“Russia will never again fight a war on its own territory!”

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"Russia will never again fight a war on its own territory!"

Original published by Eurasia Daily; translation by J.Hawk

Sergey Karaganov, a personal advisor to President Vladimir Putin, gave an interview to Der Spiegel that was published on July 13. The interview itself, conducted by Christian Neef, is remarkable because of its harshness and the absence of the usual compromise formulations.

Sergey Aleksandrovich, NATO is planning to expand its activities in Eastern Europe…

I’ve been talking about the situation that approaches the state of war for 8 years.

Do you mean ever since the beginning of the war in Georgia?

Already then, the level of mutual trust among our big adversarial countries was close to zero. Russia was only beginning its rearmament process. Since then the level of trust had only worsened. We warned NATO ahead of time: there’s no need to approach Ukraine’s borders. Fortunately, Russia managed to stop NATO’s advances in that direction. Which lowered the danger of war in Europe in the middle-term perspective. But the propaganda which is being conducted right now closely resembles a state of war.

I hope that, when you reference propaganda, you also mean Russia?

Russian media are far more modest in that regard than NATO’s. And here’s the main thing you must understand: for Russia, it is key to have a sense of security against an external enemy. We have to be ready for anything. Which is why our media sometimes exaggerate a little. But what is the West doing? You are chiding us for being aggressive. It’s a lot like the late ’70s and early ’80s.

You mean the deployment of Soviet medium-range missiles and the US reaction?

At that time the USSR had practically collapsed from within, but nevertheless still made the decision to deploy the SS-20s. Thus starting an unnecessary crisis. Right now the West is doing exactly the same thing. You are trying to calm down countries like Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia by placing your missile systems there. But that provocation will not help them at all. If there is a large-scale crisis, we’ll destroy those weapons at the outset. Russia will never again fight on its own territory!

That is, if I understood you correctly–Russia will attack? Move forward?

You have to realize that the current, new weapons, are very different. The situation is far worse than it was 30-40 years ago.

President Putin is trying to convince his people that Europe is all but planning an invasion of Russia. But that’s absurd! You don’t believe so?

Naturally, that’s an exaggeration to a certain degree. But the Americans are currently openly saying that the sanctions against Russia are intended to result in a regime change in Russia. That’s open aggression, we must react.

Very recently, a presidential advisory council you head published an open report to the president. I acquainted myself with it. You write that Russia’s only available path is the restoration of its past power. It’s a clear idea, but what are your concrete proposals?

First of all, we are doing a good thing–we want to prevent further destabilization of the international society. And we want a status of a great power, we want to restore it. Unfortunately, we simply can’t avoid it–300 years of history have left their mark. We want to be the center of the great Eurasia, a place where peace and cooperation rein. Europe will be part of that Eurasia.

Europeans currently don’t trust Russia, don’t understand its policies, believe them to be strange. The objectives of your Moscow leadership are not clear to us.

You must understand–we don’t trust you at all. It’s natural after the recent disappointments. That has to be your base assumption. We are doing something that might be called a tactical warning. The objective is to make you realize that we are smarter, stronger, and more decisive than you think.

For example, we were heavily, and negatively, surprised by your recent approach to the fighting in Syria. We don’t exactly operate jointly, but nevertheless do cooperate in some sense. But you recently withdrew some of your forces without even notifying us. That’s not how trust works…

That was a very strong, magnificent step by my leadership. We act on the basis of being stronger in this region. Russians may not be as strong when it comes to economics, or in the art of negotiations, but we are magnificent fighters. You have in Europe a political system which will not stand the test of time. You can’t adapt to new challenges. You are too narrowly focused. Your chancellor once said our president was divorced from reality. Perhaps you are too close to it in that sense.

It’s easy to notice Russia is actively enjoying our failures. In particular, our refugee problem. Why?

Yes, many of my colleagues are chuckling at your problems, but I constantly remind them not to be arrogant. But otherwise, what did you expect: European elites wanted a confrontation with us–and they got one. Therefore we will not help Europe, although we could easily do so concerning the refugees. For example, we could all together close borders–we can do this far more effectively than you Europeans. But instead you are trying to cooperate with Turkey. That’s shameful! So we are holding our hard line, and are holding it successfully.

You keep saying you are disappointed in Europe and with what’s happening there. But Russia, after all, only recently wanted to become part of Europe? Or did you want the Europe of the Adenauer and de Gaulle era and are surprised by the changes?

