Interview with Enrique Llopis
- The United States and the European Union, on the one hand, and Russia, on the other, threaten each other with economic sanctions. Is this the threshold of a new cold war or are economic interests too intertwined?
Enrique Llopis: Let's first make the following clarification: the United States, the European Union and Russia do not "threaten each other." The United States and the European Union are indeed threatening and imposing sanctions on Russia, which promises to respond to them if they cross a certain line. In this confrontation it is very important to clarify who the initiative comes from. All this did not begin as a result of the annexation of Crimea to Russia after the referendum, during which the overwhelming majority of the population spoke in favor of this accession.
Further, the US imperial ambitions, which consider the whole planet a zone of their influence, have led Russia to protect its interests near its own borders, on the lands that are its historical territory, began to be perceived as a challenge. Now for economic interdependence. History teaches that even the close interweaving of economic and financial interests has never been a guarantee against war. This interweaving has already been talked about as a factor that can prevent the outbreak of war in Europe in the summer of 1913, so extreme caution must be exercised in such situations in which the parties begin to show their fists to each other.
With regard to the Cold War, I must say that it never ended. In the period of confrontation between the two superpowers, “communism” was only an ideological shell to justify the struggle against those countries that pursued an independent policy in the world, without regard to the West, that is, the triad, consisting of the United States, European countries and Japan. It was precisely because of this circumstance that the confrontation continued even after the fall of the communist regime. Currently, a large-scale war may flare up due to tensions between different points of power: the United States, the European Union and Japan, on the one hand, and China, Russia and other countries of the BRICS group, on the other, and in various combinations.
The reasons remain the same: the struggle for natural resources, which every day is getting smaller, the development gap, the desire for hegemony and imperialism, that is, the domination of some states or groups of states over others. I'm not talking about the inevitability of war, but simply stating that, historically, it was the end of many crises and confrontations, such as the orchestra of the “warring empires” that the Western Empire of chaos is undergoing. It is on her that the main responsibility lies for the dead-end road that humankind is currently taking.
- What unit, in your opinion, will have great potential, or, to put it differently, be less dependent in the event of a conflict?
- Understanding perfectly well the rejection and antipathy that regimes like the Russian or Chinese can cause in people, I should note that the foreign policy of these two countries is much less aggressive and more reasonable and more constructive than the course of the Empire of chaos. With rare exceptions (China’s attack on Vietnam and the Soviet adventure in Afghanistan, which nevertheless had significant mitigating circumstances), defensive rather than offensive prevailed in Moscow and Beijing: they can strike only if they are attacked or driven into angle. This position is largely due to the large number of wars in which both countries participated. All this is fundamentally different from the European tradition, which is now actively adhered to by the United States.
It should be said that during the Cold War, the creation of an atomic and hydrogen bomb, strategic bombers and submarines (that is, capable of delivering atomic weapon thousands of kilometers away), intercontinental rockets, missiles with a divided warhead, the development of a military first-strike doctrine, the transfer of an arms race to space and much more was not a Soviet initiative. Moscow always went into all this madness only in response to the actions of its opponent. Now the same thing is happening with stealth aircraft and UAVs ...
If we talk about China, then this side of the question is even more obvious and deserves a separate explanation. China has almost the same nuclear arsenal as in the 80s (it is equal to the potential of Britain and is not particularly modernized), and is the only country whose military doctrine has the obligation not to use these weapons unless it is attacked. If you do not attach special importance to those fables who spread the media, then China’s response to the military ring that is increasingly shrinking around it has a pronounced defensive character: the destruction of the enemy’s satellites, thereby preventing its naval forces from delivering targeted blows.
