The summits of organizations in which Russia plays a significant role, such as the SCO, CSTO, and BRICS, have recently come to an end. Traditionally, international security is an important topic on their agenda. Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev spoke in more detail about this in an interview with AIF.
Vitaly Tseplyaev, АиФ.ru: – Nikolai Platonovich, the abbreviations BRICS, SCO, and CSTO don’t mean much to most readers. Could you tell me what is the real contribution of these structures?: do they contribute to maintaining peace and stability?
Nikolai Patrushev: – The role of these organizations in the modern world is growing. This is an objective trend. For example, BRICS accounts for more than 40% of the world’s population, 25% of global GDP, and 22% of global trade turnover. Based on purchasing power parity, for example, the BRICS have already surpassed the Group of Seven in terms of gross domestic product: 33% versus 30%.
Making friends against someone is not our principle.
— Nikolai Patrushev
Within the framework of the SCO, BRICS and CSTO, practical steps are being taken to strengthen global stability, regional security, trade and economic ties. We cooperate on an ongoing basis in the fight against terrorism, transnational crime, drug production and distribution, illegal migration, piracy, and the use of information and communication technologies for criminal purposes. And in the context of the ongoing pandemic, we are paying attention to the joint fight against the spread of infections.
I will not list all the areas in which our countries work together. It is important that these actions are aimed at the benefit of all people. Making friends against someone is not our principle.
— At the summits, special attention is paid to the latest developments in Afghanistan. Do you have the feeling that by withdrawing from this country, the Americans simply shifted responsibility to Russia and its regional partners?
— Indeed, the irresponsible withdrawal of American troops has led to the fact that the states of the region have to face increasing problems that the Westerners have not only not solved, but also aggravated. Under these conditions, the SCO and CSTO countries become the main guarantors of stability in Central Asia. In fact, Afghanistan has become a litmus test, once again confirming that Washington has no friends in the world, but only its own selfish interests. After spending trillions of dollars on military operations, the United States and its allies have left chaos and destruction in their wake everywhere. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, now Ukraine, and even earlier Yugoslavia, dozens of Asian, African, and Latin American states are all examples of the destructive American strategy of global dominance.
For Washington, there are no friends in the world, but only its own selfish interests. After spending trillions of dollars on military operations, the United States and its allies have left chaos and destruction in their wake everywhere.
Where Washington cannot achieve its goals through open military intervention, it aggressively intervenes in the internal affairs of sovereign States. Washington is trying to isolate undesirable countries from the outside world, cut off even from the supply of basic means of survival. Look at Venezuela or, for example, Cuba, where the situation escalated this summer. Planes carrying food, medicine, and medical equipment flew from Moscow to Havana almost immediately. From Washington, there were calls for Cubans to take to the streets and overthrow the legitimate government. This is American-style democracy.
But in each of its next bills, Washington cynically calls Russia, China, Iran and a number of other states “bad” countries, violators of order, revanchists, malicious players.
— Apparently, according to American lawmakers, only the United States can be a “good” country.
— It is the United States that is the main instigator of disorder in the world. Moreover, each successive geopolitical experiment of Washington not only affects a single state and its people, but also sets off a chain reaction that destabilizes entire regions, including the West itself.
After the American fiasco in Afghanistan, conditions are forming for a new migration crisis, even more severe than in 2015. Then, from the countries of the Middle East and North Africa destroyed by the Americans and Europeans, so many refugees poured across the Mediterranean Sea that no one can still count them.
I believe that the United States and its allies should bear responsibility for the destruction of the economies of sovereign states, the aggravation of interethnic and political problems, and the activation of terrorist, extremist and other threats. This includes providing compensation that significantly exceeds the multi-trillion dollars they spent on undermining stability around the world.
— The Afghan crisis has become an occasion for the G7 to recognize the role of Russia and China in solving global and regional problems. Do you think that the Big Seven can once again become the “Eight”, or even the “Nine”?
— The G7 countries, with their proposal to involve China and Russia in solving security issues in Central Asia, confirmed the fact that this association is only a discussion club. Moreover, discussions there are conducted under the strict control of Washington.
