Monday, July 16, 2012
Very interesting press conference of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov
Translated into English:
Original Russian version:
I have to say that I am extremely impressed by Sergei Lavrov whom I consider to be one of the best diplomats I have ever listened to (the other one being James Baker whose views I never shared, but who undoubtedly was a top level diplomat). Russia is really fortunate to have such an excellent team as Sergei Lavrov and Vitalii Churkin (Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN) representing its interests on the foreign policy arena, in particular at such a difficult time of multiple crises.
I also really like the Russian approach to the Syrian crisis. Basically, Russia accepts that a transition to a new regime might be needed and that it does not defend the Assad regime as such, but it insists that any such transition must occur exclusively in the context of international law. What does that mean? That means the following:
1) Violence is not an acceptable way of seizing, or retaining, power.
2) Syria's territorial integrity cannot be compromised.
3) All parties must seek a negotiated solution and renounce violence without preconditions.
4) No external interference in the Syrian crisis.
5) UNSC Resolutions 2042 and 2043 and are mandatory on all the parties, as is the obligation to support Kofi Annan's peace plan.
6) No Chapter VII UNSC shall pass as long as UNSC Resolutions 2042 and 2043 are not fully implemented.
7) The future political regime of Syria can only be defined by the Syrian people.
8) The rights of all minorities must be fully guaranteed.
Ok, this might sound like the typical "doubleplusgoodwilling" language all diplomats use. But let's translate these into simple terms:
1) The current US policy of subversion of the Syrian regime is wholly illegitimate.
2) Russia will never allow a repeat of what happened in Libya.
3) No amount of US/NATO pressure will change Russia's principal stance on this issue.
This is very good news indeed. Russian cannot and therefore will not attempt to use its military power to prevent the US/NATO/Wahabi alliance to attack Syria, but short of that, Russia will use all its soft power to prevent such an outcome. Hillary's dumb threats about "Russia and China must be made to pay" are totally rejected as not only undiplomatic, but even as basically laughable and ill-mannered.
Something is becoming increasingly obvious: Russia is really getting fed up, badly, with the US and NATO and we can expect a lot of firm "niets" ("no" in Russian) in the future. Niet to the anti-missile shield in Europe. Niet to the US/NATO war on Syria. Niet to any attempts to interfere inside Russian affairs. Niet to any attempts to pressure Russia to comply with US/NATO demands, threats and ultimatums. Niet to any NATO expansion, in particular to Georgia or the Ukraine. Niet to any further conventional arms reductions in Europe. Niet to further sanctions on Iran and, of course, niet to any military aggression on that country either.
The western elites finally got what they apparently so badly wanted: not some nonsensical "restart" or relations with Russia, but a full-spectrum Cold War.
I am left marveling at the mind-boggling stupidity and hubris of the international plutocracy of "1%" which is currently in power in the West. Do these fat cats really, sincerely, think that this time around they will prevail? Do they really want to take on Russia, China, the massive systemic, economic and social crisis which devastates every western country, and, potentially, face the rage of their own "99%" all at the same time?!
For all the lies of the corporate media, the regime in Russia is very popular and the country is booming. Structurally and politically, it has not been as strong as it is now since the reign of Tsar Alexander III (and I would say that it is stronger today than it was then), and it has enough reserves (financial, organizational, military, etc.) to face a prolonged crisis. If the western elites still think that these are the 1980s or 1990s they are sorely mistaken and they will pay the price for this mistake.