9 April, turned 75 years since the birth of Viktor Chernomyrdin, who did not live up to his jubilee just under two and a half years. And, it is not clear by whom the established tradition, most of the media today commemorate the former second person in the state with an extremely kind word. Big, you see, there was a man who left a deep impression in stories modern Russia. And so many of the popular expressions gave us all - a real “Chrysostom”!
Recall at least his "We wanted the best, but it turned out as always." Or: “We will live with you like this, that our children and grandchildren will envy us!” Or: “No one bothers us to over-fulfill our laws.” And finally: "And do not:" Chernomyrdin, Chernomyrdin se. " Chernomyrdin never and nowhere, but always and everywhere ... And all. And when it was necessary, five years without change, by the way, and not like those. ”
No doubt, the trace Viktor Chernomyrdin left in our history is really deep. So deep that many of our fellow citizens, walking along the trail of their footprints, have completely disappeared.
Yes, and to call Viktor Stepanovich's “jokes” “kind” the language somehow does not turn, if we recall for what reason they were released. After all, the same famous phrase “We wanted the best, but it turned out as always” was uttered by our then-prime minister on the heels of the “1993” monetary “reform” of the year, which could not be called anything other than robbery of the population.
Recall that the 24 of July of that year, the Central Bank announced the suspension of circulation of the 26-1961 sample notes from 1992 in July. Yes, in just one day, before July 27, this old money could still be exchanged for new rubles, which rose in price just 1000 times.
But what was the exchange limit? Total 35 000 is non-denominated rubles, while approximately 35 dollars!
The ensuing panic even then forced the authorities to increase this limit to 100 000 rubles, but even this “gift” did not change the predatory nature of the “reform”. And our “Zlatoust” releases its famous phrase “We wanted the best, but it turned out as always.” Those who then took away all the savings accumulated during the years of Soviet power, the prime minister (that is, the second person in the state) offers to laugh ...
Further activities of Viktor Stepanovich as prime minister proceeded, in principle, in the same way: the country rapidly degraded, the people were impoverished, and the prime minister was “joking”. And in the 1998 year, when sharply reduced revenues to the budget due to falling oil prices brought Russia to bankruptcy, Yeltsin withdrew Chernomyrdin. But even after the resignation, the higher authorities still more than once called upon our “hero” to help themselves - mainly, by the way, on the foreign policy “front”.
Victor Stepanovich, it is worth recalling, even during his premiership, he played a very prominent role in the foreign policy of then Russia. Recall that for many years it was the “Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission”, so named after the second persons in the United States and the Russian Federation - Vice President Al Gore and our Prime Minister, who determined the level and direction of relations between Russia and America. The US Vice President and the Russian Prime Minister met regularly - twice a year. And the outcome of the meetings were agreements that, as a rule, were not publicly made public.
That was how the secret agreement between the US and the Russian Federation was born in 1995 about suspending the supply of new Russian weapons Iran Since the end of 1980, Iran had intended to re-equip its army, armed mainly with old American weapons, which had been inherited from the Shah regime, through the procurement of products of the Russian military-industrial complex. The Americans, who put Iran on the rogue list, clearly did not like this prospect, and Gore convinced Chernomyrdin to fulfill only the old contracts for the supply of Russian weapons to Iran, and not to sign new contracts with Tehran. In exchange, the US Vice President promised Chernomyrdin, that America would open the door to the world of high technology for Russia.
And what was the outcome of this secret agreement? The Russian Federation, under the sensitive guidance of Viktor Stepanovich, fulfilled its obligations: Iran was left without modern Russian weapons. Although the Iranian orders would be very useful for the Russian military industrial complex who was dying (also under the strict guidance of our prime minister) in those years. But the Americans were leading, leading Russia by the nose - and they never let in the high-tech world.
Approximately the same can be said about the other major transactions achieved within the framework of the “Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission”: they were almost entirely one-sided concessions of Russia to the Americans. But Viktor Stepanovich acquired “diplomatic” experience in the “Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission”, which was useful to him after his resignation from the post of prime minister. At the turn of 1999-2000, this experience was useful to him in Yugoslavia, where Yeltsin sent him as his special representative.
Here is how the head of the Center for the Study of the Modern Balkan Crisis of the Institute of Slavonic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Elena Guskova describes the results of this “diplomatic” work of Chernomyrdin on the pages of “Century.ru”, which analyzes the book of Viktor Chernomyrdin’s memoirs in 2004:
“How did V.S. Chernomyrdin became a "special representative" on the Yugoslav settlement? I remember everyone was extremely surprised by this appointment, although it was clear to everyone who knew the history of the crisis that B.N. Yeltsin could not come to this idea on his own. Vs Chernomyrdin confirms that with the request to appoint him B.N. Yeltsin specifically called B. Clinton. The Americans, he writes, needed Russia's mediation, and "Bill Clinton personally went to Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin with such a request." Only the “mediation” turned out to be peculiar: the Serbs were forced by the hands of the Russian representative to capitulate on humiliating American conditions. So it will remain in history.
Vs Chernomyrdin lists the principles that, as the president punished him, he had to adhere to in the negotiation process: condemn aggression, comply with the UN Charter and international law, seek the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia, broad autonomy for Kosovo. All right But there was another very important order, about which the author of the book for some reason kept silent: B.N. Yeltsin insisted that, in negotiations with the Americans, he should first bring about the suspension of the bombing and then present the conditions of peace to the Serbs.