The format you specified is no longer relevant today. Russia participates only in those international structures and clubs where real problems are solved and the principle of equality prevails, where foreign standards and rules of behavior are not imposed on anyone.
— Not so long ago, President Biden, speaking in connection with the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, said that the era of power restructuring of sovereign states is ending.
— Let me remind you that almost every American president has made such statements over the past hundred years. Perhaps you know the expression “the war that will end all wars”? So, this formulation belongs more to Woodrow Wilson. He used it to persuade his fellow citizens to support his decision to join the United States Army in the First World War. And after that, the Americans started more wars than any other country. Another loud revelation of the White House — just words uttered more out of desperation. The authorities of the United States and Western countries in general are aware that their ability to influence the global situation and maintain their hegemony is decreasing every year. Internal problems in the West are rapidly accumulating and are already close to critical mass. This was especially evident in the United States last year, when the Capitol was stormed and racial protests inspired from within turned into real street battles.
For these reasons, it is increasingly difficult for Americans and their allies to dictate their will to the world. But this does not mean that they will abandon such an imperial strategy.
— Nikolai Patrushev
But this does not mean that they will abandon such an imperial strategy. Rather, their actions will become more aggressive and unpredictable in order to divert the attention of their societies from internal troubles at the expense of external adventures. This is how all the crumbling empires worked, from ancient Rome to Britain.
— But modern Britain never tires of demonstrating its own exclusivity and imperial ambitions, including sharply criticizing Russia and demanding that it change its line on the world stage.
— After leaving the European Union, London began to implement the “Global Britain” project with a vengeance. However, before trying to restore the former imperial grandeur, the British would do well to deal with the problems at home. A significant number of people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland still do not consider themselves British. The English have driven the Scots into the mountains for centuries, the Welsh were used as cheap labor, and the Irish were taken out to work in the colonies as slaves. These peoples have been treated with as much neglect over the centuries as the Africans and Asians conquered by England.
During the signing of the Munich Agreement. From left to right: Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini and Ciano.
London’s anti-Russian policy also has a long history. Since the end of the 19th century, Britain has been trying to incite Japan against Russia, provoking the war of 1904-1905, as a result of which our country was forced to make significant territorial concessions. They tried to repeat this with Nazi Germany, preparing the Munich agreement.
Today, the British want to build their empire under the new banner of “global Britain” using the old methods. This is a reason to think about both England itself and the countries and peoples who once experienced British colonial oppression.
— You mentioned Japan. Should she also take history lessons into account?
Absolutely. In August 1945, the Soviet Union, having defeated the Kwantung Army with lightning speed, regained everything that the Japanese militarists tried to take away from our country. Now, some politicians in Tokyo are trying to stir up the past and present some old accounts to Russia, continue to blindly follow American instructions and willingly get involved in anti-Chinese and anti-Russian schemes like the Indo-Pacific formats.
— Do you mean the QUAD association, which includes the United States, India, Australia and Japan?
— We are actually talking about a new military-political bloc with a pronounced pro-American character. In fact, QUAD is a prototype of the Asian equivalent of NATO. Washington will try to draw other countries into this organization, mainly for conducting anti-Chinese and anti-Russian policies.
Just a few days ago, another military bloc was formed in the region — the US-British-Australian AUKUS, which pursues the same goals. It is characteristic that when it was created, the Americans also squeezed out their French partners, intercepting a lucrative deal to build nuclear submarines for Canberra. Apparently, Atlantic solidarity also comes at a price. I think many people in Paris now remember the story of the Mistrals.
In order to implement another White House gamble to strengthen control over such a promising region as the Asia-Pacific region today, the entire security architecture in Asia is being compromised, and prerequisites are being created for undermining the authority of ASEAN and other regional associations.
— Today, in principle, the interest of the whole world is shifting from Western countries to the Asia-Pacific region, where half of the world’s population lives and a significant part of its economy is concentrated. Is this an objective process or the result of European miscalculations?
Asia today is now acquiring the same geopolitical and economic significance for the whole world that Europe once possessed.
— Nikolai Patrushev
– This is largely facilitated by the Europeans themselves, who allowed the so-called European project to delegate a significant part of the sovereignty of their states to Brussels. And who rules the ball in the EU authorities? Not representatives of European nations, but bureaucrats serving the interests of multinational corporations.
