Military Review

What prompted the Russian "elite" to seek compromises with NATO? ..

The Lisbon summit ended on November 20, in which the heads of NATO member states took part, many politicians and representatives of the expert community have dubbed “historical».

Indeed, at the meeting, the strategic guidelines for the development of the alliance were discussed, the concept of NATO development until 2020 was adopted, the leaders of the participating countries reaffirmed their desire to “continue to play a unique and significant role in ensuring overall protection and security.” And, perhaps, the main outcome of the meeting was a reset of relations between Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance, on which Dmitry Medvedev pinned his hopes and US President Barack Obama, who declared the solution of this task to be one of the key areas of work at the upcoming summit. Following the meeting, the Russia-NATO Council even issued a document entitled “Joint Statement of the Russia-NATO Council”, in which the heads of the NRC states announced a policy of building a “true strategic partnership.”

The summit showed that the modern Alliance cannot do without a strong ally in the north of Eurasia. The two main topics of discussion: ensuring stability in Afghanistan and creating a joint missile defense system in Europe can be meaningfully discussed only with the participation of Russia. And if we look at the results of Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Lisbon from the perspective of global security, then we can say that the summit was successful for the Russian side. At the press conference that Medvedev gave after the event, the president clearly and clearly said that Russia is an independent entity and "for furniture" does not intend to take part in such matters as the creation of a sectoral missile defense system in Europe. In fact, the ideas discussed in the framework of the Yaroslavl Political Forum 2010 in September were put to an end when it was a question of Russia's possible entry into the structures of the Alliance.

Almost 4 years after Vladimir Putin’s Munich speech, when the Russian leader criticized the aggressive policies of the Western powers, this outcome of the Lisbon summit is certainly progressive in terms of mutual concessions and compromises.

But what prompted the Russian elite to search for these compromises with NATO and with the Western world as a whole? The answer to this question can be given by considering the situation in a global context. To date, there are six major events that define the agenda in relations between Russia and the Western world and the United States:

First, it is the victory of the Republican party in the congressional elections.

Secondly, the extradition of Russian citizen Viktor Bout to the US, whom the US authorities are accusing of illegal trade weapons and complicity with terrorists.

Thirdly, the statement of the chairman of the constitutional court of the Russian Federation Valery Zorkin that Russia reserves the right to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights in the event that the joint opposition’s claim to invalidate the elections to the State Duma 2003 of the year.

Fourth, the 15 of December 2010 of the year is expected to be sentenced in the Yukos case.
Fifth, this is a statement by the administration of the notorious Internet portal Wikileaks about plans to deploy 3 million secret documents concerning corruption in the Russian echelons of power.
And finally, sixthly, these are the upcoming elections to the State Duma in 2011 and the elections of the President of the Russian Federation in March 2012.

These events, which are not interconnected at first glance, when compared, provide an interesting picture of Russian-American relations.

Case of Viktor Bout

Let's start in order. The fact that the Republican party has received a majority in Congress today already casts doubt on the possibility of ratifying the START-3 treaty at the upcoming meeting on this issue, which will not be slow in affecting the “reset” of relations between the United States and Russia. In this context, the extradition of Bout to the United States looks like a much more significant event, going beyond the banal trial of the "accomplice of terrorists." In this regard, let us cite the words of Stephen Cohen, a member of the foreign policy council and adviser to four American presidents, quoted in the Versiya newspaper in the November 22 issue of 2010: “It has long been known that the Democratic Party is helped by African deals and Republicans - The other part, which has its own interests in the Middle East. Bout competed with the first and his successful business made them poorer, and therefore less influential. So, while one part of the congressmen - the democrats - will drown him in every possible way, the other - the Republicans - at the same time will try not to give him a grudge. ” In other words, the Democrats, aggrieved by the results of the recent congressional elections, attempted to dislodge testimony from Viktor Bout that could tarnish the reputation of the Republicans on the eve of the presidential elections in the United States by publishing compromising materials against their competitors in the FARC illegal arms transfer case. But besides the fact that the publication of such materials will negatively affect the rating of Republicans, it is obvious that the scandal will become international in nature, since during the interrogations of Bout, information about the participation of representatives of the Russian elite in arms deals as a result of which Russian weapons turned out to emerge , qualified by the US authorities as terrorist.

