Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson
#27 - JRL 2007-Special Edition - JRL Home
West leading policy of ignoring Russia's interests - senior MP

Moscow, 21 September: Relations between Moscow and the West are as ever problematic and attempts (on its part) to ignore Russia's interests can be observed, chairman of the Russian State Duma International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev believes.

"The fact that the negative media-cannonade towards Russia in the Western media seems not even to have taken a summer break is indicative that the load of accumulated problems and mutual criticism still remains", Kosachev noted in his article today entitled "Russia-West: the right to interests" published in Moskovskiye Novosti.

In particular, Kosachev gave the example of the Western media's reaction to the progress in the investigation into journalist Anna Politkovskaya's murder. "So many high-flown and pompous words were uttered earlier by Europe and the USA. Now there is direct evidence of progress (in the case), and none of those who requested it are satisfied", he noted.

According to Kosachev, "the 'verdict' on the case was declared in the newspapers the day after the murder, and an objective investigation into the circumstances could refute the media's hasty yet politically very convenient conclusions". "And then what: apologize to Russia? To its president?" Kosachev asked.

He also drew attention to the Western media's reaction to Russia's decision to put forward a Russian candidate for the post of IMF head. "Their reaction was as if Russia were infringing on certain foundations of the economic macrocosm or, say, ultimately trying to impose 'its own person' on the West for the post of UN secretary-general. Not only does such a reaction justify concern, especially on the part of developing countries, that the West considers the IMF to be its own undivided patrimony, but it also gives a graphic example of its (the West's) true attitude towards Russia", Kosachev believes.

He also recalled French President Nicolas Sarkozy's announcement that the Kosovo problem was a "European matter", and that Russia and the USA had to realize that.

"Well, as far as the USA is concerned , the French leader's hint, if not politically fitting, was at least geographically appropriate (although we can of course recall that the USA is not the last OSCE or NATO member). But the ease with which the 'new arrival' in international politics simply 'removed' Russia from the map of the continent in one sweep is of course surprising," Kosachev wrote.

"Moreover", he continued, "maybe the hysteria surrounding the 'Politkovskaya case' or the 'Litvinenko case' (which the Western community join together without batting an eyelid on account of the 'obviousness' of the alleged offenders) can be left to the conscience of those who blew it up, but the line of ignoring Russia in security matters can only trigger a natural response on our part."

In Kosachev's words, Russia's Western partners often speak of their readiness to discuss the problems of Iran, North Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan with Russia but reproach it of adding the CFE (Conventional Forces in Europe) Treaty and the turmoil surrounding ABM, etc. "to all this headache".

"Such a formulation of the problem would be entirely justified if indeed nothing were going on in the field of security apart from the situation in Iran, North Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan. But there are other issues, and very serious ones, which our Western colleagues are trying to represent as being insignificant and unworthy of attention," Kosachev stressed.