Don’t make me laugh–the majority of Europeans also want that Europe, not the current one. In the coming decades, Europe clearly will not be an example for us, something we want or need.

Your report states several times that the use of force “is the obvious and correct measure when the state interests are clearly affected.” Do you mean Ukraine?

Yes, without any doubt. Also in cases when major enemy forces are gathering close to borders.

Are you suggesting that NATO concentrations in the Baltic States represent such a case?

The idea we are ready to start a confrontation is idiotic. But why is NATO gathering forces there, tell me, why? Can you imagine what will happen to these forces in the event of open confrontation. That is symbolic aid to the Baltics, nothing else. If NATO launches aggression against a country that has a nuclear arsenal such as ours, you will be punished.

There are plans to revive the Russia-NATO dialogue. My understanding is that you are not taking such ideas seriously.

Such meetings are illegitimate. Moreover, NATO has transformed itself over time into something different. You started as an alliance of democratic countries with the idea of self-defense. Gradually all of that transformed into the idea of continuous expansion. When we needed a dialogue, in 2008 or 2014, you did not give us that opportunity.

…let me count…You meant the crises in Georgia and Ukraine? Now it’s clear. Please tell me, your report frequently uses such terms as “honor”, “courage”, “bravery,” “dignity”…is that political language?

That’s what has value to the Russian people. In Putin’s world, and also my world, it is simply unimaginable that a woman’s honor could be trampled in the most scurrilous of ways.

Are you referring to that fateful Christmas night in Cologne?

In Russia, men who would have tried something similar would have been killed on the spot. The mistake lies in that both Germans and Russians have spent many years searching for some universal values without understanding what that even means. We are seeking socialism during the Soviet era. Your pursuit of democracy is very similar to our pursuit of socialism.

What do you view as Russian foreign policy mistakes in recent years?

In that we did not have any coherent policy in recent past concerning our closest neighbors, the post-Soviet states. The only thing we did is subsidize and buy elites. The money was partly stolen, on both sides. And, as the conflict in Ukraine had shown, it was impossible to avoid a global crisis using such methods. Our second mistake was that our policies were focused far too long on addressing the mistakes of the ’90s.

Last question. Are there chances Russia will seek a path toward cooperation in the near future?

You shouldn’t expect us to make any direct or open confessions that we are in the wrong–because we are in the right. At present, Russia has become a powerful Euro-Asian state. And I am one of those who believes our eastward path of development is the correct one. But at the moment I can say that to a certain degree we ought to turn back toward Europe. That’s the only thing I can say.

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  • paul

    Russia would be wise to take seriously the possibility of war with the west.
    All the reassurances coming from western politicians are no more
    than a pack of weasel words intended to deflect. I judge President
    Putin to be man of outstanding patients and not easily provoked.
    However, Russia’s military leadership will be assessing the situation
    through an entirely military perspective – they will be thinking
    like military men. What they will see is an alarming threat
    developing on Russia’s boarders. They will see the parallels to the
    late nineteen thirties and will be determined to avoid the same
    outcome. In the end it may yet again come down to the valor of the
    Russia fighting man.

    • Gryphonne

      Gooby pls. Nobody wants a war. Ever since it became as easy as opening a browser, the internet has been filled with conspiretards. Unfortunately, this platform is so anti-West that it completely loses its legitimacy and defeats its own purpose as an alternative to “mainstream” media. So instead, it chooses to become another garbage dispenser like RT or Sputnik, trying to scare and manipulate both Western Europeans as well as Russians. Also, this insane bigotry here, since when did this become some racist platform instead of actually a place where there would be semi-intelligent articles?

      I’m tired of both CNN and RT clones. Is there anything left that can be taken seriously at all? Why do I even bother asking someone like you.

      • chris chuba

        I can see us blundering into a war with Russia. Our ‘Russian experts’ are Russian haters and don’t take the Russians seriously. For example, if you are familiar with the the State Dept letter from ‘the 51’ who advocated bombing Assad’s forces, they totally discounted the notion that the Russians would resist this with their air defenses. Well, how would these imbeciles react if the Russians did?

        What if these State Dept. imbeciles backed a Ukrainian attack on Crimea with U.S. troops, I mean after all, to them they think that this isn’t really Russian territory.

