-NATO"

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the program "Big Game" on "Channel One" outlined his views on the situation of Russia in the world. The Russian Foreign Ministry called this program an "interview." And, in fact, it looks like a programmatic speech, to which the minister was pushed by the events of the last weeks of last year.

"Don't teach Russia to live!"

Firstly, these are events related to the instructions of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was about Russia defending what the country has been striving for over the past two decades. To respect her opinion, security interests, to uphold the right to vote in international affairs. Negotiations with the Americans and Euro-neighbors showed that work is underway in all three areas.

But it is not necessary to expect that Russia will quickly restore the positions lost following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the correspondent of The Moscow Post reports.

"We are used to starting from a cruel reality," - in such words, the veteran of Russian diplomacy ended the conversation with two hosts of the program with the talking name "Big Game." One of the leading programs was the American political scientist Dmitry Symes (Simis), who, by the way, emigrated from the USSR, in 1973 received American citizenship, was considered a consultant to Nixon, published the book Putin and the West. Don't teach Russia to live! "

Together with him, the program was also led by Vyacheslav Nikonov, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs, grandson of People's Commissar Molotov.

Pending written reaction

How did the negotiations go and what will happen next? This question is not yet answered only by Lavrov. He's not in the Kremlin or the White House. According to the minister, negotiations in Geneva and Brussels showed that the West continues to insist on "its rules," questioning the universal legitimacy of the UN. He does not want to concede (much less retreat!). He does this arrogantly, Lavrov added, resorting to the English definition of "arrogant."

Despite this spice, to which Russia refuses to get used, there is hope that Washington will still "make sense of the negotiations." Their tone was business and calm, which "allows us to count on the future," the minister added. In particular, we must wait for the promised written answers to the Russian proposals transmitted by the United States and NATO in December.

Russia approached the negotiations on these documents on the basis of the principle of "indivisibility of security." Indivisibility means that the security of one state should not be ensured by violating the security interests of another. This was the basis of Moscow's demands to provide legal guarantees that NATO would abandon further expansion to the East.

NATO objects to this demand: "there is an order: only the member countries themselves decide who to accept and who not, if the appeal is received." Russia refers Washington and Brussels "to the agreements developed within the framework of the entire Euro-Atlantic community and within the framework of the OSCE." Like, this was agreed, finally confirmed in 1999 in Istanbul at the OSCE summit with the adoption of the Charter for European Security.

In theory, Moscow retained the belief that neither Russia, nor the United States, nor NATO "have the right to claim dominant positions in the Euro-Atlantic region."

But in practice, as Lavrov admitted, "the West takes only what is beneficial to him." And he added that such a reaction was expected, but it was "fundamentally important to fulfill the direct instructions of the President."

And he continued: "Time was enough in Washington and Brussels. Both promised that they would put "on paper" their reaction. " We add that we should not expect something new in the written replies of Washington and Brussels. We should not expect that the "partner" will show decency, continuing to respect the provisions of the Charter for European Security. But we go further on the content of the interview.

To promise does not mean to fulfill

What will be Russia's answer? Will negotiations continue and what actions can be expected? To this, the Russian minister replied that it is important for Russia that "in the territories adjacent to us" strike weapons are not deployed, so that you can return to the provisions of the 1997 Russia-NATO fundamental act. Together with the Alliance's refusal to expand further, the implementation of these requirements could provide the basis for continued negotiations.

Sergey Lavrov repeated: Russian demands "are based not on NATO documents..., but on documents adopted at the highest level in the OSCE, including the 1999 Istanbul Summit." The minister also recalled the promises of opponents and about the non-expansion of NATO. In February 1990, such came from US Secretary of State J. Baker to the Secretary General of the CPSU Central Committee M.S. Gorbachev. Then British Prime Minister J. Major repeated these assurances in a conversation with Secretary of Defense D.T. Yazov. All this is described in the memoirs of the British ambassador to Russia at the turn of the 1990s. R. Breitwaite, published in 2002.

Promises were made "to our other leaders by people who were in a hurry and mainly focused on solving other more urgent tasks," the minister explained. "The English explanation of the deception" boils down to "rush," to the fact that the leaders of Western countries "allegedly did not mean to mislead someone."

"Amazing," said the minister. And it's hard to disagree with him. Only it remains to find an answer to the question of who in a hurry made decisions in the Kremlin, calling them fateful?

We act on his direct instructions

Depending on what "our Western partners will offer us in terms of counter-initiatives," Lavrov said, he intends to report to the President. "We will determine how to respond," the minister said.

Then there was a conversation about sanctions, which, as the American participant in the program formulated, are quite possible. He asked Sergei Lavrov: "What will Moscow go to? ". In response, he heard: "We will never act like the United States."

The question was slurred, as were the very threats from US senators. The response sounded the characterization of the United States, for which "in recent years, sanctions have become the main instrument of foreign policy. The culture of diplomacy and compromise is almost lost. The American line in the international arena is dictated by the awareness of its own exclusivity. " But Russia would like to "return to negotiating methods for solving problems."