In January, 2007 I witnessed one very remarkable event: China destroyed one of its communications satellites with a rocket. The explosion increased the number of debris in space by 10%. Nearly 60 years of space exploration spawned a huge amount of space junk. It poses such a danger to orbital flights (due to the exceptional high speed of movement, even the smallest fragment turns into a kinetic weapon capable of piercing the hardest material in a collision) that the USA even created a special institute dealing exclusively with tracking the movement of these fragments. By undermining its satellite, which was given a very convoluted explanation, China made it clear to the United States that it could nullify all their firepower by focusing on the destruction of its space and cybernetic components. After all, it is well known that the Achilles heel of the American military machine is its dependence on technology. And without a satellite navigation system (GPS), it is impossible to use “smart” bombs, the huge connections of the imperial Navy will be left without control, putting themselves at risk and thereby complicating the usual scenario of war unleashing for an aggressor country.
China is increasingly dependent on raw materials and resources, which are supplied to it from long distances, but it should be recognized that at present its army is not ready for operations abroad and is not aimed at this. The Chinese army is subordinated to the solution of primarily political tasks. This question is much more difficult if we start a conversation about the American military-industrial complex and the role of the Pentagon in US policy.
What we are seeing in the South China Sea, in a territorial dispute with Japan, etc., is very similar to what is happening in Ukraine: both Russia and China do not intend to silently observe what is happening in the immediate future. proximity to their borders and undermines their national security: moving NATO closer and closer to Russia, the American and Japanese military presence directly at the borders of China. In both cases, this is accompanied by the deployment of missile systems (the so-called “shield”), which are clearly offensive, since their task is to neutralize strategic means. These “red lines” are not manifestations of “expansionism,” as propaganda asserts, but a reaction to increasing military pressure. Such is the dialectic of "warring empires." I repeat once again: it is always necessary to clarify who is the initiator of conflicts.
- Do you think that the alliance of Russia and China, opposing the US-EU bloc, is for now only a geopolitical dream because of the difference of interests or can it still be translated into reality?
- The crisis in Ukraine provides an excellent opportunity to answer this question. The US and the EU are actively urging to punish Russia in the energy field. The main part of the budget of this country is filled with revenues from the export of gas and oil. Germany is 30% dependent on Russian gas supplies, and other European countries, and even more. So let's end this addiction and suffocate Russia, call on European and American politicians. Fueled by Polish hysteria and American geopolitics, which are closely coordinating their actions, this thesis is increasingly taking over the minds of EU officials. But all this will only push Moscow to increase energy supplies to Asia, in particular, to China, Japan and South Korea.
Relations between Russia and China are quite complex and do not have a high degree of trust, but the interdependence of these two countries is obvious: on the one hand, Russia is being driven out of Europe, and on the other, China faces problems of energy supplies by sea-controlled naval forces unfriendly empire. Stable deliveries by pipeline from Russia are of great importance both for Moscow and for Beijing. At the same time, it would be quite logical for Moscow to expand the circle of its clients in the East, primarily at the expense of South Korea and Japan. But these two countries are allied with Washington, which is doing everything possible to prevent such cooperation. But by its actions, Washington is pushing Russia to increase energy supplies exclusively to China, thereby contributing to an even greater convergence between the two countries ... These trends are very contradictory and require close attention and analysis.
China never wanted to enter any blocs, and Russia experienced the brunt of military confrontation with a much more powerful and aggressive power, for which it had to sacrifice social development and the welfare of its people. However, the logic of power and domination of the Empire of chaos pushes these countries precisely to these actions. It would be much better to create a multipolar world focused on the main challenges of the modern era: general climate warming, reduction of natural resources, overpopulation, inequality. Urgent reform requires the UN, which should play a leading role in solving world problems and represent all forces acting on the planet. But, unfortunately, humanity, with perseverance worthy of a better use, continues to create all new blocks opposing each other.
- In one of the articles you used the expression "kaganat", which was introduced by analyst Pepe Escobar. What is its meaning and how much do you agree with it?
