Interfax: Kremlin aide [Sergei Ivanov]: attempts to export democracy via war don’t work

Sergei Ivanov file photo

(Interfax – STOCKHOLM. September 21, 2013) The Kremlin chief of staff has argued that foreign military intervention can neither democratize countries ruled by dictatorial regimes nor resolve domestic conflicts.

“There hasn’t been any more democracy and freedom where military recipes were used, let’s not be hypocritical about that,” Sergei Ivanov said at the Global Strategic Review 2013 conference in Stockholm of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“The experience of recent decades shows that external interference in a conflict does not put an end to it but just makes it longer and leads to new fatalities. Haven’t the stories of Iraq and Libya made this clear?” he said.

For a long time, colonial conquests “were disguised with noble words about bringing progress and civilization to backward peoples (but) quite often, this demagogic facade concealed commonplace commercial interests,” Ivanov said.

Ivanov said hopes that the end of the Cold War meant less global tension have gone. “Moreover, the unipolar model that emerged after the Cold War has proved to be shaky and very soon began to lose its resources. Such is the objective reality, and one cannot help noticing it,” he said.

“I’m deeply convinced that we should as soon as possible agree our positions on domestic conflicts and on how to settle them in a civilized way. And then follow such rules strictly. We see this as the most important element of a model of international relations that is in line with the realities of the 21st century,” Ivanov said.

“There must be no political or legal vacuum there. Otherwise there would be a danger of unpredictable, uncontrolled action, including military,” he said.

He pointed out the high responsibility of those authorized to make decisions on such matters. He claimed that aggression can be the sole qualification for any armed action that is not defensive or hasn’t been authorized by the UN Security Council.

“Thinking or acting otherwise, including making arbitrary interpretations of ‘defense responsibility,’ means pushing international relations toward chaos and undermining international security. If there is anyone who thinks they can manage such chaos to suit their own interests, they are deeply mistaken,” Ivanov said.

“It turns out that these days armed action may be taken against anyone and under any pretext, even though far-fetched. And if international guarantees and law don’t work, everyone tries to survive the way they can. For example, by seeking to acquire their own bomb in order to be left alone. North Korea is a vivid example of this. Hence, armed action in effect serves to erode the regime of nonproliferation,” he said.

[featured image is file photo]