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Russia, Europe need each other — foreign intelligence chief

November 30, 2016, 15:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian foreign intelligence chief says that Moscow also has 'alternative options of cooperation'

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© Maxim Nikitin/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, November 30. /TASS/. Russia and Europe need each other but it is also advantageous for Moscow to develop relations with the East, which is increasingly becoming the center of world politics and world economy, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service Chief Sergei Naryshkin said on Wednesday.

"In principle, the so-called single Europe needs Russia no less than Russia needs Europe," Naryshkin told a forum devoted to the heritage of late Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov.

At the same time, the Russian foreign intelligence chief said that Moscow also had "alternative options of cooperation" and could choose between both "big Europe and big Eurasia."

"This is an advantageous situation for Russia that the center of gravity in world politics and the world economy continues gradually shifting from the West to the East, first of all, towards our great neighbor and strategic partner China," Naryshkin said.

At the same time, it is more likely that several centers of forces will develop in Asia, aside from China, he added.

Thus, India is an indisputable candidate for this role, the Russian foreign intelligence chief said.

The aggregate economic potential of Southeast Asian countries also allows them to expect "their most active participation in world processes," Naryshkin said.

According to Naryshkin, late Russian Prime Minister Primakov was convinced that the Muslim community should also be present in the formula of a multi-polar world.

"At present, the Middle East is living through the times of structural destabilization. The current situation in the Middle East and North Africa serves as a bright illustration of the pernicious and ill-thought-out interference into the affairs of sovereign states, against which Yevgeny Maximovich [Primakov] warned," the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence said.

This explosive region with its very complex internal problems "has been recklessly made an object of a geopolitical game while the creation of the Islamic State (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) was largely the result of short-sighted polices conducted by Western countries and their regional allies "in choosing means for attaining their goals," Naryshkin said.

Sanctions against Russia

 By supporting the change of regime in Ukraine and anti-Russian sanctions, the European countries "have poured concrete" into the dividing lines on the continent, Naryshkin went on. 

He noted that a united Europe could have enhanced its role as a global policy pole but this process "was reversed after a deep social and political crisis broke out in Ukraine and the country’s authorities sparked a civil war."

"After getting involved in a risky game of regime change in Ukraine and having supported the so-called anti-Russian sanctions, European countries have poured concrete into the dividing lines on the continent that emerged after the Cold War had ended in view of NATO’s expansion," Naryshkin stressed.

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