- I liked this expression of Pepe Escobar (Pepe Escobar), which he used in relation to Ukraine, for several reasons. Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, known for speaking sporadically against the EU, married to Robert Kagan, a well-known neo-con, who worked for the Bush Administration. Using the ideological baggage of her spouse, she developed the Ukrainian scenario, which ended in complete failure (“failure” in a rude form in Spanish sounds like a cagada, “feces” - Approx. Transl.). Therefore, “Kaganate” acquires a special meaning for me, given the phonetic similarity of the two words.
Recently, the criminal foreign policy of the United States is literally going through a black streak of failures: how else can one call the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the bombing of Libya and what is happening in Syria? Thus, what we see in Kiev is precisely the Kiev kaganate, which was brought to power with the aim of breaking the balance and traditional accord in Ukraine, fomenting a civil war and its subsequent entry into NATO. This is the last event in a long line. Everything looks very dramatic, in the XXI century such irresponsibility is simply unacceptable.
- With regard to the annexation of the Crimea and the role of Putin in the Ukrainian conflict, has this increased his popularity among Russians? Do external factors influence the resolution of internal Russian conflicts?
- Foreign policy will certainly affect the mood inside the country, the authority of its head as the indisputable leader pursuing a hard line. In the case we are considering, all this, of course, takes place, but in a completely different interpretation, fundamentally different from the Western one, which draws Putin, saber-rattling for the sake of strengthening personal power. Let's formulate the question the other way round: what would happen if Putin didn’t do anything? Half of Ukraine, including 10 millions of Russians and many millions of Ukrainians who do not consider Russia as an enemy, that is, the majority of the population of the country would be ruled by those whose political course does not suit them: from joining NATO (most Ukrainians oppose this , according to opinion polls for the last twenty years) before shock therapy and European economic recommendations aimed at serving the interests of large Western companies.
A few years later, the Russian naval base in the Crimea would have been occupied by the United States, of which there is not the slightest doubt. And what would Putin be left with? For anyone who is at least a little familiar with the history of Russia, the answer is obvious: he would become the third factor weakening Russia. The difference is that if the Soviet republics were lost under Gorbachev, which is generally not bad, since the empire was already in a stage of disintegration; under Yeltsin, the country became virtually uncontrollable, which nearly led to its disintegration. Now native Russian lands are at stake, the loss of which would be a national catastrophe for the whole of Russia and half of Ukraine. Thus, the question of Ukraine for Putin is a question of survival.
But the main thing is that all this is not the work of Putin and Russia, according to our newspapers and experts (you should always look who finances the “centers of strategic research” in which these experts work), but the next stage of the 20-year process. during which Russia was driven into a corner, ignoring its vital interests. So the cold war continued. Instead of complying with the document that ended the confrontation between East and West - the Paris Charter for the New Europe, signed in November 1990, the NATO military bloc, directed against Russia, further intensified its activities. That document, as well as the "gentlemen's agreements" reached by Gorbachev in the framework of German reunification, promised "universal European security", in which the security of some countries will not be ensured at the expense of the security of others. Instead, we observed NATO expansion to the East, inciting (instead of settling) the internal conflict in Yugoslavia, the only non-aligned country in Europe after the end of the Cold War, plans to deploy a European missile defense, US withdrawal from the ABM treaty, join the former Soviet republics in NATO and finally , Kiev kaganat. After 20 years of bullying, the Russian bear reared, and now everyone accuses him of “imperial” ambitions. Only narrow-minded people who know nothing about the anti-Russian policy that Europe has been pursuing for 20 years might be surprised by this reaction.
- European and American analysts often talk about Putin's Eurasian ambitions. These are propaganda charges? What do they mean?
