‘Stability – Russia’s only goal in Syria’
RT: Given that international relations are not great right now what is the mood ahead of these very important couple of days of diplomacy, discussions, plans and proposals at the UN General Assembly?
Konstantin Kosachev: I believe the decisive factor here is the background. And the background in the world is quite pessimistic. The ongoing crises are becoming deeper. And all the previously proposed solutions by the US and their allies do not work. So, I think that the ongoing GA session is important for the simple reason: people are ready, eager and interested to listen to some new visions, some new solutions which exist, which partially belong to the Russian vision of how the world should develop and function. The coming speech of President Putin is really expected here because it is an alternative, constructive vision. I believe nobody misunderstands that Russia does not try to implement any specific national purpose and interest in terms of the crisis in Syria or elsewhere in the world. We try to maintain solutions which will be sustainable and this is what is needed for the world today.
RT: Ukraine has disrupted very much the US-Russian relations. This meeting on Monday between President Putin and President Obama, how high are the stakes?
KK: They are really high but I believe that the real decisions are to be worked out not here in New York on Monday; they are to be worked out a little bit later on, in Paris when the leaders of four countries which are the so-called members of the Minsk group will get together in order to discuss how Minsk agreements are to be implemented. Further on, the US is present, so to say, but is not a key factor in this context. And I do believe that Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin will discuss the situation in Ukraine but this situation will not be the central point of their meeting.
RT: So, this meeting is more about symbolism than substance?
KK: No, the meeting is definitely about substance. But the substance as for now is not determined by the crisis in Ukraine. The substance is much more serious. And the goals of the US and Russia are starting to coincide much more than we could face it in the past.
RT:Terrorism, it is a threat for everyone, of course…
KK: Terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, drug production in Afghanistan and other countries of the region. There are so many new challenges and threats which are to be addressed jointly and their solutions are possible only if the US, Russia and other strong countries cooperate with each other.
RT: President Putin is expected to pitch a plan on how to deal with ISIL mostly in Syria. Of course, the Russian government has been delivering aid to the Syrian government for a long time now, it is not a secret. Why is it so much criticism of late do you think?
KK: Well, I believe that Russian position toward Syria has been deliberately misinterpreted for a very long time because people were trying to insist on the situation when Russia tries to reach some commercial goals in Syria like continuing to sell weapons to Syria, to cooperate on oil and gas global prices … which is completely wrong. Our only goal in Syria - exactly the same way as it has always been towards Libya, Iraq and other countries in the region - is to keep stability in these countries and to assist people in these countries to communicate with each other, I mean, the ruling authorities and opposition; and to work out solutions which will keep existing countries like Syria together and with their territorial integrities. This has always been the Russian program for these countries, this is a fair program which is good for these countries, and I believe that this program is to be supported by Americans and other countries in the world.
RT: Will Washington be convinced of that?
KK: I hope that they will be convinced because they have no other options. They tried to go ahead without Russia, tried to ignore the Russian vision of how it is to be settled and they failed. So, I believe they will start listening to Russia because they have no other options.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.