Missle Defense Questions Still Uncertain
January 22, 2012
Missile defence question still uncertain
Interview with Gennady Yevstafiev – retired Lieutenant General of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.
And secondly, the problem of strategic stability is connected with such an intangible thing which is covered by the word “uncertainty”. So, what they are trying to create this is not very frustrating capability right now, but it is a problem of creating an atmosphere of uncertainty. And this kind of atmosphere our country has to take into account to its strategic interests and we can’t allow our national security to be in limbo, it could not be like this. It is going to be very painful for the national conscience that there is something on our borders that could be used against us. Every government has to make its own decisions and as far as I am concerned there is a different issue.
And of course the attempt which Rasmussen is trying, not for the first time, some time ago he was trying to undermine Russian decision. It is clearly indicating that this is something they want to remove in their own interests. If there is something they want to remove it means that the fact in itself that something we have to remove in our interests, and that’s why it’s no wonder we behave like that.
They are lastly, of course the activity of handling missile defense field is very indicative on the possible moves of the United States and NATO in the Persian Gulf against Iran. The fact that they are so insistent on this problem clearly shows that they had some plans against Iran and that’s why they want to remove our uncertainty and their own uncertainty and to be very clear as far as Iran is concerned. That’s what I think.
Mr. Yevstafiev, so the whole thing on the one hand is so complicated but on the other hand it is quite obvious and transparent. So, why do you think the negotiations have been stalled for such a long time and what does it take to get them going?
First of all the question you asked has three dimensions. One dimension is – the negotiations themselves. But the negotiations themselves depend on activity in the military field – that is the second dimension. And the third dimension is strictly political dimension. Both countries – Russia and the United States have entered the election cycle and this cycler, it appears it is going to be very difficult for both countries. Obama is in a serious trouble domestically and we have a number of questions before the presidential elections and the situation is not at all clear how it is going to develop, though I don’t have any doubts that Putin would be elected. But this aspect of the situation deeply influences the ongoing negotiations or not the negotiations but the ongoing exchanges of opinion.
Ellen Tauscher is a very canny lady and she is trying somehow to alienate certain things from each other. First of all our negotiations are in the deadlock mostly because of the American position. They have their prime forestage and they are fulfilling it and they don’t give an inch to our proposals. Sometimes they even invent very bizarre arguments such like Mr. Rasmussen invented about the fact that the guarantee is in the founding act between Russia and NATO. And this is the first. But secondly the negotiations are deadlocked and it is quite clear that till May this year it is going to be deadlocked. And on the eve of May’s meeting in Chicago of NATO and usually our top leader used to visit this meeting, there would be some active movements. And now the people are studying what could be done. The important thing here is to continue exchanges of views and whatever negotiations are possible to arrange so that the dialog is maintained at least on a low level but nevertheless the dialog is there.
Secondly the problem is connected with strategic stability and strategic stability is a thing where all things are integrated. How could we discuss the whole spectrum of these things with the Americans when Obama, despite his promise, was not successful in arranging the ratification of the Test Ban Treaty through the American Senate? Nobody speaks about that but that is an established fact – the Test Ban Treaty is not ratified by the United States, that’s one of the major reasons why the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is not put into effect. And it is a part of a strategic dilemma and if this issue is not resolved how do we go further?
Secondly, now they are trying to show some signs of discussing conventional weapons in Europ. What they propose – they are trying to invite us to our proposals of ten years age, when we suggested them – they didn’t want, but now they are trying in the convenient circumstances for them, they are trying to resume some sort of movement around these issues. But even then there are no clear signs that they are capable of suggesting something progressive and a sort of a breakthrough. It is sort of a remake of an old story but usually remaking doesn’t work. Thirdly, non strategic nuclear weapons, non strategic tactical nuclear weapons these weapons are parts of the overall picture of strategic stability. And if they don’t have an ABM treaty in place I don’t see any chance of serious negotiations on non-strategic nuclear weapons. An attempt to move these negotiations from the fabrics of strategic stability problem is not going to be profitable, so, there could be no movement. That’s why the whole thing is also in, I would say, suspended position.
Certainly, politically the election campaign is only mounting and I don’t see any kind of real breakthrough in this field. Moreover, there could be, if Americans declare war in the Persian Gulf and in Pakistan with its problems now, you know, the situation will be extremely aggravated. And if they act aggressively they would violate their responsibility of a great power which is responsible for peace. There is a want to start some sort of aggressive actions within Iraq and in Afghanistan; all this is surely a hot thing. And I hope they wouldn’t do this because otherwise they will contaminate the whole international atmosphere with violence, aggression and all other things which would make impossible any kind of serious negotiations that it will take a number of years to restore the whole thing to the normal stage of affairs.
Sir, thank you very much. Our guest speaker this time was Gennady Yevstafiev – retired Lieutenant General of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.