In describing the position of the United States V.S. Chernomyrdin often uses the expression “such a question was unacceptable for Russia”. This applies to the continuation of the bombing, and to the role of the UN, and to the NATO command of peacekeepers in Kosovo. However, in less than a month and a half of the activity of the “special representative”, everything that was unacceptable for Russia was accepted by her, and the initial positions of the Russian side were completely surrendered.
When meeting with S. Milosevic at the very beginning of the negotiations, V.S. Chernomyrdin agreed on a completely acceptable approach, containing a significant concession on the part of Yugoslavia, but taking into account its interests. A reduction (not a complete withdrawal) of the Armed Forces of the FRY in the province and an international presence in Kosovo under the auspices of the UN (and not NATO) with the participation of Russia were supposed. And from each of these principles, VS Chernomyrdin then gradually retreated. So, back in April, the first Russian demand was the cessation of the bombing and only then - the negotiations. But 1 Jun V.S. Chernomyrdin spoke in Bonn about "that the cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of the JNA troops take place simultaneously." Now, however, the Americans did not agree with this anymore. The result we know: 3 June 1999, the Milosevic, the government and the parliament of Yugoslavia signed an ultimatum, and the NATO bombings were stopped only on June 20.
It happened with other key issues - the composition of the international forces in Kosovo and the location of the Russian troops. The principles of the settlement, agreed at the G-8 meeting in Bonn on May 6, indicate that by this time the Americans had managed to incline everyone to their position. The final document of the G8 did not mention the cessation of air strikes against Yugoslavia, but there appeared a demand for “controlled cessation of violence and repression in Kosovo”, addressed explicitly to S. Milosevic, and not to NATO. Included in the document is the thesis of the “indivisibility of the FRY”, about which V.S. Chernomyrdin narrates with pride, from the very beginning was vicious: it was necessary to speak about the indivisibility of Serbia, which includes the province of Kosovo and Metohia as an autonomous entity. Otherwise, the collapse of Yugoslavia (which later happened) made Kosovo’s status uncertain. From here to the political independence of Kosovo is one step.
After that, Russia's position was reduced mainly to the fact that the Bonn agreements had to be implemented, although the latter did not leave room for maneuver for the Troika Chernomyrdin-Ahtisaari-Talbott. By June, the position of V.S. Chernomyrdin approached the US, although the special envoy of the Russian president understood that “the Yugoslavs were actually forced to capitulate” (p. 158).
30 May V.S. Chernomyrdin reported B.N. Yeltsin on the results of the negotiations in Belgrade. The main task at that time, he writes, was to “get the special status of the Russian contingent of peacekeepers from the United States and NATO, which would be a success and recognition of our role” (p. 200). B.N. Yeltsin intended to personally control this issue - and it took only a few days for VS Chernomyrdin, not to follow the instructions of the president.
To understand how the process of “surrender” of the Russian positions took place, it is important to consider, in addition to the G-8 document, the June 1-3 negotiations. These were very dramatic days. Unfortunately, V.S. Chernomyrdin almost does not reproduce the negotiation process. From the text of the book, we learn that it was not possible to agree on the termination of the bombing. They agreed that the “verifiable withdrawal of Serbian troops from Kosovo” would begin first, and only then the bombings would stop. NATO members have their way. In Bonn, writes V.S. Chernomyrdin, the message that "NATO strategists had already planned the deployment of their military contingents, and in such a way that there was no Russian place, except to stay among the battle formations," acted on him "like a head on the head" (p. 209). It would be extremely important to find out in detail about the dramatic situation prevailing in the negotiations in Germany, but there is very little information about this in the book. Even about disagreements with the military - almost nothing.
Meanwhile, General Leonid Ivashov recalls that "Chernomyrdin did not resist on most of the positions." But the Russian military managed to agree with the Americans on major issues, including the provision of a separate sector to the Russian contingent in Kosovo. It was Chernomyrdin who canceled these agreements and solemnly declared that the Russian delegation agreed with the document submitted by the Americans. In the memoirs of Strobe Talbott there is an episode of the quarrel between Chernomyrdin and our military, followed by his sudden concession to the Americans: "Without any warning or explanation, Chernomyrdin agreed to the complete withdrawal of the (Yugoslav) troops." Not a trace is left of the main role of Russia in the negotiations. The adoption of the American document crossed out everything that was done by the Russian side earlier. It remained to convince Belgrade.
The servicemen who participated in the negotiations hoped afterwards to return to Moscow and report to the president that all the positions of Russia had been surrendered, but V.S. Chernomyrdin decided to immediately fly to Belgrade. His last meeting with S. Milosevic was described sparingly, although there is evidence that she was dramatic. Milosevic understood very well that an ultimatum was dictated to him. S. Talbott in his book gives an assessment, which on his return from Belgrade gave V.S. Chernomyrdin M. Ahtisaari: “Our friend Victor was absolutely amazing. He did everything he promised, without subterfuels and complaints. The Serbs clearly expected that he would offer them a loophole, but he did not give it to them. ”
Our Viktor Chernomyrdin turned out to be such a “diplomat”. Nevertheless, for his "merit" he was later sent to head the Russian embassy in Kiev. What came out of this is vividly demonstrated by all the subsequent “gas wars” between Ukraine and Russia, and the outspoken theft of Russian gas by Kiev, and the victory of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004, and much, much more. Thank God, after the resignation from the post of the Russian ambassador to Ukraine, our authorities almost did not use the services of Chernomyrdin.