Interview with Yu Kvitsinskiy, first deputy chairman of the Duma Committee for International Affairs
QUESTION. Russia's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, finally took place. As you would expect, is that none of the other countries did not follow our example. West unleashed a barrage of criticism at us, and threats. Other countries have taken a wait. What next?
ANSWER. In my opinion, the situation is developing without any surprises. Recognition of independence created a fait accompli, modify or cancel that is now almost impossible. In accordance with international law, since this recognition can not take back. Russia's position is thus defined and irreversible. As for Georgia and its Western friends, they can, of course, refuse to South Ossetia and Abkhazia for recognition, but it really matter now and in the foreseeable future will not have. The greater pressure on Abkhazia and South Ossetia from the outside, the closer and closer will develop their relations with Russia. There is a blessing in disguise. In addition, in accordance with international legal doctrine, the recognition has no constitutive value, that is not a criterion of statehood. At the other criteria of statehood - the presence of its territory, the body of citizens, effective state power, etc. All this from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and long had passed the test of time.
As for the criticism and threats, they were expected and predictable. After the recognition of a serious blow to US plans to further advance cooperation with NATO and the EU in the post-Soviet space. To abandon these plans are not going to the West. It was believed that the movement to the east can be continued in spite of the complaints and objections of Russia and Russian will be enough to continue to "explain" that all this is supposedly not directed against their interests and even beneficial for them. It is from this point of view was written the new strategic doctrine of NATO, which is going to assert at the anniversary summit of the alliance in April next year. And suddenly such an embarrassment! That raises the noise coming up as a painful pinch Russia. Perhaps, Moscow will reconsider its decision, perhaps, be able to get her to go to the maneuvering and to impose a rotten compromise.
QUESTION. But if, in theory, Moscow would have faltered and went back on their word? It is no secret that in our so-called "ruling elite" such sentiments were also there. They say: why do we need Abkhazia and South Ossetia? Where it would be better to have good relations with Georgia. There, they say, the traditionally friendly Russian Georgians live. And with the West over the Abkhazians and Ossetians quarrel, and in fact the main partners of Russia - it is the US and Europe. It is a pity to miss a chance to finally become a civilized European country. After all, since more than 15 years, Russia has tried to imitate, if not the Americans, at least the Germans or Swedes.
ANSWER. So say those who are ready with giblets given to the West, for whom the state and national interests of Russia is nothing compared to the safety of their exported overseas capital, the ability to fatten on rastranzhirovanii our irreplaceable natural wealth and meekly accept the attempts of the West continue to control our internal policies and demand of rejection of an independent foreign policy. Enough to read our newspapers, under the control of the community, listen to the speeches of their representatives to understand what they want, and indignant.
I remember in the early '90s I had the opportunity to be in Sweden at the conference influential public organization "People and Defense", which discussed the question of the beginning of NATO expansion to the east, including the Baltic states. The conference participants were confused, however, that the Russian government against this. Then took the floor Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs and explained that the failure of Russia easily organize any official political line of his hands as Russian politicians and journalists. And it is ridiculously cheap.
Indeed, the Russian government said that NATO in its movement to the east must not overstep the "red line." A so-called "political elite" galdeli that there is no danger in leaving NATO to the border of the former USSR, and then in his own territory does not see. The result is known. Now I try to do the same. But times have changed yet. Seeing that the West failed to support Mr. Saakashvili that Russia turns away from the former course, our liberal pro-Westerners realized that they can "throw" as well as the Georgian leader and therefore have decided lie low or even for the kind of support a strong stand, occupied Moscow. So let's hope for the best. The main thing that our leaders did not flinch under pressure from the West and by the whisperings of our "wise minnows." We see that the vast majority of Russians support Russia's actions in South Ossetia conflict. This is - a reliable support for the continuation of a confident and consistent policy.
In addition, it would give us, despite the attack from the south, continued dancing to the tune of Washington? Perhaps the willingness of the West to abandon double standards in dealing with Russia and move to a truly fair partnership? Certainly not. We pour mud because rebuffed adventurer Saakashvili and protect its citizens. And if not protected, it still poured to mud, but in this case, because wimps, political impotent men, swollen by petrodollars, for not being able to cope even with the Georgian dwarf who and planted just a couple of rifles , tanks and planes that then with the opinion of Moscow in general can be considered to stop. No, Medvedev and Putin took the right decision. Finally accepted. Otherwise, the decline in prestige within the country and in the international arena would be catastrophic.
QUESTION. Yet if everything was done correctly in this situation and done now?
ANSWER. In the West, it was put into circulation thesis that supposedly treacherous Moscow Saakashvili rigged trap, provoking it to attack, only to humiliate the West and its favorite ally. This, of course, only a propaganda twist in the psychological war against us, but the twist is unique in its shamelessness. In fact, the impression is that Russia for an immediate reflection of the attack was not ready. This entailed initially a dangerous waste of time. Manage to grab a relatively small Georgian territory of South Ossetia and close the Roki tunnel in terms of the planned, Russian aid would be no one to assist. The situation is not in our favor. That's why from now on the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia should have sufficient Russian troops. It is a guarantee against the repetition of the tragedy.