Khodorkovsky case

Another fact that will inevitably cause a resonance in world public opinion will be the sentencing of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, scheduled for December 15 on 2010. The situation is aggravated by the fact that in the event of a conviction and extension of the sentence for 14 years, all legal norms will be violated, since Mikhail Borisovich has already served all of the legal term, and the repeated indictment does not crawl into any goal. But at the same time, acquittal in this case is fraught with violation of the already fragile socio-political stability in the country. In order to assess the scale of the social explosion that can be expected in the event of the release of Khodorkovsky, one should return to 2003 when the assets of YUKOS were seized. The European press and the authoritative Russian Newspaper claimed that one of the main persons interested in the fate of the Russian oil company was the senior representative of the European banking family, Jacob Rothschild. Some sources claim that the arrest of Yukos assets took place a few days before the upcoming deal between Yukos management and grandfather Rothschild selling the controlling stake in the Russian oil giant and transferring control of the largest player in the Russian energy sector into the hands of one of the most serious players. to pursue a policy of development of the company that does not meet the Russian national interests.
Today, if Mikhail Borisovich is released, the former owner of the company will be able to challenge the decision of the Russian court to confiscate the assets of YUKOS and transfer them to Rosneft and other large Russian companies, and there are no doubts that the European partners will take their side. And, considering that until today the Russian side was losing in all international instances without exception in the YUKOS case, there is no doubt that the international court will again be on the side of the former owner of the company. Moreover, the ground for this has already been prepared by the meeting of Marina Filippovna (the mother of Mikhail Khodorkovsky) with the Minister of Justice of Poland and her visit to Germany. Immediately make a reservation that as a mother Marina Filippovna can and should be understood, she, like any loving mother, must defend the rights of her son.

The decision of the international court can also be supported by the United States, thanks to the Republican majority in the Congress. It is not difficult to guess what consequences this decision may have for Russia. At a minimum, Zbigniew Brzezinski’s words about 500 billion dollars of the Russian elite held in Western banks, which can be arrested at any time, will begin to play here. International transactions of Rosneft, Russia's largest oil company, concluded after the acquisition of control over Yukos assets will also be problematic.

Perhaps it was precisely due to this, unconditionally coordinated “above,” a statement by the chairman of the constitutional court, Valery Zorkin, that Russia reserves the right to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights, which would inevitably lead to the exit from other international legal institutions.

Here are the words of Zorkin himself:

“... Imagine that the European Court will satisfy the complaint of the“ united opposition ”. Would not such a decision be used to sway Russian society according to the scenarios of orange, tulip and other constructed “revolutions” ... ”

“... The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe cannot demand that Russia implement the decision of the ECHR if it contradicts the decision of the Constitutional Court, which has a regulatory framework in order to protect rights and freedoms ...”
Comparing the words of the chairman of the constitutional court of the Russian Federation and the possible consequences if the confiscation of YUKOS assets is considered illegal, it can be assumed that Zorkin’s statement was intended to prevent an unfavorable development for the Russian elite related to the sentencing of the Khodorkovsky case.


To admit that the CIA did not know about the forthcoming publication of materials on Iraq and Afghanistan on the Wikileaks website means to admit the complete incapacity of the American intelligence services. Moreover, the administration of the website a day before the publication of the materials gave notice to The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel - the central press in the United States, Britain and Germany. It is impossible to imagine that the American residencies were not able to track the leak of information and prevent the publication of revealing materials. It is also impossible to imagine that the volume of materials available to the site’s administration was obtained without the participation of American intelligence agencies. And this means that the story with the publications was known to the CIA, and the event itself is much echeloned.

The first problem to be solved was probably the “steam descent” in America itself, since there was a lot of information about violations in the actions of ISAF and the American troops in Iraq.
The second task was to justify the resignation of ISAF commander Stanley McChrystal at the end of June 2010, and, perhaps, clarify the relationship between departments and offices within US departments.

But today, after the founder of the resource Julian Essendzh said that in the next series of publications "the secrets of not only the US Army, but also other" repressive regimes ", including Russia and China, will be exposed, it is safe to say that the activity vector Wikileaks pivoting to the east.

In this light, an interesting statement by one of the owners of Novaya Gazeta in the past, senior security officer Alexander Lebedev, published in the British newspaper The Daily Mail, that the “young, talented and courageous” journalist of Novaya Gazeta traveled to a meeting with Essendzhem to Sweden, and before that, he repeatedly spoke with the site administration by telephone. What actually means probing a media platform for launching an information campaign against the Russian leadership?

Upcoming elections

If the information clouds continue to thicken further, then the results that United Russia will show in the upcoming elections to the State Duma may be unpredictable.
Preparations for the elections are in full swing, representatives of the opposition are not asleep either. Suffice it to recall how the death of Viktor Stepanovich Chernomyrdin was served through the central channels, when the deceased was exposed as a national hero, and the generals of the information war like Sergey Dorenko actively made stuffing, comparing the results of the premiership of Viktor Chernomyrdin and Vladimir Putin, and the comparison was clearly not in favor of the latter.

Moreover, United Russia can wait for disappointment if voter turnout exceeds at least 70%, which turns the protest vote from statistical error into real power. And even the inclusion of the administrative resource at full capacity cannot give the ruling party more votes by more than 10%. In such circumstances, the pressure on the fragile political system from the outside will be disastrous for it is destructive.

In this regard, it took the inclusion of the Putin-Medvedev tandem bundle. When Russia urgently needs to improve its image in the West and demonstrate its good intentions, Medvedev joins the Game, embracing Brzezinski and showing complete loyalty to the West in Lisbon. When it is necessary to demonstrate a strong hand and strong-willed decisions, Putin comes to the forefront and makes sparkling jokes about heating Europe with a Siberian forest.
In the words of Kipling, the Great Game is going on in Russia and the world, in which the Lisbon summit was only one, albeit an important one, a joke.
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