- Putin seeks economic and political integration with his closest neighbors. The purpose of this plan is quite obvious: to create a market with a population of more than 200 million people who could independently exist in the world. The problem that his project faces is the low social attractiveness for the people of Russian oligarchic capitalism (more cruel than ours in Europe, but essentially the same). This regime is unattractive for the population of neighboring countries, and this is its Achilles heel, with the result that the only driving force for integration is the ruling circles, which the people do not support. Judging by the current situation, the European Union is following the same path, where authoritarian tendencies are gaining strength and attention is paid to the social needs of people. In any case, the definition of "ambition" is fully applicable to the European Union. It is enough to mention in this regard Germany, which is increasingly raising its head along with the growth of neo-imperial sentiments in the European Union, destroying the anti-war spirit of German society with such difficulty ...
- What is the role of the extreme right-wing and neo-Nazi forces in Ukraine? Is it possible to state, without falling into simplification, that the US and the EU have rendered them direct, including financial?
- Right-wing radical groups were the striking force of the civil protest movement that began on Maidan with the help of the West. They also became the basis of paramilitary forces, which initially opposed law enforcement agencies, and then - with the support of the US and the EU - created the conditions for regime change, removed the legitimately elected president (albeit mired in corruption and not enjoying the support of the population) from power, putting in his place pro-Western oligarchic government, heavily influenced by right-wing radicals. At least about 15 of 100 who died in Kiev during January-February were law enforcement officers. Some of them were killed by right-wing radicals.
Extreme right-wing nationalism was born and has an extensive social base in Galicia (Western Ukraine). Although in other regions of Ukraine, the population is extremely negative towards him, he always enjoyed the support of the West. Beginning with the 20s, the shock troops of the Ukrainian nationalists in Galicia (Ukrainian military organization, SWT, established in 1920; Organization of Ukrainian nationalists, established in 1929) worked for the Abwehr (German military intelligence), who initially charged them to act against Poland and then against the USSR, depending on the circumstances. The history of Ukrainian nationalist groups in Galicia is complex and controversial, but the fact of their cooperation with the fascists remains immutable, although at some time they fought with them, as well as with the Polish Army of Arma Krajowa, but especially with the NKVD and Sovetskaya detachments By the army. At the end of the war, the Ukrainian rebel army of Stepan Bandera (UPA, created in 1943 during the German occupation) turned into a CIA weapon, which armed and threw saboteurs into Ukraine right up to the middle of the 50s. The headquarters of the UPA was located in Munich, where in 1959, KGB officers liquidated Bandera.
In general terms, we can say that something similar is observed at the present time. Two months before Maidan, 86 activists from the neo-Nazi group Right Sector, who arrived there under the guise of students, were trained on the basis of one of the police stations in Poland, the Polish magazine Nie recently reported. Closely linked to the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) organization in recent years has funded 65 projects in Ukraine. Ms. Nuland herself said at the beginning of this year that the US had spent 5 billion dollars on creating the conditions for regime change in Kiev. In February, Germany invited the leaders of the Polish opposition to the Munich Security Conference, where NATO ministers announced the beginning of a more active foreign policy with the use of military force without undue hesitation. We don’t know much, including the snipers who were shooting at law enforcement officers and demonstrators on the eve of the February 20 power shift, but there is a general tendency to support right-wing radicals from Western countries.
At present, we are witnessing a real farce: the very ministers and prime ministers of Poland, the USA, Germany and the Baltic countries, who 47 once visited Maidan, provoking those who gathered to overthrow the lawfully elected government (“free world with you”, said Senator McCain) and condemning the violence of the police officers, welcome the "anti-terrorist operation" against those who in the south-east of the country claim that they do not want a pro-NATO government. The previous government was threatened for using militia forces to deter protesters, and the current government uses an army against the people. On the same day, 2 in May, when supporters of the current Kiev authorities set fire to a building in Odessa that killed more than 40 people, including women and one deputy, from fire and suffocation, Obama and Merkel threatened Putin with new sanctions, without saying a word about what happened, but Western media either did not write at all about the incident, or claiming that the building (in which supporters of federalization hid after their nearby camp was destroyed) “caught fire in itself.” I am convinced that both sides (in March I had the opportunity to personally meet them on the streets of Odessa) were equally guilty of this atrocity. Now we are not talking about blaming the incident on one side or the other, but about the right to reliable information. I think that now reports of such cases will often appear in our media ...
