|Russia And NATO:
What Common Interests Are They Talking About?
By Vyacheslav Tetekin
"Soviet Russia" newspaper
Nov. 29, 2001
NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson has recent visited Moscow. What
friendship is developing. Tears of happiness start poring at the sight
Russian Defense Minister and NATO Secretary-General talking with reverence
common interests. We shall come back to the interests later, but now
that just two years ago Moscow insisted that it had nothing to do with
who has attacked Yugoslavia – our strategic ally. And now NATO becomes
What has changed in two years? Did the war crimes that the West committed
the Balkans in 1999 cease to be war crimes?
It seems that the Kremlin prefers to forget about these unpleasant facts.
it wants to forget that Mr. Robertson is a war criminal condemned by
court to 20 years of imprisonment for participation in murders of thousands
of civilians, in the destruction of Yugoslav cities. On the other hand
Milosevic – the leader of resistance to NATO aggression, who favored
with Russia, was imprisoned with the silent consent of the Kremlin
– an active NATO member.
Mr. Robertson now comes to Russia without fear of being arrested and
Belgrade to serve his prison sentence. NATO Information Center, closed
ago, has been reopened in Moscow. It is not quite clear what is the
of the Center. The "democratic" Russian press abounds with those keen
NATO's interests. And they are substantially cheaper than Western-propaganda
intelligence officers serving in the Information Center.
Mr. Putin was preparing for this U-turn for a long time. While still
Prime Minister he tried in December, 1999 to push through Parliament
of a shameful START-2 treaty. Having become President, he immediately
to sound out the idea of Russia joining NATO. But both in Russia and
West it was perceived as a bad joke – the man had just been elected
fully understand what he was talking about.
But Mr. Putin then understood things his own way – it was not yet time.
become convinced of the unshakable nature of his rating and experiencing
do-what-you-want feeling he started to turn Russia westwards in a serious
He closed Russian bases in Cuba and Vietnam, actively supported the
US war in
Afghanistan, began withdrawing troops from Georgia and Transnistria.
was struck again by a firm negative reaction of most Russians, excluding
course overt Western agents of influence. Having met strong condemnation,
Putin declared that Russia is great without NATO and is not particularly
to join the Alliance.
It seems to be just a temporary step aside from Gorbachev's strategy
into civilized society." And Mr. President was not entirely wholehearted.
is keen to admit us to NATO. Either among the first or among the last
Russia is NATO's main enemy and with its admission the reason for NATO's
would disappear. The West needs us for other purposes.
Now back to the issue of common interests The Kremlin and its Western
are spreading a verbal mist about "international terrorism" as the
of the world community and the target for joint struggle. This is a
is a target for policy operation but not for a military bloc with nuclear
The real enemies of the West are increasingly the Muslim world, China
The West is also keen to draw scores with their old but so far unattainable
enemies like Cuba, Libya and Iraq. There are over 50 countries on the
of those harboring "terrorists." And this creates important (from the
of view) preconditions for cooperation with Russia. If previously it
to be neutralized now there is an- opportunity to co-opt it.
Let's note that the US war in Afghanistan involves not NATO but individual
members. What is the difference? The difference is that for NATO participation
the consent of all alliance members is necessary. And there may be
It is one thing to bomb Yugoslavia from comfortable European airfields
thing to get stuck in a land war in Asia. At the same time, small NATO
are hardly useful. They can send hardly company of soldiers to a far
war while their anti-war movements can create a lot of trouble.
Russia is another pair of shoes. The Kremlin already helps the USA more
any NATO member by providing intelligence information and Russian air
for the US planes, by assisting the US to obtain bases in Uzbekistan
close to China. It might even offer Russian soldiers able to fight
in the most
difficult conditions. It is actually happening through the Kremlin's
consent to the recruitment of mercenaries in Russia.
So far there is one thing in common between NATO leadership and the
– both agree that Russia must withdraw from everywhere, having shrunk
in international influence) to the size of the 15th century Moscow
It works well. Russian is leaving the Balkans and NATO gets entrenched
with the help of the Kremlin that contributed to the defeat of Yugoslavia
its only ally in Europe. The Western colonization of the Baltic states
Lithuania and Estonia, of the Ukraine and Moldavia, as well as of Georgia
Azerbaijan is under way. The Kremlin has already let in be known that
The Americans need to get control of Central Asia – a region with very
oil reserves. Please. Under a rapidly invented pretext of "retaliatory
against Afghanistan, Mr. Putin assists the old geopolitical opponents
to penetrate this region from where the US can get not only China and
but also industrial centers of Siberia and the launching sites of our
In actual fact there is no community of interests between Russia and
true interests of Russia are determined not by the whims of the Kremlin
leaders, but by centuries-old needs to protect the territory and the
in a not always friendly surrounding. We need to recreate on a new
union of peoples that formed the USSR. We need to reestablish friendship
Asia, Africa and Latin America. This directly contradicts the interests
West that strives to prevent the resurgence of Russia as one of the
the multi-polar world. Because that breaks the already constructed
exploitation of natural and human resources of Russia, countries of
USSR and in fact of the entire world.
