US portraying Russia as "rogue state,” says Duma deputy
Calling the reset between Moscow and Washington “a failure” on a par with perestroika, Sergey Abeltsev, deputy leader of the Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) also warned that Cold War winds are beginning to swirl again between the nuclear powers.
"The 'reset', like 'perestroika' is a failure,” Abeltsev told the State Duma on Tuesday. “The Cold War principles are coming back and the format of relations with the West must be reassessed with an emphasis on Russia’s national interests."
The parliamentary faction deputy leader, who is also a deputy speaker in the Duma, pointed to “alarming trends in international relations,” namely the “militarization of world politics.”
Interestingly, the comments by the Duma deputy echo those made by former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who shocked a home audience in the summer when he warned on the "creeping militarization" of American foreign policy.
"It has become clear that America's civilian institutions of diplomacy and development have been chronically undermanned and underfunded for far too long, relative to what we traditionally spend on the military, and more importantly, relative to the responsibilities and challenges our nation has around the world," Gates warned in July.
"Overall, even outside Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military has become more involved in a range of activities that in the past were…the exclusive province of civilian agencies and organizations," the now-retired defense secretary added.
Meanwhile, according to Abeltsev, the US is playing the leading role in attempting to brand Russia as a “rogue state”, with the ultimate goal of pushing Russia out of big politics altogether, he said.
The LDPR deputy accused the US of interfering with Russian projects, both at home and abroad.
"Seeing the world as the sphere of its national interests, the US continues to interfere [with Russia] in nearly every direction,” he said.
When asked to back up his allegations with concrete evidence, Abeltsev said Washington is “assailing the South Stream project, encouraging subversive activities of…marginal political groups and even openly interfering in our domestic affairs.”
He then specifically mentioned the “Khodorkovsky, Bout and Magnitsky cases,” which have attracted much attention at home and in the US.
In November, LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky slammed the United States for the "illegal deportation" of Viktor Bout, who is presently sitting in a US prison awaiting trial for arms smuggling. Bout vehemently denies the charges."This is what disrespect toward a country is," Zhirinovsky told Interfax.
The LDPR has 40 out of 450 total seats in the lower house of the Duma.