МОСКВА, 15 декабря 2021, Институт РУССТРАТ.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia issued a statement on December 10, 2021 «About dialogue with the United States and other Western countries regarding the development of security guarantees”. The document was released as a follow-up to the agreement on establishing serious dialogue on issues related to ensuring the security of the Russian Federation, reached on December 7, 2021 during negotiations via video link between the presidents of Russia and the United States.
It is necessary to pay attention to several key points of this statement.
«We insist on developing – in a specific period of time and on the basis of the principle of equal and indivisible security — serious long-term legal guarantees that exclude any further advance of NATO to the east and the deployment of weapons systems threatening us on Russia’s western borders.»
«In the fundamental interests of European security, it is necessary to officially disavow the decision of the 2008 Bucharest NATO Summit that «Ukraine and Georgia will become NATO members» as contradicting the commitment of the leaders of all OSCE participating states — «not to strengthen their security at the expense of the security of others.”
«We insist on the legal consolidation of the agreement on the non-deployment by the United States and other NATO countries of strike weapons systems that pose a threat to the Russian Federation on the territory of neighbouring countries, both members and non-members of the North Atlantic Alliance.»
«We call on Washington to join the unilateral Russian moratorium on the deployment of ground-based INF [intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles] in Europe, to coordinate and introduce the necessary measures to verify the fulfilment of mutual obligations.»
In these areas, Russia intends to submit draft international legal documents in the near future for the start of negotiations in appropriate formats.
In fact, Russia proposes the West, led by the United States, to abandon its further geopolitical expansion. And we are talking not only about stopping the further advance of NATO to the east, but also, in general, about refusing to develop the territories of nearby Russia in military and military-technical terms.
Let’s take for example Ukraine, which is not a member of NATO. There are at least ten military facilities of the North Atlantic Alliance operating on its territory, which are not called military bases, but training centres. Accordingly, foreign military personnel are not a foreign military contingent, but simply instructors.
According to available estimates, there are currently about 4,000 US military personnel and 8,300 military personnel from other NATO countries on Ukrainian territory. At the Yavorov training ground near Lvov alone, 13 battalions and 8 brigades of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were trained in war according to NATO standards.
At the behest of the intelligence services of the United States, a sabotage and intelligence department was formed in the structure of the Special Operations Center of the Security Service of Ukraine to conduct operations abroad. The selection of candidates in this division is carried out by the Americans themselves.
British intelligence MI-6 organised training courses lasting three weeks at the Military Diplomatic Academy of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine. In the 73rd Naval Special Operations Center of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Ochakov, 200 foreign instructors are training saboteurs for actions in Crimea, as well as in the Black and Azov Seas.
Other facts can be cited — there are many of them, but the trend is already very clear. The military development of the Ukrainian territory is in full swing. All that’s left to do now is to deploy missile strike systems, including hypersonic ones, on its territory, on the basis of bilateral agreements between the USA and Ukraine. At the same time, Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and it is not covered by the fifth article of the North Atlantic Treaty on Security Guarantees.
Thus, NATO has actually approached the Russian borders. At the current stage of historical development, Russia is facing the most serious challenge in the field of national security since the collapse of the USSR.
As Russian President Vladimir Putin noted on November 30, 2021 during the answers to questions at the investment forum «Russia is calling!»: «If any strike complexes appear on the territory of Ukraine, the flight time to Moscow will be seven to ten minutes, and in the case of hypersonic weapons deployment — five minutes.»
Today it is difficult to assess the likelihood and timing of Russia receiving security guarantees from the United States. The intention to start a negotiation process on this topic has just been announced. However, even this step has already caused a flurry of criticism in certain circles in the West. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in particular, said that the organisation does not intend to compromise with Russia on the right of Ukraine and Georgia to join the alliance in the future.
It should be understood that the lack of constructivism in the US position can lead US-Russian relations to a state similar to the Caribbean crisis of 1962, when the United States and the USSR were separated by a thin line from the start of a large-scale nuclear war.
By the way, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Ryabkov said this directly on December 9, 2021: «It may come to this. Quite possibly. If, as to say, the ‘comrades’ from the other side do not understand , and everything will continue as it is, we may well, according to the logic of the development of events, suddenly wake up and see ourselves in something similar (to the Caribbean crisis). This in general will be a failure of diplomacy, but there is still time to try to negotiate on a sound basis.»
During a briefing at MIA «Rossiya Segodnya» on December 10, 2021, Sergey Ryabkov expanded his thought: «If the opponents on the other side, first of all the United States, but also other allied countries — ones that supposedly hold the same views as the United States — will deny their words and try to torpedo the whole thing, they will inevitably get the further deterioration of the situation in the sphere of their own security. In what shape and in what form it will happen is a separate question.»
Answering questions, Sergey Ryabkov did not reveal the cards for scenario «B», in case it would not be possible to agree on security guarantees and on the non-intersection of «red lines». He only emphasised Russia’s focus on political and diplomatic measures: «We are working on scenario A, the only possible one from the point of view of security.»
A transparent hint about a possible option for the Russian response under scenario «B» was made by Vladimir Putin at the forum «Russia is calling!»: «We can do it already now, because we have now tested it successfully, and from the beginning of the year we will have a new sea-based hypersonic missile in service, in Mach 9. The flight time to those who give orders will be also five minutes.» Translated into military language, this means the constant combat duty of Russian ships equipped with «Tsirkon» hypersonic missiles off the coast of the United States.
Washington, for its part, and its allies have not been stingy with threats against Russia in recent days. In particular, at a hearing in the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on December 7, 2021, tough sanctions against our country in the event of an «invasion» of Ukraine were discussed.
Senate Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (Democrat from New Jersey) called this package of restrictions «the mother of all sanctions»: «The Russian banking sector will be destroyed. The sovereign debt will be blocked. Russia will be disconnected from the SWIFT payment system. Sectoral sanctions will cripple the Russian economy. Russia will actually be cut off and isolated from the international economic system.»
Thus, the American elite laid all the cards on the table and named the price that Russia will pay for resisting the geopolitical offensive of the West.
Of course, there will be a certain negative effect from the introduction of such sanctions, but it will not change Russia’s policy. In addition, our country has adapted to the sanctions pressure. At the beginning of December 2021, 368 citizens and 578 Russian organisations were already on various American restrictive lists.
However, everyone has pain points. The American establishment also has it. This is its personal safety in the continental United States. Therefore, the mention of the Caribbean crisis is not accidental.
Well, unless if there will be only supporters of the war party = suicides at the top of the American political Olympus, which is extremely unlikely. Оn December 7, 2021, only Republican Senator Roger Wicker «distinguished himself» as such. Commenting to Fox News on the situation related to the internal Ukrainian crisis, Wicker recommended that the US president, in the event of an aggravation of the situation, not exclude the possibility of military action, including the preventive use of nuclear weapons against Russia.
The comment of the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Ryabkov during the briefing of MIA “Rossiya Segondya» on this incident is indicative. He advised such representatives of the war party to follow their famous predecessor, who jumped out of the window shouting «The Russians are coming!».
Thus, scenario «B» in the Russian execution is the same scenario «A», but only at a different, higher level of risk, at the level of greater confrontation between Russia and the United States. Agreements will be reached sooner or later, but both the Americans and Russians will get nervous.