It is impossible to conceal these contradictions by pleasant discussion
Mr. Bush, Blair and Robertson. Even in the anti-terrorist operation
the symbol of Russian-Western unity a conflict of interests immediately
The capture of Kabul by the Northern Alliance's Tajiks drastically
balance of forces in favor of Russia to clear displeasure of the USA.
There are older contradictions. Russia was struggling for several centuries
to get access to the Baltic Sea. By the genius of Peter the Great,
by the sweat
and blood of the Russian people this aim was achieved. Gorbachev and
gave these lands up. And Mr. Putin is ready to agree to final closure
window to Europe. But the historic need for Russia to get warm water
the Baltics remains. NATO is certainly against. The Alliance dreams
Russia away from the Kaliningrad region. What common interests can
Mr. Putin's statement that Russia is not keen to join NATO is just a
It hides a far more dangerous phenomenon – the Kremlin's reluctance
NATO's expansion to the East.
Let's look at what is behind this. First the consequences of previous
With Poland, Hungary and the Czechs joining the Alliance it has obtained
network of roads and railroads in Eastern Europe, up to 550 ammunition
as well as 33 major training fields. All this allows NATO to reduce
of NATO forces deployment in Eastern Europe to 30 days.
The NATO threat is perceived in Russia on the basis of the experience
German invasion of the USSR in June, 1941 – concentration of forces
crossing the borders. In modern warfare the decisive role is played
not by the
infantry and tank but by the Air force (let's recall Iraq and Yugoslavia).
defeat Russia NATO must launch a major first attack by tactical combat
to the depth of 600-1000 km from the border. With only airfields in
Europe available, NATO could have used just 550 combat aircraft planes
at its disposal. And even then they could have reached only the Smolensk-Bryansk-Kursk
With Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic's admission the Alliance
km to the East. NATO has obtained 290 airfields, constructed by the
The Alliance can deploy over 3500 combat aircraft there making it possible
attack targets up to the Volga River. Before NATO's expansion it was
to launch a surprise attack because Russian anti-aircraft system had
time to react. Now NATO planes can hit Kaliningrad and border regions
several minutes after take-off.
Now let's look at what will happen after the Baltic States join NATO.
infrastructure left there by the Soviet Army (airfields, ports, barracks,
facilities) will allow NATO to deploy in the Baltic states 280 thousand
and 300-400 planes and helicopters in seven days. Tactical aircraft
able to reach the Urals, to destroy bridges over the Volga, to hit
heavy missiles launching sites and strategic air force bases) practically
the entire European part of Russia.
The territory of the Baltic States is an ideal bridgehead for major
operation including airborne into Russian territory behind the backs
troops defending the Smolensk and Pskov direction. The preparation
to NATO aircraft
deployment in the Baltic States is going full swing. NATO Air Space
Center has been created in Vilnius ensuring deployment of NATO combat
in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Poor Latvia has purchased a powerful
radar that provides control over the airspace of Russia several hundred
deep. Who needs that? Latvia? Or the NATO air force? If the Baltic
NATO the Russian Baltic Fleet will be cut into two and locked in Kaliningrad
In these conditions NATO does not need to deploy on the territories
its ground forces and nuclear weapons. NATO aims in a war against Russia
be achieved by the air force using precision weapons. Despite this
threat to national security the Kremlin practically gave a go ahead
the Baltic States into NATO.
The reference to an alleged irresistible desire of the population of
to join the Alliance is an open lie. The percentage of NATO enthusiasts
never particularly high. Their ranks have shrunk since the start of
in Afghanistan. When it became clear that NATO membership might mean
Baltic States youth to the Afghan mountains the enthusiasm dropped
NATO membership is promoted by 200-300 people, the ruling elites of
that have plundered property inherited from the USSR and now are adapting
to the NATO feeding line. A lot can be stolen in the process of rearming
The anti-NATO expansion forces have naturally expected Russia's support.
Western Europe as well many are against allowing greedy Baltic elites
on their necks. But Mr. Putin's statement indicating the Kremlin's
to oppose NATO expansion is opening all the gates, simultaneously knocking
all the arguments from the hands of NATO expansion opponents.
Mr. Robertson and his friends in Russia should not pull us by the nose
of community of interests. NATO is an aggressive military bloc. Attempts
present it as a toy bear are dangerous. In the zoos of the world many
are dying who have seen too many fairy tales about kind tigers and
Same thing about NATO. The crocodile of NATO's appetite is increasing
starts to eat. As one of the newspapers recently said: NATO has no
It has only future victims.