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Russian security chief accuses Washington of slipping into Cold War mentality

December 26, 2017, 10:54 UTC+3

The Russian Security Council chief comments on Moscow-Washington relations

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© EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. . Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev believes that Washington conceals its Cold War-era expansionist positions behind the notion of "aggressor states," he said in an interview with Russia’s Argumenty I Fakty weekly.

"There are real economic interests and the same Cold War-era expansionist positions that did not change for decades behind the images of ‘aggressor states’ imposed by Washington," he said. The Security Council secretary noted that "the new American National Security Strategy calls Iran and North Korea ‘rogue regimes,’ and Russia and China revisionist authoritarian states that challenge the US and strive to undermine its security."

Patrushev named "advancing American influence in the world" and "preserving peace through strength" among the priorities of the US national security strategy set out in the document.

The Security Council secretary reiterated that the US military budget for 2018 is almost $ 700 bln, including a $ 4.6 bln allocation for deterrence of the so-called "Russian aggression in Europe." "Out of this sum, $ 100 mln is a target help to bolster the defense of the Baltic states, and $ 350 mln is granted for a military help to Ukraine," Patrushev noted. "The history of the 20th century contains many examples of what disastrous consequences such influence from abroad may lead to."

The United States continues breaking the agreements it reached earlier with other countries, he said.

"Today, the US administration’s steps on the international arena are raising eyebrows more than ever," Patrushev told the paper.

"So, Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital may only destabilize the situation in the Middle East," he said. "The US continues breaking the agreements reached with other countries."

"They are threatening to impose sanctions not only on Russia, but also the Europeans and China, which has been recently hit by another round of anti-dumping measures," he said.

"Meanwhile, most EU countries are concerned over the attempts to impose additional restrictions against Russia by Washington without taking into consideration their interests," Patrushev noted.

The Russian security chief stressed "this artificial restriction is not only unfair competition but also a violation of international law."

"Allegations that Russia has some historically based propensity for aggression and derogation of others’ statehood is a dangerous myth that was made up in an effort to discredit our country," he said.

The Security Council secretary noted that last year the Foreign Affairs magazine made a special edition about the Russian "aggression" in which it proved that the Russian Empire, the USSR and modern Russia have a common geopolitical priority: expansion. "The idea of Russia as being aggressive by default is being imprinted on the Western community," Patrushev stated. "And, they say, no matter what friendly gestures the Western countries make, our country has always strived to expand its influence, restricting and even destroying others’ statehood."

"We see here a cynical rewriting of the history," he affirmed. "As a matter of fact, it is well known that a great many countries not just preserved, but achieved their statehood with Russia’s support." He named Finland, Switzerland, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Romania as examples. "Russia helped these countries achieve statehood not just through diplomatic efforts, but with the blood of its soldiers," Patrushev stressed. He noted that Russia did not ally with the UK that was trying to "strangle the young American state" in 1780. "We all saw Russia protecting the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic for two years," the Security Council chief added. "The Syrian army smashed terrorists with support of the Russian Aerospace Force and Syria was preserved as a sovereign independent state."

US-North Korea relations

Patrushev has said he does not rule out that attempts to whip up tensions around North Korea could be in line with Washington’s strategy aimed at containing Russia and China.

"It’s no secret to anybody that North Korea’s nuclear and missile issue is actually used as a pretext for continuing the militarization of the Asia-Pacific region in the interests of containing Russia and China," he said. "Washington is consistently implementing its plans to deploy elements of its global defense missile system." "Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that stirring up tensions around North Korea contributes to a large extent to the implementation of the United States’ strategy."

"The United States is not accustomed to regarding the lives of other countries’ citizens to achieve its goals," he went on to say. "However, Washington certainly cannot fail to take into account the fact that 250,000 Americans live in South Korea." "In the event of large-scale military operations on the Korean Peninsula, tens of thousands of US citizens will die," Patrushev stressed. "Such losses are called unacceptable in the language of the military in all countries." He noted that the positions of North Korea’s tactical missile systems, cannon artillery and multiple-rocket launchers are located "at a distance of some 50 kilometers from Seoul."

He stressed that the US comes up with aggressive statements against North Korea’s top officials, the entire North Korean people and holds large-scale snap military drills with South Korea. "North Korea responds with new ballistic missile launches and does not hesitate to make tough statements," he pointed out. "This vicious cycle must be broken by solely and exclusively political and diplomatic means."

According to Patrushev, that’s why Russia and China proposed a roadmap to resolve the Korean Peninsula's nuclear issue. Its first stage envisages a moratorium on Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests and a simultaneous reduction or an end to US military drills on the peninsula.

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