Regarding the fuss in the US Congress, the speaker noted, citing Vladimir Putin, that "if they follow this path, they will destroy our relations. We do not want to frighten anyone, we will make decisions based on the specific situation that will arise as a result of certain actions of the United States and its Western allies. " And once again I remembered the "arrogance," which Russia cannot but feel in the position of the West.

Diplomacy - the art of the possible

Sergey Lavrov switched the conversation on the topic of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles (INF), other areas "on which further negotiations can be conducted," including space, cyberspace, and arms control.

He recalled that more than two years ago, after the Americans "broke" the relevant agreement, Moscow took the initiative

a unilateral moratorium on the INF Treaty, inviting Washington to join, "make the moratorium joint." It was also suggested that verification measures be agreed in order to convince the West that the Iskander systems did not fall under the bans of the INF Treaty.

They invited to Kaliningrad, in response they were not opposed to visiting the American missile defense bases in Romania and Poland, to look at the MK-41 launchers.

The West refused, ignoring the fact that "the initiative originally involved verification."

Lavrov said that "this is one of the concrete results," which is proposed to be fixed "on paper."

According to Lavrov, the Natovites "themselves said that they were ready to discuss a new regime on intermediate and shorter-range missiles,... that they are ready to abandon such missiles in nuclear equipment. In non-nuclear - they will think. " There is no difference, according to Lavrov, "a nuclear or non-nuclear missile will be detected and perceived as a direct threat."

The element "pulled out" of Russian proposals - not to deploy strike weapons near the borders of Russia - is "a useful thing, but in isolation from the main requirement of NATO's non-expansion to the East, it will hardly be significant... We will continue the standby mode, but it cannot be long, "the minister added.

Answer must be fast

The answer should be quick, continued Sergey Lavrov, again referring to the President's speech at the expanded Board of the Foreign Ministry and stating this later.

The Russian side has reason to suspect the "NATO" of its intention to "wind up" the process, and there is also a possibility that the Americans and their main allies agree to make the OSCE the main platform. But the proposals were made by the United States -- the "main player" making all decisions, as well as NATO.

The Foreign Minister noted at the same time that the "European Union was" on the backbenches, "where he sent himself - to the" backbenches of European security. " And he continued this topic, recalling the "strategic autonomy" and the fact that "no one will allow the European Union anything," that the obedient "support group" in NATO and the EU brought the whole process to the fact that the Alliance is a pillar of security, including for the EU. Brussels and the main European diplomat J. Borrel thus received an assessment of their activities. Moreover, an assessment of the role of the European Union in European security issues.

Then came the OSCE line. And the minister noted that Moscow "did not initiate negotiations in the OSCE," where everything has long been "revolving around Ukraine, everything comes down to Ukraine." This was noticeable at the negotiations in Geneva and in Brussels. For Russia, "the main format is Russia-USA and a little Russia-NATO," said Sergey Lavrov.

And then went to the Western policy "in relation to countries that are not members of NATO." The European Parliament adopted a resolution that demands to stop the development of the Union State of Russia and Belarus. The Americans threaten sanctions against Turkey, India, Indonesia, Egypt only for the fact that they openly, on commercial terms, conclude agreements with us. Nord Stream 2 is simply the freedom to carry out ordinary commercial activities in world markets. Let's not forget that the 71st Secretary of State E. Blinken publicly demanded an explanation of why Kazakhstan invited peacekeepers from the CSTO. And the OSCE did not respond adequately to events in Kazakhstan, trying to call for respect for the rights of journalists, human rights, etc.

And "freedom of choice" for Ukraine

"About the freedom to choose unions,... this is NATO's position. We cannot be guided by NATO's position. We are guided by the agreements that all OSCE countries, including all NATO countries, have signed at the highest level, "Lavrov said.

NATO and individual countries, he said, show complete lack of agreement. The Minsk agreements are also not implemented, as is the agreement between Belgrade and Pristina on the creation of a community of Serbian municipalities. Thereby demonstrating the "impotence of the European Union." The community of Serbian municipalities of Kosovo intended to grant the Serbs autonomous rights, much reminiscent of what is spelled out in the Minsk agreements for the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics. In the case of Belgrade and Pristina, the European Union was an intermediary, Germany and France spoke in the Minsk agreements on behalf of the EU.

And the main thing that turned out to be unacceptable for Moscow also sounded in public space: "There are proposals to impose sanctions regardless of whether there will be an" attack "on Ukraine or not. Just because we're not removing troops from our territory. At the same time, the American delegation... stated that they will not move their armed forces and military equipment in Europe anywhere from our borders. "

On the finishing question of whether positions of Russia as a result of the taken place negotiations and also as a result of peacekeeping operation of forces of the CSTO in Kazakhstan became stronger, Sergei Lavrov answered that in the second case all "was made ideally from the technical and logistic point of view and also in terms of achievement of result".

Summing up the results of Sergey Lavrov's conversation with the hosts and viewers of the Big Game program, you can see the following.

First, "principles aimed at ensuring the security of everyone and everyone without compromising someone's interests and without compromising the security of anyone" no longer work for the United States.

Secondly, on the part of the United States (White House, State Department), negotiations are proposed on issues of medium-range missiles, on the possible limitation of military maneuvers, on their better awareness of military maneuvers.

Let's hope, but this is no longer the minister's words.

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