Trying to declare its ambitions in international politics, the European Union only discredits itself. The report on EU relations with Russia adopted last week confirms this. Continuing its anti-Russian policy, the European Parliament declared its readiness for non-recognition of the results even before the State Duma elections.
Today, more and more countries understand that the European Union can hardly expect anything other than mentoring lectures on human rights and instilling pseudo-liberal values.
At the same time, some European states have a good foreign policy background, including a huge experience of building diplomacy in all regions of the world, which has more than one hundred years. I am referring primarily to Germany, France and Italy. We hope that these Powers will eventually get rid of external influence and return to their once pragmatic and independent policies.
— But will Washington allow these countries to withdraw from the associations under its control?
— The United States is not interested in independent European states, so they are already trying to create local formats that are beneficial to them even within the European Union. For example, the “Three Seas Initiative”, which consolidates the countries of Eastern Europe. It is presented as a constructive integration format, but in reality we are talking about a new anti-Russian association of states. In fact, this is a revival of the idea of creating a so-called “sanitary cordon” along the western border of our country a century ago.
— Of the newly created such associations, in recent days a number of countries have paid special attention to the so-called “Crimean Platform”.
— The “Crimean Platform” was created by Washington for the sake of appearing to care about the interests of Ukraine. Its declared goals are doomed to failure. Plans to violate the territorial integrity of Russia will remain in the offices in which they appeared. Playing along with Ukraine’s unrealistic territorial ambitions is unwise and dangerous. The Crimean Platform has become a gathering of representatives of countries that support the official government in Kiev, which nurtures nationalists, panders to radicals and openly declares its readiness for large-scale military operations against Russia.
Zelensky’s visit to Washington showed the real face of those who allegedly care for the well-being of Ukraine. The agreements reached will only benefit American businesses, which are once again allowed to profit from Ukrainian projects out of competition. This is nothing but veiled colonialism. The population of Ukraine itself is actively presented with this anti-national policy as a movement towards the so-called progressive West. And there are many who believe this propaganda.
– Americans and Europeans claim that they protect human rights…
— What are human rights? Freedom, protection of life and health, equality before the law and the courts, personal dignity and much more. The West cares about human rights, but in fact violates them en masse. The same biological laboratories created by Washington around the world pose a threat to the health of tens of millions of people, thereby violating their rights. Dissent is persecuted in the United States itself, many people are deprived of the opportunity to receive normal medical care, and representatives of far from all races and nationalities can’t count on fair decisions of judges and the police.
The same thing is happening in Europe. In the Baltic States, for example, a real policy of apartheid is being implemented against the Russian-speaking population. People have been living without citizenship for years, that is, virtually outside the legal field, and their use of the Russian language is considered an offense. In Ukraine, the authorities pass discriminatory laws on the Russian language and on indigenous peoples, and the United States and Europe either do not want to notice or directly condone this.
Under the hypocritical slogans of the struggle for equality in the West, blatant discrimination against citizens who adhere to traditional values is organized. What is worth just one systematic undermining of normal gender relations, when the father and mother are renamed parents number one and two, they want to give children the right to choose their own gender, and in some cases it comes to legalizing marriages with animals.
It is unlikely that countries with rich centuries-old traditions will want to have something in common with such values. Imposing alien norms on society will further divide the world on the principle of “friend — foe”, will become a reason for provoking hostility between states, and will lead to polarization of society in those countries where they will try to artificially impose such stereotypes.
— What kind of agenda does Russia offer to the modern world in this regard?
— Our country stands for expanding equal multilateral cooperation, developing universal international institutions, and working together to reduce global tensions and strengthen international security.
If the West creates associations of states to solve short-term problems, contain countries that it does not like and suppress its own allies, then Russia and our partners in the SCO, BRICS, EEU, CSTO and CIS have no shadow agenda. Our countries share a common contribution to ensuring national security and global stability, recognition of the primacy of international law and the coordinating role of the UN, rejection of interference in the internal affairs of independent states, readiness to defend their national interests uncompromisingly and treat the sovereignty of other countries with understanding.