Interfax: Senior senator says Russia to be thorn in US side while it sticks to exclusivity

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

(Interfax – September 10, 2015)

The head of the Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, has said that he believes that a Russia that challenges the American theory of exclusive leadership will always be a problem for the USA, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 10 September.

Russia to be problem for USA for as long as it sticks to its exclusivity idea

“For the Americans, a Russia that challenges the American theory of exclusiveness and exclusive leadership, this kind of Russia will always be a problem for the USA,” Interfax quoted Kosachev as saying.

This was Kosachev’s comment on media reports that US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had said that she believed that after the election the new American leader would face such threats as Islamic State terrorism, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s policies and pandemics such as Ebola.

“There is nothing new in this statement by Clinton and I suspect that on these assessments there are currently no fundamental differences between the Democrats and the Republicans,” Kosachev said.

“When it comes to evaluation of Russia, both the Democrats and the Republicans are quite close. These are policies aimed at preventing that Russia’s positions in the world become stronger and not allowing Russia to become another centre of power,” Interfax further quoted Kosachev as saying.

According to Kosachev, “the Americans are clearly irritated by any claims of any states, any groups of states to independence, self-sufficiency, let alone leadership”.

“We are definitely not competing with the Americans for leadership. This is not a subject of the stand-off of the times of the Cold War. It is a different matter – we are not accepting the American ambitions and claims to exclusive leadership in the world. We believe that there should not be any kind of exclusive leadership in the world,” Kosachev said.

According to Kosachev, any exclusive leadership in the world “will always be a destabilizing factor, will always be destructive for the international community”.

“In this sense, for the USA, Russia probably is and will be a problem and a challenge for as long as in all its national doctrines the USA will be stating, without hiding it in any way, the tenet of its exclusiveness, its exclusive leadership. Russia will never agree with this. And I think that the overwhelming majority of countries in the world will not agree with this,” Interfax further quoted Kosachev as saying.

Russia ready to resume cooperation with USA

According to another Interfax report on the same day, Kosachev also said that Russia was ready to resume cooperation with the USA in a whole range of areas. He added though that, in his opinion, for the time being Washington holds a short-sighted position on relations with Moscow.

“I am convinced that Russia is ready to resume cooperation with the USA in a large number of areas, but we cannot do this without the American side’s agreement, we are not imposing ourselves on anyone,” Interfax quoted Kosachev as saying.

Kosachev also said that he believed that there “definitely are” prospects for relations between Russia and the USA.

“There is only one alternative to what is happening now: to resume cooperation, to understand that, even if we disagree on something, these disagreements should not hinder our cooperation in the areas where these interests coincide,” Kosachev said.

“For the time being the Americans hold the opposite position: if we disagree with Russia on something, we shall not cooperate with it on anything. This position is short-sighted, dangerous. This is a position which works not against Russia, but against the USA and against collective security interests,” Kosachev said.

Kosachev also said that while Russia and the USA could not understand, hear each other and start cooperating, the forces which were in the end common enemies of Russia, the United States and entire mankind were taking advantage of this. For example, it is the case of international terrorism and organized crime.

“We can ascertain with regret that time is working against us all,” Kosachev said.

He also said that at the moment contacts with American colleagues have been suspended, although there were occasional meetings with them. “I had a meeting with American congressmen in St Petersburg in the middle of August. But this is rather an exception to the rule and I can only express regret in this connection,” Interfax further quoted Kosachev as saying.

Middle East, Europe suffer from US “mistakes”

RIA Novosti (part of the state-owned International News Agency Rossiya Segodnya) reported on the same day that Kosachev had also said that he believed that both the Middle East and Europe suffered from US “mistakes”. He added that when the USA gives itself the right to install governing regimes in other countries, hundreds of thousands of refugees go to the European Union.

Kosachev also expressed bewilderment over publication in the Russian mass media of a blog of the press secretary of the US embassy, William Stephens, who accuses Russia of support for extremist forces in Syria. Kosachev recalled that he was once himself an embassy’s press secretary and knew this job only too well.

“If I had allowed myself to publicly comment on the policies of the country of my posting and, even more so, accuse that country of supporting extremism, there would have been many people wanting to ask me to leave that country within 24 hours. Because an embassy’s press secretary is empowered to explain actions of their own country, and in no way to teach another one, even more so, from mentoring positions,” RIA Novosti quoted Kosachev as saying on his Facebook page.

Kosachev pointed out that the blog of the press secretary of the US embassy in Moscow was published on the website of Gazprom-owned, but editorially independent Ekho Moskvy radio with the following headline: “Russia’s role in settling the Syrian conflict”. “It is clear that he expresses not his own point of view, but the State Department’s position. Judging by the text, the role that is being ascribed to us is exclusively destructive: ‘Russia is rendering support to the regime, whose continuing atrocities against its own people contribute to a growth in extremism’ and ‘The support that Al-Asad’s regime receives from its main sponsors allows him not to look for a constructive solution of the conflict by way of talks,” Kosachev said.

“Once again: a foreign state has given itself the right to head some forces within another country, believing that this is completely appropriate and natural. One very much wants to ask – who are you?”, Kosachev wondered.

According to RIA Novosti, Kosachev is convinced that there is a chance for Syria, there is a chance for the Middle Eastern region, there is also a chance for Europe, which is overwhelmed by the flow of refugees. “But the world needs this chance to be given, by delivering it from new American mistakes,” Kosachev said.