Srdja Trifkovic interview with RT International on Putin’s foreign affairs speech
Broadcast live on October 24, 2014, 19:06 GMT
RT: Apart from the very strong rhetoric, Putin said that Russia does not really see a strong menace on the part of the US. Do you think Washington might stop seeing Moscow as a threat?
Srdja Trifkovic: No, I think that U.S. policy is guided by geopolitical intentions, by a strategic design to surround and squeeze Russia at every point, and if possible – in the fullness of time – to engineer regime change in Moscow. So the U.S. policy, and Western policy in general – which is really the result of what U.S. dictates to the Europeans – are not the result of a general perception of a Russian threat. Rather, they are guided by a long term geopolitical game which hasn’t changed since the Cold War.
RT: Why do you think it has not changed towards Russia?
ST: Because in essence the Washingtonian policy-makers do not see any difference in terms of the geopolitical enemy, whether it is the USSR or whether it is Russia. Effectively they look upon Russia as the “other,” not only in political but also in cultural and emotional terms. That is why you have such strong, stridently anti-Russian rhetoric at all levels of the Western establishment, whether it is politics or the media.
RT: Do you think if the Western leadership acted differently towards Russia, then we would see a different stance from Putin?
ST: Absolutely, because all along Russia has been responding to different signals from the West in an appropriate manner. When the rhetoric of the “reset” was all the rage, we saw a clearly reconciliatory response from the Russians.
Even now the Russian response to the sanctions hasn’t been strong enough. In fact it should be so strong as to prompt the unions, the employers and the shareholders of the Western companies to lobby with their own governments to change policies towards Russia – because it is beginning to hurt. But I think that Putin has correctly diagnosed the nature of the international system as increasingly anarchic, as the one in which the U.S. is trying to impose the rules. But they are not real rules, because they are applied on an entirely ad hoc basis from one situation to the other. Kosovo can be independent, but Crimea cannot re-join Russia… and so on.
I think it is a very important speech because it reflects the clarity on the Russian side. So far we have seen different circles surrounding President Putin advising different things. Some of the captains of the Russian industry have been advocating a more conciliatory line; then you have people like Rogozin or Shoigu who are advocating a more firm line, and foreign minister Lavrov acting somewhere in-between. Now I think we have a welcome development: we have strategic clarity of thought, which should result in a coherent policy, a long term policy of resistance to American monopolar unilateralism.