– About Vladimir Putin it said that he started out as open to the West, then he felt disappointed and in last instance he became hostile, or at least distant. The statements of President Medvedev (at meeting with you at the end of January) would suggest that he is almost at stage number two. I‘m wrong ?
– I can‘t to comment about the feelings of the President – it is generally unacceptable. We cannot judge the feelings, but only on specific statements and actions. I wouldn‘t say that Russia was disappointed with the West per se. Rather, we‘re uncomfortable when in some cases, sometimes, on relations with the West are dealing with an unpredictable, and even duplicitous partner. This greatly complicates our work together.
– What is most important aspect that the West seems unable to feel/to understand about Russia ?
– As to misunderstanding by the West about Russia, I’m afraid, that the successors of the Western school of sovietology and russology hasn’t the problem of a misunderstanding, but, more likely, a certain crisis of «over-understanding». The Western experts know very much, and this congestion of informations, sometimes, impedes to draw it simple and obvious conclusions. Yes, Russia is a complex country, but is enough to watch her with love, and all rises on the seats. Or, at least, to watch without animal hatred.
– Even if President Medvedev wants a „direct and unequivocal response“ from NATO about Russia’s place in the anti-missile shield, I think it’s too early to conclude. But allow me to observe that the signals disclosed by the two parties are somewhat contradictory. While NATO representatives speak of progress, from Moscow the declarations are more cautious, even in a tone of discontent (directed mainly to the American partner, because as we all know, Russia has very good relations with key European partners). It’s a variant of the famous „Divide et impera“ through which Russia hopes that its Security Strategy to become a must for the European space ?
– President Dmitry Medvedev’s offer about the formation of a new architecture of the European security, as well as idea about sectoral European missile shield with participation of Russia are directed not on division, and into consolidation of the Europe — but this time not against Russia as was within Cold war and long-term time later, and together with Russia. Therefore we also count on fair and confidential dialogue under these projects both with Americans, and with Europeans partners. By the way, president Barack Obama has found the idea about «sectoral responsibility » much interesting.
– Diplomacy is an art which gives the relationship between country elegance. But in contrast with you, I think that is also politics. As for coming and ask: what are those issues of missile shield on which Russia is not willing to negotiate ?
– For us, the „red line“ in the negotiations on missile defense held on the following neuralgic points. Firstly, we are categorically against the deployment of radar and other components of the missile shield in the North-East Europe, Scandinavia, Poland and the Baltic countries. There does not get the rocket from the South, and no one, except for General Moroz (n.r.: Frost) and polar bears, nobody threatens dangerous this region. Any attempt to deploy a U.S. missile defense elements will be regarded as unfriendly, because it can only be directed against Russia. Second – it is about the guarantees that the deployment of missile defense will not compromises the strategic potential of Russia and would not entail threats to security of our people. If there are no such guarantees, then we will be unable to meet our partners. Finally, the third – we think that is unacceptable militarization of outer space. The movement of combat equipment in outer space – this is the inevitable consequence of technological development of missile defense systems. I think it is important to consider this aspect. Hopefully, we’ll agree in advance not to cross that line.
– What are the chances of a resumption of negotiations on the CFE Treaty, after overcoming a neuralgic points on anti-missile shield (I ask because Romania and Turkey – as hosts of the NATO missile shield are part of those limitrophe areas of the CFE Treaty) ? What is your opinion ?
– If will it be possible to implement the Russian proposal that military planning between NATO and Russia to get out of the paradigm „against each other“ and European missile shield to be a common system with clearly outlined, the need for CFE Treaty will disappear. Materialization of a common European missile defense system will lead to a high level of trust and cooperation between the parties and the need to calculate the limitations on the flanks will be obsolete. We’ll go on to a completely new quality of information exchange. And, of course, will eliminate many of the differences and current concerns.
– Of all the European NATO partners who have readjusted policies on bilateral relations with Russia, Romania seems unable to find a way to do so. I believe that neither Russia is not too willing to do so. Hard to understand, because Russia is a state – in Putin‘s words – who value loyalty. Romania should be condemned because is a loyal partner of NATO ?
– Not. But also I think, that there is no fault of Russia that Romania takes in Council Russia-NATO of the special position. More likely, this question should be set to Bucharest first, instead of Moscow. Romania seeks to strengthen its role in region, but the methods with which it operates, personally I think are suspicios. For example, the policy concerning the Republic of Moldova is obviously aimed on Anschluss, and it to worry, especially in light of the fact that on the Dnestr river is a „frozen conflict“, always ready to erupt. And many public statements uttered by President Basescu showed a hostile character to Russia. It’s hard to believe that something like it can predispose to dialogue. I hope, it only rhetoric. But it only should depress us.
– Mr. Rogozin, there were circulated several versions of Russia-NATO relationship. But rarely hear talk about a «NATO» of the Group from Shanghai. Why ? World of the future is built with panoramic views on the Pacific Ocean (and the recent tensions on the Kuril Islands show that Russia has understood this.) Russia fears that the long term will not be able to manage the relationship with China ?
– Russia has large parts of its land on Asia and the multi-vector foreign policy, and our participation in the SCO, as well as the bilateral strategic partnership with China, not in any way interferes with our relations with NATO and has practically no effect on them. As for what some fear, then I can say that we aren‘t a country that is guided by phobias.
– You asked for an investigation with the NATO-Russia Council into the cyber attack that hit Iran’s nuclear facilities last year (using Stuxnet worm), and warned of the danger of triggering a disaster comparable to the one in Chernobyl 25 years ago. What feedback you received from partners ?
– I have no right to disclose about how respond to my partners from Russia-NATO Council. I will say something else: I don‘t like that NATO cyber defense issue is a taboo subject in discussions with Russia.
– After the mission to NATO, will opt you for politics stage of Moscow or you may be tempted to try your powers in the Caucasus (where, Alexander Khloponin – when he was appointed Presidential Envoy – said that „nothing is impossible to solve“, just only that the results are still not seeing) ? I remember there was such an intention of you some time ago…
– As probably is already known, on February 18 I received a new assignment – this means that I’m chief of the working group under the Presidential Administration to coordinate the participation of the Russian Federation in international cooperation on missile defense. In other words, now, I’m Special Envoy of the President of Russia on cooperation with NATO on missile defense system. As you can see, I’m staying in foreign policy, and this new mission of my work is extremely important and crucial. Wish me good luck !
interview made by Gabriela Ionita
P.S. Versiunea în limba română poate fi citită aici.