May 20, 2022

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– Corriere

to Paolo Valentino

“The goal is regime change in Kiev, the loyal state,” said the Kremlin’s foreign policy adviser. The Russian army wants to control the entire region. Putin has a historic mission: to bring together two Slavic states ”

« The goal is Regime change in Kiev, No more, no less. Putin has made clear: The two goals are disarmament and disarmament. The Russian army wants to control all or most of the territory. Moscow refuses to talk to the Ukrainian government and this means that the military operation will continue and the result we hope is the emergence of a new state. We are living through the last hours of Ukraine’s life as we have known it for 30 years. In its place will be born a state that Moscow considers to be friendly, loyal, devoid of nationalist ideology and in completely different relations with the West.”

Dmitriy Suslov He directs the Center for European and International Studies at the Moscow Higher School of Economics, one of the Kremlin’s closest foreign policy thinkers.

Why is Putin acting now?

Russian patience is over. Putin concluded that the WestBlinded or by choice, she has systematically ignored her fears and demands that have been talked about for years, particularly in the past few months. In view of the absolute lack of progress in implementing the Minsk Accords, the American rejection of the security guarantees requested by the Kremlin, and the military danger posed by the current relations between the United States and Ukraine, Russia decided to solve the problem. one-sided problem.

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So there is no risk of sparking a world war?

“The West will respond with penaltiescriticism and strengthening the military structure of NATO in Central and Eastern Europe. But we know that there will be no nuclear war. The United States has made it clear that it will not fight Russia for Ukraine. Of course, there is no doubt that we have already entered a new geopolitical reality, a new state of relations. The post-Cold War era is over forever and we are in an all-out confrontation with the West, including the European Union. If you are not new iron curtain, we are close. The clash will be strong and we will consider ourselves enemies again. Unfortunately, all this is true, but the Russian leadership considers the solution of the Ukrainian issue more important and is ready to pay the price. ”

Differences of opinion arose in the Kremlin. Did Putin decide for himself?

hard to say. It is true that there is no complete consensus in the foreign policy community on this option. Some believe there is an opportunity for diplomacy. But the decision was different.

Are you not afraid of a strong internal resistance in Ukraine, an Afghan scenario?

The Russian leadership hopes that the Ukrainian forces will refuse to fight and that the army will disintegrate. I do not exclude the presence of strong resistance in some parts of the country, the most nationalistic in the West, and hostile territories that Russian forces may not enter. But Comparison with Afghanistan It does not hold: it was another country, a territory that offered the possibility of sanctuaries, there was no common cultural element. I don’t expect a full-scale guerrilla war. But the ideal scenario would be the collapse of the Ukrainian government and regime change before Russian forces reach Kiev.”

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But this will lead to the complete isolation of Russia in the community of nations.

“The world is bigger than the West, which no longer dominates it. There is no doubt that Russia will be politically isolated from the Western world And their relations will remain hostile for many years. But it makes no sense to talk about Russia’s isolation in the international community: the countries that the United States can motivate against Russia are in the minority. China, India, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America will not isolate them. Beijing does not criticize Moscow, Lavrov spoke today with the Chinese Foreign Minister and there was not a single criticism on his part. China may not be happy about this act, but its attitude towards Russia is friendly and we expect this from most countries. As for isolation in the United Nations, come on, Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council.”

Faced with tougher sanctions, will Russia use an energy weapon against Europe?

“No. Instead, it will be Europe that will use the energy weapon against itself. After the block From Nord Stream 2If the transit of gas through Ukraine becomes impossible due to military action, the only active pipelines will be Nord Stream 1, Turki Stream and a very small pipeline through Belarus. I mean, Europe will suffer not because Russia will cut off supplies that will last, but because it has decided to deprive itself of Nord Stream 2.”

Does Putin want to go down in history as the man who united the Russian world?

“There is no doubt that this is one of the pillars of its historical legacy: the re-establishment of the union of the three Slavic countries. It is not a question of reviving the Russian Empire or the Soviet Union. But the re-establishment of an alliance between sister states. Sanctions and confrontation are temporary, this is for generations ».

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Feb 24, 2022 (change on Feb 25, 2022 | 00:20)