Russia tells US to ‘back off’ its ‘aggressive’ course
The US is taking an increasingly aggressive stance towards Moscow, but no amount of economic sanctions and political pressure can sway it from defending its national interests, a top Russian diplomat said.
Moscow’s diplomacy regarding the US is an exercise in “crisis management”, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview on Russian television on Monday. He described US behavior as being “increasingly confrontational and worrisome.”
“We can see how [the Americans] are trying to mobilize their satellites, their vassals to confront Russia in a more aggressive and hardline manner,” the diplomat said. “Washington’s irresponsible, extremely aggressive, extremely assertive course is bringing us all to the dangerous line. We are warning against maintaining this course.”
The brinkmanship has been evident not only when it comes to the crisis in Ukraine, but also in the all-important issue of nuclear non-proliferation and reduction, Ryabkov said. Washington has pretty much dismantled the entire architecture of strategic arms control and is threatening the last remaining bilateral treaty of that kind with Russia, the New START, he pointed out.
The core of the problem, the diplomat said, is that the US “does not need agreements, which had been signed on the basis of parity, served not only the security interest of the group [of nations] led by the US, but strengthened the security of entire regions and the world in general. They are not in line with the hegemonic course that the US pursues in the international arena.”
The deputy minister said he didn’t expect US policy towards Russia to change anytime soon, because “there is an anti-Russian consensus of the elites” in the US. But the only viable solution is for Washington to recognize that Russia will not be bullied and act accordingly, Ryabkov added.
“Time and time again we’ve told our American interlocutors, to use the most neutral term, that they have to back off and stop escalating the situation,” he said.
European nations, which sided with Washington’s anti-Russian drive, are suffering because of it, the Russian diplomat pointed out. In fact, their subservience to Washington makes them vulnerable to American exploitation, Ryabkov said.
“[The Americans] are undermining Europe’s competitiveness, pumping their products into European markets, be they military equipment or hydrocarbons, which the Europeans would rather get from alternative sources under different circumstances,” he said.
But Washington lacks global support, regardless of what American officials claim Ryabkov said. Dozens of nations representing half of humanity either backed Russia’s position on Ukraine or at least acknowledged the merits of Russia’s reasoning about it, he explained.