MOSCOW, April 8. /TASS/. Western leaders have now resorted to the regime of lengthy political and economic siege of Russia, chairman of Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee Alexey Pushkov said on Friday.
"The logic of cooperation has not been understood yet by Western leaders. They are trying to achieve their goals through the logic of confrontation and have now resorted to what I would describe as a regime of lengthy political and economic siege of Russia," Pushkov told parliamentary hearings titled "Russia-West: what will prevail - logic of confrontation or logic of cooperation?"
The Russian lawmaker noted attempts of political and economic isolation of Russia as well as continuing sanctions. "Out of the things that US did last year, the most important was not (US State Secretary John) Kerry’s visit to Moscow because Kerry’s visit to Moscow are maneuvers. The most important thing was the sanctions that (US President) Barack Obama extended for one more year. This is a practical political decision," Pushkov added.
The West is artificially maintaining the logic of confrontation, he said adding that situation may change when several Western leaders are replaced. "We see that not all presidential candidates in US support what Barack Obama is doing. We see that there is already serious opposition to the course that is being carried out toward Russia," the lawmaker noted.
"The second option is strengthening those circles inside Western elites that understand the objective necessity of the logic of cooperation. The third option is the strength of political necessity," Pushkov went on. "If the West feels that the politics of confrontation not only infringes on the interests of farmers and some Western businesses but also leads to undermining West’s basis interests, I think that reorientation will occur," he said.
Pushkov stressed that Russia supports "the logic of cooperation on an equal basis, on the basis of considering mutual interests, and not on the basis of forcing one country’s priorities on another country."
According to the official, the statement of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that the Alliance is against confrontation with Russia represents a "cover-up" for the real politics of confrontation that the West carries out.
"We are told that the West in reality does not seek the Cold War, that it seeks dialogue," Pushkov told parliamentary hearings on relations between Russia and the West. Talking about recent Stoltenberg’s statements, Pushkov noted: "Unfortunately, this should for now be assessed as mere rhetoric and cover-up for the politics of confrontation."
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday at the meeting with experts and journalists at the Atlantic Council: "NATO is not seeking confrontation with Russia. We will avoid a new Cold War. Actually, we are striving for more cooperative and constructive relationship with Russia."
Pushkov reminded that at a recent conference in Munich, Stoltenberg "put forward an absurd formula that sounds like this: more deterrence of Russia, more dialogue with Russia." "Someone probably explained to Mr Stoltenberg later that ‘more deterrence’ will mean complete absence of dialogue, so he changed his formula stating that the new principle is strong defense and constructive dialogue," the lawmaker noted.
"In reality, one can talk about strong defense only when defensive measures are taken. However, when measures are taken to saturate the Baltic States with NATO military, to deploy bases of Response Force in Poland and so on, it is no longer strong defense but rather actions directed at undermining Russian security," Pushkov said. "If NATO thinks that they can build dialogue on this basis, then, I think, they are seriously mistaken," he stressed.
The lawmaker reminded about statements made in Munich on possible resumption of work of NATO-Russia Council that has been suspended since 2014. Opinions were voiced that the meeting requires an agenda that will be interesting for both sides. "What will we talk about? About more deterrence?" Pushkov wondered.