Russia's Lavrov says "reset" with U.S. cannot last forever

MOSCOW Wed Oct 3, 2012 3:09am EDT

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 28, 2012. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Keith Bedford

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia and the United States must do more to strengthen relations because the "reset" in ties cannot continue forever, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview published on Wednesday.

President Barack Obama called for the reset in ties before taking office in 2008 but relations have been strained by differences over issues such as missile defense, human rights and the conflict in Syria.

"If we talk about the 'reset', it is clear that, using computer terminology, it cannot last forever. Otherwise it would not be a 'reset' but a program failure," Lavrov told the Kommersant business daily.

"Instead of dwelling on the name of this or that stage, we should think about how to develop our relations. Or, again using computer specialists' terminology, we should update the software."

Lavrov said deepening economic cooperation would help improve ties between the former Cold War enemies but that some moves would have to wait until after the U.S. presidential election next month.

Republican candidate Mitt Romney has accused Obama of being soft on Moscow during his four-year term and described Russia as the United States' "number one geopolitical foe".

The jailing of three women from the Pussy Riot punk band for two years in August over a profane "punk prayer" against President Vladimir Putin in a Russian Orthodox cathedral also prompted criticism from Washington.

Lavrov said there was a distorted image of Russia in the West and dismissed suggestions the verdict was politically motivated or that it amounted to pressure on the opposition.

He reiterated that Russia would not back efforts to topple President Bashar al-Assad to end the conflict in Syria, saying this would be "incitement to fratricidal war" that put at risk hundreds of thousands of lives.

(Writing by Timothy Heritage; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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Comments (5)
DeanMJackson wrote:
Since the Communists remained in-place after the fraudulent collapse of the USSR (and East Bloc), what good is a “reset”?

Take a look at who the Russian electorate have made President or Prime Minister these last 21 years: Soviet-era Communist Party members. As if such Quislings could even get their names on a ballot if the “collapse” of the USSR were legitimate!

Now you know why Russia’s foreign policy is (1) out of step with all other democratic nations; and (2) why Russia’s foreign policy is the same as Communist China’s.

For more on this neglected subject, read KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn’s 1984 book “New Lies for Old” (available at Internet Archive) , the only Soviet-era defector to still be under protective custody in the West, proving (1) the collapses of the USSR/East Bloc were strategic ruses; and (2) that all other Soviet-era defectors who followed Golitsyn were still loyal to their respective Communist intelligence agencies, since all of them provided incorrect intelligence on the future of the USSR/East Bloc.

Unless you’ve read “New Lies for Old” and become familiar with the Communists’ “Long-Range Policy” (which all Communist nations signed onto in 1960 as their “new” and more subtle strategy to neutralize the West), you are ignorant of all matters concerning foreign policy.

Oct 03, 2012 4:12am EDT  --  Report as abuse
matthewslyman wrote:
@DeanMJackson: Just because the Soviet KGB believed something, doesn’t mean it is true! Furthermore, just because Golitsyn says something, doesn’t mean that’s what the KGB actually believed at that time!

Rather than believing all of Golitsyn’s assertions (which I understand include the suggestion that the Sino-Soviet split was a planned charade by the Communist world — an assertion contradicted by the real subsequent divergence of economic & fiscal policy between these two powers); I’m more inclined to believe instead that Golitsyn’s defection was itself an elaborate deception designed to make Western powers self-destruct by searching for “reds under the bed” and veering to the political right as an irrational knee-jerk reaction to this perceived threat (so as to eventually send us into the political wilderness of diplomatic isolation — the REAL long-term threat to our system).

These opposing theories (Golitsyn’s, and the one described above) are almost equally incredible (the KGB’s alleged belief that the British Finnish leaders were their agents seems delusional — it’s clear that some people within the KGB were believing their own propaganda). So I demonstrate why the words of alleged traitors are rarely useful for us in formulating policy. (For another example of this principle, remember how “Curveball” featured in Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN Security Council?)

Ironically, the Sino-Soviet split happened after Krushchev gave a famous speech suggesting a shift from a Stalinist policy of creeping world domination, to a new policy of peaceful coexistence and cooperation with the West and with capitalism/ free market economics etc. Krushchev wanted to start being more friendly toward the West. Mao felt that Krushchev was betraying the true Marxism and the legacy of his former ally, Stalin. While Krushchev wasn’t going to tolerate U2 spy plane overflights, and planned to compete freely and aggressively with the West (ostensibly, a principle we believe in supporting); he was even in favour of a joint American/Soviet moon mission, and other friendly ventures.