- In one of the articles you pointed out that, if you look at the issue more deeply, the annexation of the Crimea may not be so simple and cause mistrust among the population and leaders of countries positively disposed towards Russia. What did you mean?
- It is impossible to deny the fact that in the Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine, hostile to the current pro-Western Kiev authorities, the desire to preserve the unity of Ukraine and even some annoyance that Russia used military force to annex the Crimea prevails. These feelings, as well as the fact that the Russian regime is not much different from the Ukrainian in social terms, plus the desire of the absolute majority of the population to live in peace and the rejection of violence, create a very difficult atmosphere for Russia. If the annexation of the Crimea became a well-played and bloodless chess game, which was supported by the overwhelming majority of the population of the peninsula, then the events in the south-east of Ukraine are a protracted, long-term and much more risky game. The social basis of the protests in the east of Ukraine and their political program (federalization, referendums, proclamation of "people's republics", their secession from Ukraine) is a process that is in its infancy. The situation here is much less certain than the one that was in the Crimea.
Large wars often begin with small skirmishes and "anti-terrorist operations", similar to those that are being held these days in Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkov regions. In other cities, like Odessa and Nikolaevsk, located on the sea, the protest movement was not so pronounced, including because in March-April pro-Russian activists were detained. However, despite the commitment of the Ukrainian media (no different from the Russian ones) and the moderate sentiment prevailing, for example, in Odessa, the situation may change radically as a result of the atrocities that occurred on 2 in May, which force people to take part in the confrontation covered a smaller part of society.
Now the Russian military invasion of the south-eastern part of Ukraine seems unlikely, since the population is unlikely to support it. However, in the medium and long term, the situation may change radically, depending on how ill-conceived the forceful actions of the Kiev authorities, who are trying to regain control of the rebel areas (where, without doubt, employees of the GRU, the Russian military intelligence), instead of sitting at the negotiating table and realizing that Ukraine cannot be ruled to the detriment of Russia, relying on stability and calm in the Russian-speaking areas of this country.
Another factor in people's discontent is shock therapy, which Kiev authorities want to apply in accordance with the recommendations of the EU and the IMF. When all the cuts in pension will go to rent, and the factories and plants will start to close for reasons of expediency (and expediency should be understood as providing favorable conditions for the activities of Western companies), the mood of the people can change radically and he will start begging Russia to send troops. . Moscow is not seeking to deploy its troops in the south-eastern regions of Ukraine, because, among other things, this will lead to the emergence of armed anti-Russian forces in the whole of this zone, but precisely because of the changing situation, the Russian authorities must be prepared for such a scenario. That is exactly what Putin said.
One of the most impressive scenarios for the development of events would be the inclusion of the Transnistrian republic, located on the territory of Moldova, into Russia, as well as the annexation of the south-east of Ukraine, which historically was called Novorossia or Little Russia. In this case, an independent Ukraine would cease to have any important geopolitical importance in Europe, and Russia would significantly strengthen its geostrategic position in the region. Such a scenario, in my opinion, is currently unacceptable for Moscow. Whether this happens or not depends on the position of the US and the EU. I get the feeling that the United States wants Putin to send troops to the south-east of Ukraine and thus get a second Afghanistan, but on its own land. The US has already committed similar criminal adventures in Iraq, Libya, Syria and several other countries, so there is nothing surprising.