After Russian troops Georgians fled. Moreover, they ran headlong. The road to Tbilisi was opened. Terrified West fears regime change in Tbilisi. That is why Sarkozy rushed to Moscow to negotiate an immediate ceasefire. To ask us about it by the Americans was uncomfortable undervalued in the eyes of its allies and the world. Therefore sent the French. They have a great reputation adept at persuasion of Moscow, when the rest is not obtained. But Sarkozy would have been better to make, has already announced the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and not to delay the obvious step for later. Then the six-point document would have been different. Want ceasefire and suspension of our movement forward, accept independence as a fait accompli. You do not want to blame yourself. You can be sure that it would act.
When the document was signed by the French and the West appeared confident that Saakashvili's regime can be maintained, and the Russian troops stopped, then immediately began the game in the long known how to trick the Russian partner and reinterpret the meaning of the Russian-French agreement in their favor. I Started Saakashvili, who with the help of Mr Sarkozy has struck an agreed document on the future status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Then, at the meeting of EU leaders was an attempt to include the four new paragraphs. After that, the UN Security Council meeting on the document Sarkozy - Medvedev tried to leave a trace, and agreed to mangle the French themselves.
All of this - the ABC diplomatic cheating. In fact, why not try to do such an operation? In Russian there is an agreement with the French president. Well, with all France in this conflict? How can an agreement with her associate Mr. Saakashvili, his American patrons, British and Israeli friends, who organized the conflict? He suffers with the prestige of Sarkozy? So small matter. Survive the French. No wonder the angry Sarkozy at the first discussion of the document in the EU is reported to have tried to reason with his colleagues this: let not hurry you, cranks! The main thing now - to stop the war and to force Russian troops to withdraw. Then we get down to rework the arrangement. After that we will be punished and Russian, because they dared to beat Saakashvili. And then, God forbid, they will continue their offensive and the troops would be taken.
QUESTION. So what can we expect from the West is now in the next steps?
ANSWER. First of all, will try to limit the Russian military presence in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. For this employ leverage diplomatic, political, economic and other pressures. Second, try to introduce to the conflict zone the maximum number of all kinds of foreign inspectors, observers, advisors, not only from such doubtful friendly organizations as the OSCE, which Russia is a member. No, there will be representatives of pushing NATO and the EU. The expectation is that you can later somehow contrive to enter and military peacekeepers already
NATO and the EU. This was discussed at the meetings of the North Atlantic Alliance and the European Union. Saakashvili will be helped to restore his badly battered armed forces. To set the mood once again promised to take Georgia
NATO, however, to address this issue would be, of course, depending on the situation. It is also all sorts of political and military demonstrations in support of Saakashvili's like entering warships in the Black Sea ostensibly to deliver humanitarian aid to Georgia. Continue "Buz" at the UN and all the summits about the inadmissibility of violation of the territorial integrity of Georgia and condemnation of Russia's actions are unacceptable recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. They say that to us soon send a delegation of the French no longer alone (they played a role), and a number of states for the implementation of the new pressure on the Russian leadership. On the role of the captain of this team try on best friend Vladimir Putin Berlusconi. But it is easy bounces.
QUESTION. And with regard to itself Abkhazia and South Ossetia which, in your opinion, will make the West?
ANSWER. Probably, first in focus will not see them. Then, when it came to nothing lead, begin trying to flirt with the Abkhaz and South Ossetian leadership, to bribe him. In particular, there are tried and tested, though beaten, the method of enticing the EU membership. Then, they say, and the gap between the former mainland Georgia and separated parts of it will be conditional, and the EU, along with NATO, in the end, smoothly "vedut" in the Caucasus. Georgia manner virtually return to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Options like the game a lot, and to predict its details quite difficult.
QUESTION. Rogozin recently said that recognition of independence is not the annexation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. What did he mean?
ANSWER. It was better to ask those who entrusted him to make such a statement. It sounded - like it or not like Rogozin - as a kind of our commitment for the future. But in itself the statement is legally correct. Of course, recognition is not an annexation, not the illegal seizure of foreign territory. Another thing is that after the recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as sovereign states have the right to decide the question of its future status. To remain independent, to join international organizations and unions, to join Russia and so on. In my opinion, ready to address this issue and it is necessary to Russia in accordance with its strategic interests in the Caucasus.
QUESTION. What are the prospects of our relations with Georgia in these conditions?
ANSWER. We will have to fight for Georgia. Of course, we is desirable to have at its southern borders, at least, non-aligned, and even better friendly Georgia. But the path to it, most likely, and far and long. In Georgia, there are now powerful forces that do not have built their policies on a hostile attitude towards Russia. The so-called "Georgian opposition" may compete on this issue with Saakashvili. Sadly, such a policy over a number of years does not meet opposition from the Georgian population. So friendly Georgian people, which now and then try to speak Russian politicians today - category rather nostalgic. Of course, sooner or later it will work again geopolitical, historical and other realities. But they will have to re-create. In particular, relying on numerous Georgian diaspora in Russia. She also made her choice, other than the choice of Mr. Saakashvili and other Georgian politicians. For various reasons, but it did. We must take advantage of this. But it is advisable to keep Georgia from further sliding down an inclined plane. It is in its own interests.
QUESTION. A daunting prospect from all points of view ...
ANSWER. Yes, comes the difficult moment. Moment of truth. Just as we all snapped up in 1991 - and the West, and our "native" former Soviet republics - and began to divide, tear into pieces and plunder Russia and the whole world are now trying to prevent us get back on their feet. But we must stand - and stand. It is a matter of our survival as a nation and state. It is the duty of all patriotic forces now - to unite in defense of our strong future.