        Here are two examples of how I think a hot war with Russia could start because of the Neocons and I don’t attribute it to conspiracy, just brutal incompetence and lack of empathy which is a common trait among Sociopaths.

        • Singh Sardar

          Socio/Psychopaths rarely screw over kin. Google this, it’s well known that its a nepotistic strategy.

          Now, wonder who the neocons are & who the majority of combat arms are. :D

      • Slavonac

        sorry to say this Gryphonne, but perhaps this site is not where you should be. It appears the time for “brotherhood” with the West has gone past, you had your 25 years of domination and the results are quite visible around the world. The vast majority of the world population (not west) rejected your models and has began acting against it, so it has become a fact that we are now on the opposing sides. This of course is the result of your admired leader’s “you are either with us or against us” policy, so what you asked for has now presented itself to you. West keeps on pushing with confrontation against Russia and it looks like they will get it…

      • Mainstream media is so far out of centerism. That when you receive a dose a centered thinking, the centered thinking seems extreme. Even though CNN and FOX and BBC only engages in disinformation. That is why their viewers has fallen by 70% in just 20 years.

  • Zyklon B

    The Western EU and Amero Jews want war with Russia, but not the people. As an EU citizen I want the EU to collapse. There are great possibilities for Russia to undermine the satanic EU. European people have had enough of this social marxist bullshit that we are getting from the leaders of the EU.

    • Gryphonne

      You must be one of those marginalised jobless citizens that likes to blame domestic policy and his personal life choices on the “EU”; because that’s easy and because you’re unable to think for yourself. Actually, your bigotry already reveals all I need to know. Not the sharpest tool around are you? Don’t bother replying, not going to read it anyway.

      • Sean

        Those that automatically respond with name calling without true counter-argument deserve no response. Give me couple of good points on how the EU is helping the middle class? It’s a fabulous establishment for the Elite who can govern and control with impunity.

    • Barry

      Loathsome Nazi. Putin hates Nazis. He calls Israel one of Russia’s greatest allies and he has a Chief Rabbi on call. He attends Jewish events even though they are around 2% of the population.
      Nazis are always so stupid. At least the original Nazis read Goethe and could air conduct a Beethoven symphony.
      Morons like you deny the Holocaust and then name themselves after its most ghastly aspects. I am surprised you can breathe on a regular basis without forgetting to exhale.

      • Zyklon B

        I can’t expect you to know more than the media shows you, because you are stupid. Just think about one thing. Hitler himself negotiated with Jewish leaders. And what then?

        Having good relationship in front of the courtains with Israel is a political interest. But behind the curtain Putin and the jews are enemies.

        • Barry

          Moron. Hitler went to Jewish philharmonic concerts in Berlin with Jewish leaders like Putin did when Bibi and his wife came to visit. Hitler never met a single Jewish leader. He had Hebrew speaking Eichmann do it for him. Hitler never went to menorah lightings and visit synagogues like Putin does on a regular basis.
          Are you such an ignoramus to say such stupidities? You inhaled too much zyklon b growing up.
          Jesus, at least old time Nazis were educated! Your delusions about Putin secretly hating Jews is like you secretly thinking you have friends.

          • Zyklon B

            Hitler himself negotiated with Jews you moron. Learn some history.

            Who told you that Putin hates Jews? Are you on acid, retard? He can go to celebrate with folks from his country. He maintains a good relationship with everyone. Russia is a huge country and it’s not easy to keep it together.

            What might confuse that tiny brain of yours is probably you confuse the international satanic jewry with some peaceful jewish folks who happen to live in Russia. The international satanic jewry wants war with Putin. So they are enemies. If you are so stupid that you can’t see that do the world a favour and flush yourself in the toilet.

      • “Nazi” is shorthand for “Ashkenazi-Jew” And I agree with you. Nazi’s are evil.
        However, Christian Nationalist are not.
        When Nazi’s in New York and London declared war on the indigenous tribal peoples of Europe in 1933, the fate of a war happening was sealed.
        Also, with the Holodomor in full swing, their had to be a reaction to such evil action.
        You cannot genocide 45-million ethnic Japethites, and not expect a response.
        https://holodomorinfo.com/

