MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. Confrontation and self-isolation are not Russia’s choice and not its path in the international arena, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said on Thursday.
"If some time ago the West wanted to see us in some clubs and private groups, that was only in the capacity of a junior partner who lost the Cold War and was therefore doomed to taking a subordinate role," he said speaking at a conference of the Russian International Studies Association entitled "Twenty-five years of Russia’s foreign policy." "Whatever historical trials Russia had to go through, paying such a price for joining the club for the select few has never been acceptable to us."
According to Ryabkov, the end of the Cold War era did not erase political, economic, military and strategic discord between countries and groups, especially between the countries determining their national interests on their own. "Of course, Russia is among them and will be in this category in the future," he emphasized.
"We were threatened with another confrontation and another Cold War in the years following the romantic period of the late 1990s and quite recently, in the wake of developments in Crimea and Ukraine," he went on to say. "However, we were not frightened and have been able to stand up for our interests, and this can hardly be questioned."
"However, confrontation is not our choice and not our path. Nor is another extreme approach, namely, self-isolation with a view to saving strength for domestic development," the diplomat stated. "In today’s world, seclusion and self-isolation is basically a problem, and for a country like Russia, with its vast territory, (isolation) is simply impossible. That would contradict our own interests as well."
"All Russia’s historical traditions show that our country is highly sought after in the international arena as an independent player," the high-ranking diplomat said. "Our potential and ability to play a constructive role in global politics are significant, and we will use them actively.".