Putin: US seeking 'absolute invulnerability'
In a piece published yesterday, a few days ahead of elections, presidential candidate Vladimir Putin took a tough stance on several foreign policy issues that will put Russia at odds with the US.
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"This is deeply concerning, since it creates the impression that chances for improvement in US-Russian relations will diminish [after Putin is elected]. Putin is clearly disillusioned with the US, even angry at it… in his view America is to blame for everything that's going wrong in the world today, even terrorism, and Russia must prepare itself to act as a counterbalance to the US," he adds.Skip to next paragraph
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Defying the 'itch for military intervention'
Putin argues that Russia wants to be part of the global order, "but everything we do will be based on our own interests and goals, not on decisions other countries impose on us. Russia is only treated with respect when it is strong and stands firm on its own two feet.… Russia will call a spade a spade.… We have presented our arguments more than once. But unfortunately our Western partners ignore and dismiss them."
Exhibit A, in Putin's view, is the way Western pro-democracy meddling in countries affected by the Arab Spring revolts, particularly Libya, resulted in more bloodshed and the victory of intolerant forces. Though Russians initially sympathized with the aspirations of Arabs, he writes, "it soon became clear that events in many countries were not following a civilized scenario. Instead of asserting democracy and protecting the rights of the minority, attempts were being made to depose an enemy and to stage a coup, which only resulted in the replacement of one dominant force with another even more aggressive dominant force."
"Sadder but wiser, we oppose the adoption of UN Security Council resolutions that may be interpreted as a signal to armed interference in Syria's domestic development," Putin writes. "The logic of such conduct is counterproductive and very dangerous. No good can come of it.… I cannot understand what causes this itch for military intervention."
Putin also claims that Western-sponsored regime changes always lead to anti-Russian outcomes. "It appears that with the Arab Spring countries, as with Iraq, Russian companies are losing their decades-long positions in local commercial markets and are being deprived of large commercial contracts," Putin argues. "The niches thus vacated are being filled by the economic operatives of the states that had a hand in the change of the ruling regime."
Worse could be coming if trouble erupts in the Persian Gulf, he continues. "Russia is worried about the growing threat of a military strike against Iran. If this happens, the consequences will be disastrous. It is impossible to imagine the true scope of this turn of events," Putin adds.