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22 Feb, 2008 13:26

Russia’s “brute force” is ready: Moscow's NATO envoy

The significance of Kosovo's independence has gone beyond the diplomatic sphere – that's the message from Russia's envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin. In a world where the principle 'he who has the power, has the right' rules, Russia has “the b

“Those states that supported Pristina find that they are making up an absolute minority. That means that today the European Union, if its members find common ground, and NATO, if it oversteps the bounds of its mandate, both will enter a conflict with the United Nations. And this is serious,” he said.

With the authority of the United Nations undermined, there is no strict and universal international law to safeguard global security, the Russian official believes.

“This is not only between Russia and NATO.This is a conflict of the whole system of international security. This is not a diplomatic, but a political issue. An issue of the future, about whether there are any proprieties in interstate relations or that one can follow the policy of 'he who has the power has the right,” he said.

In this new world Russia has to rely on force to protect itself, Rogozin believes.

“Then it has its own conclusions for Russia. We too would understand that we need brutal physical force to make sure we are respected, understood and that others acknowledge our right to our own point of view – and the name of that force is military force,” he said.

Dmitry Rogozin was quick to qualify his words on the use of military force, saying it would only be used to protect direct national interests.

“Obviously, Russia will not take part in any kind of military operations in Kosovo, in the Balkans or outside its borders in general. Russia has enough political and moral authority to defend international law, and that's what it's doing. But when the issue touches its own national interests, its borders and attempts to repeat the Kosovo scenario on Russian territory, it will defend not only international law, but also its own sovereignty,” Rogozin said.