#3 - JRL 7126
April 1, 2003
POLITICAL SCIENTISTS ADVOCATE PEACE - WITH AMERICA
Experts say that Moscow should remain Washington's ally following its instinct of self-preservation
Author: Valery Tsygankov
[from WPS Monitoring Agency, www.wps.ru/e_index.html]
POLITICAL SCIENTISTS AND EXPERTS MEET TO DISCUSS RUSSIA'S FUTURE IN THE LIGHT OF THE WAR IN IRAQ.
RUSSIA HAS LOST THE WAR ON IRAQ AND SHOULD THEREFORE MAKE PEACE WITH THE UNITED STATES WITHOUT DELAY.
Russia has lost the war in Iraq and should therefore make peace with the United States without delays. This provocative thesis was pronounced yesterday at the roundtable conference organized by the Institute of Applied International Surveys. Leading Russian experts are of the opinion that the "anti-American hysteria" should be put to an end to and the president and the government helped with "a level- headed and pragmatic decision."
Institute Director Vadim Razumovsky says that Russia's inability to stop the war in Iraq should be the starting point in all assumptions. He does not think it very pragmatic to demand another discussion of the subject in the United Nations. "Restoration of relations among the five leading countries - Russia, the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany - is much more important," Razumovsky said.
Yes, Russia sympathizes with the Iraqis attacked by the United States. But what is going to happen were the Americans to leave Iraq without accomplishing their objective first? Strategic Surveys Center Director Andrei Piontkovsky sees this outcome of the war as a serious threat to Russia's security. Dictatorial regime will be restored in Iraq and may be established in other countries "predisposed to totalitarianism", and weapons of mass destruction will make their creeping advance on the worldwide scale. "Nobody demands that we love the United States," Piontkovsky said. "But the self-preservation instinct dictates the necessity of a geopolitical alliance with this country." The expert appraised Russians' reaction to the American- Iraqi conflict as "triumphant and malicious joy" incited by commentary by certain political scientists and TV journalists.
If the battle for democracy in the desert does not end soon, a new US Administration may move into the White House in September; a Democratic one. Eurasia Foundation Vice President Andrei Kortunov warns the Kremlin against "betting on Bush alone" in that case. As for the "anti-American hysteria" in Russia, the specialist is of the opinion that it will wind down soon.
Duma Deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov decided to get to the roots of these tendencies and drew the conclusion that they were based on anti- Americanism and not pacifism at all. "We'd better organize a public discussion of "The Cost of America's Defeat", and not "The Price of America's Victory"," the lawmaker said. "What if the United States were defeated in Afghanistan and the Taliban retained their regime there? What would it have been like for Russia?" Ryzhkov reminded the conference that both houses of the national parliament had condemned the actions of the anti-Iraqi coalition as an aggression and the Duma had even voted to up defense expenses. The president took a more cautious stand on the matter. It means that the relations with the United States and Great Britain are not spoiled for good yet, the deputy said.
(Translated by A. Ignatkin)