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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov: “USA seeks to overthrow political leadership in Russia”

By imposing sanctions on Moscow, the US aims to change the political leadership, says the Russian Foreign Ministry, adding that Washington is “twisting the arms” of its allies so that they can continue an “anti-Russian front.”

“Behind the formally-declared aim to make us alter our position towards Ukraine, [we] see the [US] plan to form social and economic conditions to change leadership in Russia,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

According to Ryabkov, first of all Western countries wanted “to punish” Russia for “free will of people in Crimea and [the city of] Sevastopol,” who in a March referendum decided to separate from Ukraine and to join Russia.

Then they decided “that Russia has to, according to US opinion, totally change course towards the Kiev authorities and Eastern Ukraine in general, and to re-evaluate its foreign policy,” he said.

Ryabkov noted that apart from plans to destabilize Moscow leadership, US are “twisting arms” of their own allies so that they could continue “Anti-Russian front” and follow US policies on sanctions against Russia.

“But the US is not ashamed of insisting on cooperation with us [Russia] on matters affecting its own interests,” he said. He used the example of the Iranian nuclear talks, in which both Russia and the US take part.

Ryabkov added that the Kremlin is not planning to start talks with US and its Western allies in order to get the sanctions towards Russia repealed.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov (RIA Novosti)

He criticized the US resolution strongly condemning Moscow’s actions against its neighbors, and labeling them a policy of aggression.

“We see this document as the next step and further elaboration of those tendencies which have recently dominated Washington’s policy towards Russia.”

READ MORE: House of Representatives passes resolution against Russia

Passed December 4, the resolution slams Russia’s “continuing political, economic and military aggression” against Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, and the “continuing violation of their sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.”

Ryabkov doesn’t exclude that there will be further complications with the US in the future.

Moscow is “trying hard to stabilize relations” with Washington, but the resolution is a barometer of quite different attitude in the US towards Russia, he added.

“We are not ready to make concessions to the US on principal questions, but we are ready and will be looking for the balance of interests and common denominator where it is possible,” he said.


U.S. President Barack Obama (L) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin

The US embassy in Moscow, however, assured the Kremlin that Washington is not planning to overthrow the political leadership in Russia.

“The US is not trying to provoke changes in the Russian government, their [US] aim is to change [Russian] policy,” the embassy’s press secretary, William Stevens, told Interfax.

Washington is ready to withdraw the sanctions [against Russia] as soon as Russia performs its ceasefire obligations towards Ukraine, said Stevens.

“The US and EU introduced sanctions against Russia as a direct result of aggressive actions by Kremlin concerning violations of international law and sovereignty of Ukraine.”

Moscow has repeatedly said sanctions as a means to resolve the crisis in Ukraine are pointless, as Russia is already doing all it can in that respect. Sanctions are just a bad, outdated form of diplomacy, Russia has argued.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied the West’s accusations that Russia is militarily involved in hostilities in eastern Ukraine. Moscow emphasized that it is doing everything it can to resolve the crisis there.

“Talking to Russia in the language of force is meaningless,” President Vladimir Putin told the Federal Assembly in his annual address Thursday.


Russia’s President Vladimir Putin addresses the Federal Assembly, including State Duma deputies, members of the Federation Council, the heads of the Constitutional and Supreme courts, regional governors, heads of Russia’s traditional religious faiths and public figures at the Kremlin in Moscow, December 4, 2014. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)

President Vladimir Putin made perfectly clear that Russia won’t be bullied by USA-West

The West was hoping that sanctions and the falling ruble would force Russia to shift its policy, but Putin made it clear during his Federal Assembly address that Russia will continue its course (Mark Sleboda of Moscow State University, told RT).

RT:Some strong words yet again from the Russian president. What kind of reaction can we expect from the West?

Mark Sleboda: We can expect more of the same. These are not new words, they are just the reiteration that Russia will continue the course that it is not deterred by sanctions, it is not deterred by the buildup of NATO forces on its border, and it is not determined by harsh rhetoric from the West. Russia will stay the course and it will not change its foreign policy or sense of national interests because of Western aggression in either economic or military form against it.

RT: President Putin has said that sovereignty is important for Russia and its Western partners should realize that. Do you think that is likely to happen?

MS: Of course no. I think Putin said it ironically for rhetorical effect. The US, the West in general, stopped believing in sovereignty of nations back at the end of the Cold War. And we have seen that repeatedly: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. Sovereignty is conditional in this new world order that was created when with aliment with Western foreign policy interests and hegemony. If you don’t have that aliment you don’t have sovereignty. This is what Russia is reacting against.

RT: Also the president said that the West would have found some other way to hold Russia back, even if it wasn’t for Ukraine’s crisis. What do you make of that?

MS: Not only would the West have found something else other than sanctions but the whole Ukraine crisis itself is not primarily directed at Ukraine, or the Ukrainian people which are of marginal interest to either the US or the EU, but at Russia and the reconsolidation of the Eurasian space and the economic union. That is the entire purpose of the Ukrainian crisis.

RT: Putin accused the US of always meddling in the affairs of Russia’s neighboring states. So what kind of reaction to this can we expect from the West?

MS: Of course this won’t be accepted by the West and it is something that Western politicians, analysts don’t even acknowledge that it is happening and they never had during the whole spate of color revolutions all across the former Soviet space and most recently in Ukraine. We can’t forget that we saw US and EU politicians on the Maidan stage preaching to armed rioters that were calling for revolution against their country openly supporting them. That is an aggressive violation of Ukraine sovereignty and interference in its domestic political affairs. This whole putsch that happened, this whole propping up by the West, the arming of it – Russia is not going to forget it and Russia is not going to accept it.

From left: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping and President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma during a meeting with the heads of state and government of BRICS member countries, which took place before the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia. (RIA Novosti)

From left: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping and President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma during a meeting with the heads of state and government of BRICS member countries, which took place before the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia. (RIA Novosti)

RT: Just before he made the address, America’s President lashed out at Putin for leading an aggressive and dated policy, saying that Putin “has been improvising himself into a nationalist, backward-looking approach to Russian policy that is scaring the heck out of his neighbors and is badly damaging his economy.” What do you think will be Obama’s reaction to that?

MS: Not only the US but the EU, primarily Germany, were hoping that the sanctions, this most likely engineered collapse in global oil prices, the drop in the ruble, would force Russia to shift course. And Putin’s speech has made perfectly clear that Russia is not going to be bullied by the US and by Europe. Of course hearing the words “nationalist” and “aggressive” coming out from the US President who has military forces operating in a dozen countries around the world, and who had no respect for Ukraine sovereignty just a year ago when they were encouraging riots to overthrow the government, comes across as a little hypocritical.

RT: The Russian president also reiterated that Moscow will search for new partners. Who might that be? And does this mean further strengthening of the BRICS on the international scene?

MS: First of all, Putin is not addressing the West as partners anymore -we have to acknowledge this was said with a certain bit of irony- that is not the case anymore. It is not new partners. Russia has well developed relations particularly with the BRICS nations but also with the other countries around the world: Argentina, Iran, Indonesia, so on. It is the West that views itself as the world, and the West is not the World. And Russia has good relations with most of the rest of the world.





Traducción al español por Fernando Karl aquí


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