If Brussels and Washington were really guided by goodwill, they would focus on three areas: ensuring autonomy and respect for the rights of residents of the south-eastern regions of Ukraine, who constitute at least half of the country's population; refuse to consider the political and economic relations of Ukraine with the West as incompatible with its political and economic relations with Russia (and this is what the EU Eastern Partnership project requires); and, of course, to ensure the neutrality of Ukraine and its non-participation in military alliances directed against Russia, not to accept her into NATO. At the moment, no action is taken in any of these three areas. The United States and NATO are reinforcing their military presence in Eastern Europe, France practically does not participate in these matters, Germany sent a group of military intelligence officers to Ukraine under the guise of “OSCE observers” (who, of course, were detained during the week, which can be viewed as an unequivocal signal from Moscow Berlin), Poland is eager for blood and requires the adoption of tough measures ... That's right, the fire begins with the game of fire.
- Is the conflict between influential pro-Russian and pro-Western forces also observed in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia? Could you characterize these two blocks in general, if they exist at all?
- Strictly speaking, the consequences of Russia's actions in Ukraine are somewhat different: both Belarus and Kazakhstan are wary of Moscow’s actions on the accession of foreign territories. Russians make up a significant part of the population of Kazakhstan, and both countries may fear for their sovereignty and territorial integrity. In its relations with Belarus and Kazakhstan, Russia should be extremely careful and cautious. Lukashenko has clearly expressed his discontent. In Central Asia, there is a factor of China and the Shanghai Organization for Security and Cooperation, as a result of which the West has less opportunities for intervention and destabilization of the situation.
- Poland, Baltic States, Czech Republic ... What is the role of Central and Eastern Europe on this huge chessboard?
- These are the most active conductors of the American geopolitical line in Europe. Of all of them, Poland is the most belligerent in Ukraine. She constantly recalls the sufferings and oppressions that Russia has experienced in its history, while concealing its imperial role and ambitions in Ukraine. However, if you look at the history of Poland from the point of view of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, then episodes will emerge related not only to Katyn and the division of this country. For example, the Pilsudski program for the creation of Great Poland in the 20s from the Baltic to the Black Sea, as well as the fact that before the start of World War II Poland and Hitler’s Germany agreed to partition Czechoslovakia, even before Molotov and Ribbentrop signed the Soviet German non-aggression pact. Thanks to its anti-Russian hysteria, Poland now plays an important role in the EU. Hostile tone towards Russia and the south-east of Ukraine, as well as servility in front of Washington, give Warsaw a special prestige in the EU. The US benefits a lot from the policies of all these countries, which for understandable reasons are afraid of the Russian bear. It is not by chance that during Obama’s European tour, scheduled for June, Warsaw will be the first capital to be visited by the White House’s host. And the rest of Central and Eastern Europe play mainly the backyard role of large Western companies, primarily German ones, representing something like the internal colonial space of the European Union: cheap labor and support for a European project that is a thing of the past and militaristic in content.
- And finally, how do you assess the coverage of the Ukrainian events by European and American media? In your opinion, is their position hostile? If so, are there any exceptions?
- As for the German press, which I read most of all, since I live in Berlin, there is nothing new in their position: Russia is to blame for everything and first of all its insidious president, a former KGB officer. As if there had been no 20 years, during which Russia's security interests were constantly ignored. All this time, Moscow has taken initiatives, but they are inevitably silenced by the press, and, therefore, the population knew nothing about them. Basically, the authors of the articles require the adoption of tough measures to resolve the crisis, and stuff like that. It is very difficult to look through the headlines about the punitive operation of the Kiev authorities in the east of the country and the monstrous murder of a large number of civilians in Odessa. The media only further incite hatred. The fact that the industrial and financial circles of Germany do not want unnecessary problems in their trade and economic relations with Russia makes it necessary to pursue a more balanced policy. If we talk about the European public, it generally remains in a state of lethargic sleep. There may be some concern about the socio-economic situation, but even left-wing forces are not fully aware of the neo-imperial tendencies that are gaining momentum in the EU and the need to resist them. The keynote of the civil campaign unfolding in the run-up to the elections to the European Parliament should be the struggle for social rights and against war