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Foreign intelligence chief says current ideological standoff worse than Cold War era

April 27, 11:10 UTC+3

Russia’s Foreign Intelligence chief comments on Russia-West relations

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© Anna Isakova/Russia's State Duma press service/TASS

MOSCOW, April 27. /TASS/. MOSCOW, April 27. /TASS/. The current phase of the ideological confrontation is at times worse than during the Cold War, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service chief Sergey Naryshkin said at the 6th Moscow Conference on International Security on Thursday.

"The current phase of the ideological confrontation is tense and nearing the intensity of emotions during the Cold War, and is sometimes worse," Naryshkin said.

The difference is that this ideology is advanced not by the eastern bloc, but by the present-day Western elites, which do not want to give up a neo-liberal and globalist approach, he said.

Naryshkin noted that are no prospects on the horizon indicating that this confrontation will subside. "The fight for the ‘hearts and minds’ will intensify and encompass new spheres. It will be accompanied by spreading fake news and introducing innovative technologies for influencing grassroots action," he said.

Western partners continue holding dialogue with Russia from the position of strength, but this method is futile, the SVR chief resumed.

Early this year, politicians and military in various regions of the world had some hopes that "a realistic vector in global affairs would triumph," Naryshkin said. "Many believed that common sense would prevail and nations would take steps to settle regional conflicts together based on mutual respect and trust, and search for a response to such challenges mankind faces like international terrorism," he said.

"So far, these expectations have not been fulfilled. We have to say that our partners in the West have failed to overcome inertia and continue attempts of holding dialogue from the position of strength and without respecting international law," Naryshkin explained.

"This tactic is futile in relations with Russia. Any attempts by the West to exert pressure on this country are absolutely unacceptable. We will cooperate only on an equal basis, taking into account all interests each side has. Only this approach can ensure a regional balance of forces," Naryshkin stressed.

The desire to impose one’s will on others may lead to "further chaos in the global system," which is the major cause of all international crises, he said.

Terrorist activity

"Terrorist activity in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to the recent tragic events in London, Paris, Brussels and Stockholm, the latest terrorist attack in St. Petersburg show that no single country, no single region can be a safe haven; no one is immune from terrorist attacks. The whole world is turning into a global danger zone," he said at the Moscow Conference on International Security.

According to Naryshkin, the threat of terrorism is becoming part of everyday life, especially in large cities. "At least, terrorists themselves are trying to convince us of this along with those who are trying to use terrorism for the sake of their own aims," Naryshkin pointed out.
"The long-standing existence of a quasi-state of IS (terror group outlawed in Russia) is impossible without support from abroad," Naryshkin stressed.

The intelligence chief also noted that "the West’s thoughtless attempts to reshape such special countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria using its own patterns have only resulted in a wave of chaos and violence."

"They upset the equilibrium in the region and the lifestyle of millions of citizens who are far from big politics," he stressed.

"The current state of the Middle East settlement contains significant risks as well. Amid the overall increase in tensions in the region, the impasse in the negotiation process can prompt the participants in the Palestinian-Israeli dialogue to achieve their goals through the use of force," he said at the 6th Moscow Conference on International Security on Thursday.

According to Naryshkin, the signs of the commitment to the use of force in global politics are a matter of concern. These are the use of media rhetoric with regard to Iran by Washington and its allies, attempts to influence internal political processes in Turkey and Western attempts to impose an artificial political settlement scheme in Libya.

Cyber threats

Naryshkin went on to say that cyberattacks planned by NATO’s allies pose a serious threat to stability.

"Decision by NATO’s allies to plan cyberattacks against a potential enemy poses a serious threat to stability," he said.

The SVR chief noted that modern wars and conflicts are becoming hybrid warfare. "They cover the cultural, socio-economic and information spheres, which are turning into independent areas of warfare," he said.

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