  • Hisham Saber

    The Jews in 1812, Napoleon was convinced to take down Russia, WW1 was about taking down Russia, The Bolshevik revolution(sic) was about taking down Russia, WW2 was about taking down Russia. All of the above were Jewish conspiracies to take down Russia; the ultimate prize for this greedy race. Russia should understand this and act accordingly. Ask no quarter, take no quarter. Its really a zero-sum situation. The Russian people have paid too dearly in the past to not be ready for all out war. Russia has the most, best scientists per capita in the whole world. If the pressure continues to build up, Russia should act in a preemptive way and take down any hostility. NATO forces close to Russia would be held hostage if things turned hot. And also NATO/U.S missile shields will prove to be an expensive, ineffectual system whether defensive or offensive. Russia actually has the upper hand politically and militarily since Russia is one cohesive entity and NATO/U.S is not. The future favors the bold, thus Russia should always assume the offensive. One smart general said once, ‘When on the defensive, the best you can hope for is a tie’. Russia should, and needs to make real inroads with the ‘mainstream’ Islamic world; for the Eastern Orthodox and mainstream Islam together can devastate any conspiracies on either one, or together. Salam, we are with you Russia. a Muslim friend.

    • Barry

      but i thought you were just an anti Zionist, not a Jew hater? what happened, Heshy?
      Just because you have no friends does not mean that the Jews control the world. Though I saw Putin at a Passover party at the Kremlin with the Chief Rabbi. He seemed to be enjoying having dozens of wealthy Zionist Jews hanging around.

  • dan kopfz

    NATO it seems hasn’t morphed into an expansionist entity with any other goal than profit, which is why you hear NATO leadership always talking in contradictory terms. On one hand they want to push for military build up, but punctuate that dream with sentiment such as: we aren’t looking for confrontation with Russia.

    This is because they’re a protection racket on a global scale. NATO is the primary consumer market for western military equipment. There’s are limited options for weapons manufacturers to increase profits, which is of course the goal of all corporate entities:

    1. They can increase their primary market
    2. They can increase their sales into their primary market
    3. They can sell into secondary markets

    We’re seeing the success of the military industrial complex and its lobby groups in changing the international reality in order to increase profit, and in all these ways at the same time.

    1. NATO is expanding into smaller countries that can have poor leadership installed that will militarise the country to a degree that is economically unsustainable, and goes against common-sense economic practice. Think Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Ukraine, that have sacrificed economic growth to be come little more than military outposts. These are also throw away states that nobody in Europe actually cares about. A prime example of this is the ongoing conflict in Ukraine that nobody reports on anymore, because it’s in a frozen phase and not interesting.

    2. NATO has created various boogeymen in order to support a ‘unified’ call for greater defense spending. By triggering a few conflicts, NATO has painted Russia has the bad guy, and beating that narrative ad nauseam they’re pushing every existing NATO member for greater spending. A 0.5% GDP increase for NATO spending represents hundreds of billions to weapons manufacturers over all NATO member states.

    3. NATO has created regions of perpetual conflict, where enormous shipments of weapons are simply air dropped or smuggled in. These weapons sales that sit outside the NATO budget, and are often argued for individually. Every single bullet being fired by a terrorist has been purchased with the taxpayer money of NATO member states. These weapons are immediately used or destroyed, creating endless opportunity for market growth. You can understand the history of global conflict by looking at the shares growth of western weapons manufacturers over the last few decades, with sharp spikes in profits coinciding with each new conflict initiated.

  • cheetah88

    As this guy is one of Putin’s personal advisors, it shows a rare glimpse into the real attitude, frustrations, and anger of the Russian politicians in general. Putin seems way too nice all the time, but he is a diplomat and is trying to keep the peace until his country’s military is modernized, rearmed, and expanded. I have noticed a lot of their new weapons systems, bases, and large orders of equipment are all due ‘by 2018’. He will keep the peace by any means until then, but after 2018, nato just might get beaten back hard. I did a study of Russian air defenses recently and can assure you they have no reason to fear the West’s nukes- their airspace is sealed tight.

  • The most awful war in human history was when the Mongols under the evil-Genghis Khan invaded and conquerqed the good-Russian people. The Mongols genocided and ethnically cleansed some 127,000,000 people over a 300 year period. Many of whom were Russian’s, and others being Europeans and Middle Easterners.
    I hope the good Russian people learned from this 300 year war to never fight such a war on their own soil again. Genghis Khan even had 1.4 million people killed in the span of just one hour. This was the worst atrocities in history.

  • cheetah88

    i cant find this article in eurasia daily. here is the real source link though:
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-putin-foreign-policy-advisor-sergey-karaganov-a-1102629.html