The Americans’ reaction? After wasting a decade or more sending American boys to fight in Vietnam before realising the strategic importance of the Sino Soviet split; Nixon+Kissinger (ostensibly, America’s chief anti-communists) opportunistically made diplomatic overtures to Mao, to exploit the political split between former Communist allies, so as to isolate their Soviet rivals. The fact that American overtures were to the Chinese rather than the Soviets only underlines the primary motive of the Americans at the time: FEAR. They were scared crazy about the Soviet Union’s ICBMs and nuclear weapons. So it didn’t matter how friendly the Soviet Union wanted to be; they would be friends with anyone AGAINST the Soviet Union, rather than be friends with a nation who had the power to destroy them. They even supported the Taliban against a comparatively good Soviet-friendly Afghan leader. (These American follies go against the principle once explained by a British officer: that it is better to be neighbours with a man who keeps a loaded pistol in a locked drawer, rather than a maniac who is determined to stab you in the eye-ball with a pencil.)

The Americans succeeded in their diplomatic and covert military initiatives: they isolated the Soviet Union. Soviet generals became increasingly paranoid, Soviet spending was increasingly concentrated on the military, popular discontent and nationalism escalated, and their system collapsed. If anyone thinks this collapse was intentional, fully controlled, and beneficial to the protègés of the old Soviet system; they are only fooling themselves. The world has become more dangerous for almost everyone (except a few fortunate free people in Eastern Europe) because of the disorderly (rather than planned & organized) collapse of that system.

If there’s any grand Communist deception going on, or, any “long game” being played AGAINST the West; it is far more likely to be a Chinese gambit rather than a Russian one. For while the Chinese military system has never yet had the power to destroy the world, the Chinese political system has never yet rescinded the old Marxist/Communist principle of inevitable competition/confrontation => ideological objective for ultimate world domination by their own system (indeed, their continued belief in this principle was one original reason for their spat with the Soviets).
The Chinese are now engaging in economic warfare with us. They are using state-sponsored “capitalism” to gradually prise entire markets out of our hands, one by one, in a deliberate and pre-planned strategy; starting with low-margin heavy industries (useful for war-materiel) and working their way toward the higher-margin, high technology industries (useful for missile & UAV control). Our system is presently withering on the vine with unemployment & hopelessness because of almost unrestricted free trade with a system that is inherently unfair, and which has no genuine good will toward us (they don’t care about our unemployment, as long as it doesn’t affect them). Instead of righting these wrongs, our politicians are corruptly partaking of the spoils, and using cheap “competition” as an excuse to withdraw social benefits fought/worked/paid for by generations of people in the West. Our politicians have acquiesced in this quiet, creeping, anti-competitive Chinese ascendancy as long as the Chinese maintain the surface APPEARANCE of capitalistic fair play (we ignore the abuses because they send us cheap imported goods), and as long as the Chinese keep the campaign donations flowing via their American global corporate partners/ political proxies. By the time we realise what is happening, it may be too late.

If only our politicians would wake up… If only someone would start talking about this grave strategic threat to our freedom!


I appreciate the Chinese people as a peace-loving, hard-working, dignified people. Only, if only they and we were led better, we might all enjoy better lives, none of us would be threatened by a system that pushes us toward slave labor, and we might all enjoy health & social benefits, and through our hard work earn the right to use those privileges with dignity: we would all have a chance to earn our keep. I’m for a more equal world for everyone; which will only happen after serious, principled reform in both East and West…

Oct 03, 2012 6:10am EDT  --  Report as abuse
matthewslyman wrote:
p.s. Bashing the Chinese or the Russians won’t fix the economy (although, rolling back free trade/ globalization before renegotiating the terms of trade, may be a necessary step down the road toward a fairer deal for everyone)… We’re going through a fundamental technological => economic realignment. The information revolution? The premature dot-com bubble that burst? The changes everyone then anticipated, are actually happening – only, in slow motion… We all need to do something, and we all need to come back to the negotiating table again, to make this work…

Oct 03, 2012 7:24am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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