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Vzglyad, Russia

US Still Has a Chance


By Sergei Gavrov

We are choosing our allies based on their usefulness in solving our historical problems, and the U.S. still has a chance to become one among that number — once it conducts its policies sensibly, of course.

Translated By Rina Hay

30 April 2013

Edited by Bora Mici


Russia - Vzglyad - Original Article (Russian)

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spoken out against Eurasia's merger around Russia, even if this happens in fully civilized, economic forms. “We are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it,” she said.

We are grateful for this occasion to reflect on the as yet unused capacity for geopolitical dialogue between the U.S. and our Eurasian integrated region. We need to think asymmetrically, not in the spirit of the Cuban Missile Crisis or Russia's “Bulava” strategic nuclear forces. The “Bulava” missile submarine exists — thank God —and is a good final argument for the U.S. elites to cool their eagerness in using the “Magnitsky List” and in opposing our Eurasian integration.

Today it is worthwhile to think about the crossover of Russian and U.S. interests in Europe and Asia. For example, we can form a closer union with China, and the period of U.S. geopolitical localization and China's globalization will depend on our position. It is therefore also worthwhile for the U.S. to give serious thought to what it may offer Russia in exchange for a more moderate position toward China.

In recent decades, our position in Europe has changed in a most serious way. It is quite a common assertion that from the late 1980s to the beginning of the 1990s Russia moved from the winners' to the losers' club in terms of world wars, and territorial and population losses always accompany losing a world war. For Russia, losing the Cold War cost us over one-third of our territory and population. Throughout the 20th century, our country has not only lost the Kingdom of Poland and Finland, but our Western border has also been divided along the line demarcated by the events of September through October 1941, 400 kilometers from Moscow. In less than 100 years, we have lost territories that even the most ardent revolutionists and ethnic separatists of the Russian empire could not have predicted.

However, if someone among the U.S. elites decides that this territory is lost forever, then it would become a debatable question, as is the question of how our defeat in the Cold War was profitable to the U.S. from a mid-range historical perspective. Still, the geopolitical victory of the U.S. over the USSR turned Russia and Germany — which prostrated itself in 1945 — into potential allies in the shared misfortune of losing world wars and objectively being forced to decide similar historical situations.

For now Germany is asleep, lulled by the infantilism of the younger generation, decades of economic growth and millions of gay pride parades. But nothing lasts forever, and the public anesthesia following the horrors of World War II should gradually pass. It will not be long until Germany wakes up.

Twenty years ago, Germany was reunited and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher considered it “a great friend” of Russia — as well as a great danger to the West. In March of 1990, she urged France to join forces with the U.K. in the face of the new “German threat,” informing Mikhail Gorbachev that the West did not want a unified Germany two months before the fall of the Berlin wall:

“We do not want a united Germany. This would lead to a change to postwar borders, and we cannot allow that because such a development would undermine the stability of the whole international situation and could endanger our security.”

But if the reunification of Germany posed an obvious threat to the West, it does not follow that it posed just as obvious a benefit to Russia.

If this had been the case it would have been important to assist in the rise of Germany, strengthen economic and political ties with Berlin and pay more attention to the historical grievances of the Germans. We remember, however, that the Sudeten Germans and unions of other forced immigrant groups were the bitter enemies of the Soviet Union. And why wouldn't they have been? They claimed right of return to the western regions of Poland and the Sudeten regions of Czechoslovakia.

Today, these formerly odious political structures and demands look quite different. Czechoslovakia no longer exists. After turning to NATO by providing its territory for the deployment of anti-missile systems, Poland has betrayed us for the last time in its era of "solidarity." We do not bear today any moral obligations before the Poles, whose return toward Russia is only possible if Warsaw voluntarily returns to the integrated Eurasian space. If this does not occur, we will be better able to understand and relate to the interests of the former “East Germans” (Volksdeutsche), keeping in mind the deportations of 1945 and 1946.

Those of us in Russia held on to the principles of postwar Europe, including its legal principles, sincerely and until the last possible moment. It was not our choice: We wanted to leave everything intact, but the West practically destroyed the postwar world order. Since the end of the 1980s, the Potsdam and Yalta agreements have gone through major revisions on the West's initiative, and we have lost the geopolitical results of World War II in Europe.

Now from A follows B and, namely, the return of Germany to world politics. Even today the German National Bank is re-appropriating its gold reserves from London and Paris, and soon all German gold will be returned from Fort Knox. Global newspaper headlines on German topics can currently be reduced to something like this: “2013, An Important Year for Restoration of Sovereignty of German State.” Considering one or two possible ways to create a Russo-German strategical alliance, we have waited patiently, withdrawn the Russian army from Germany, built the “Nord Stream” together with Gerhard Schroeder and strengthened economic cooperation in every way possible.

And so we have much to answer to the U.S. about our actions in Europe, but we are not seduced by anti-Americanism, or even by fanaticism — in the spirit of U.S. blockbusters — to destroy the U.S.

Where would we buy iPhones and iPads? What would happen to Silicon Valley and NASA, the prospect of fusion engines for our reach into the solar system and mankind's interplanetary advancement? In the depths of our mysterious Slavic souls, we actually love America and sympathize with its president of African-American origins, Barack Hussein Obama, almost as much as we sympathized with JFK in the 1960s. This view is quite in the spirit of the reflections of classical Russian philosopher Aleksandr Zinoviev, who wrote that the collapse of the Soviet Union would be a great global tragedy, but the defeat of the U.S. and the West in general would represent just as great a danger for humanity.

Even today we do not wish for the complete destruction of the West. We only wish for the U.S. not to meddle in the integration processes in our common home of Eurasia. Even better would be the help of the U.S. in the Eurasian re-orientation of Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic states and Eastern Europe in general, as was true at the end of World War II. Then our attitude toward the U.S., our geopolitical rival, will become more restrained. In other words, we are choosing our allies based on their usefulness in solving our historical problems, and the U.S. still has a chance to become one among that number — once it conducts its policies sensibly, of course.



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