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Personal adviser to Putin gave a tough interview to the German magazine Der Spiegel

Personal adviser to Putin gave a tough interview to the German magazine Der Spiegel

July 27 2018
Tags: Russia, Europe, Interview, NATO, Interview

Sergei Karaganov (Putin's personal adviser, dean of the Moscow elite university and many other things) recently gave an interview to the German magazine Der Spiegel (the interview became a real hit in the German mass media). As far as I can know, the interview has never been translated into Russian and has never been translated (and certainly not advertised anywhere in the Russian media). Because I translate now myself - this must be seen and know!

Der Spiegel: Sergei Alexandrovich, NATO plans to expand its activities in the Eastern European region of NATO ...

Karaganov:I already 8 years ago, said the situation is close to war.

Der Spiegel:Do you mean from the moment when the war started in Georgia?

Karaganov:Even then, the trust between our big rival countries was close to zero. Russia only then launched the process of rearmament. Since then, the situation in terms of trust has only worsened. We warned NATO in advance - we do not need to approach the borders of Ukraine. Fortunately, Russia managed to stop NATO's advance in this direction. Thus, the danger of war in Europe in the medium term, for the time being, is reduced. But the propaganda that is being implemented is very much like the state of war.

Der Spiegel:I hope, in the sense of propaganda you mean including Russia?

Karaganov:In this sense, Russian media are more modest in comparison with NATO media. And most importantly, you must understand: for Russia, a sense of security from an external enemy is very important. We must be ready for anything. For this reason, our media sometimes exaggerate somewhat. And what does the West do? You reproach us for being aggressive. The situation is similar to the one that was at the end of 70, the beginning of 80-s.

Der Spiegel:Do you have in mind the deployment of Soviet medium-range missiles and the reaction of Americans to these actions?

Karaganov:Then the Soviet Union practically collapsed from within, but nevertheless decided to deploy the SS-20 missile systems. Having thus started a completely unnecessary crisis. Now the West is doing exactly the same thing. You reassure countries such as Poland, Lithuania and Latvia by deploying missile systems there. But this will not help them at all, it's a provocation. In the event that a full-scale crisis begins, these weapons will be destroyed by us in the first place. Russia will never again fight on its territory!

Der Spiegel:... that is, if I now correctly understood - Russia will attack? Move forward?

Karaganov:You understand - now completely different, new weapons. The situation is much worse than 30-40 years ago.

Der Spiegel:President Putin is trying to convince his people that Europe almost does not plan an attack on Russia. But this is absurd! Do not you think?

Karaganov:Of course, this is somewhat exaggerated. But the Americans now openly say that sanctions against Russia are called upon to change power in Russia. This is an open aggression, we must react.

Der Spiegel: Most recently, the presidential council headed by you has published an open report to the president. I got acquainted with him in detail. In it you often talk about the only possible way for Russia - the return of former power. The idea is clear, but what are your specific proposals?

Karaganov:First of all, we are doing a good job - we want to resist further destabilization of the world community in the future. And we want the status of a great power, want to get it back. Unfortunately, we just can not give up this - 300 years have postponed our track in our genes. We want to become the center of great Eurasia, a place where peace and cooperation reign. Europe will also belong to this Eurasia.

Der Spiegel: Europeans now do not trust Russia, do not understand its policy, considering it strange. Your goal lead in Moscow we do not understand.

Karaganov:You should understand - we now trust you exactly at 0 percent. After all the recent disappointments, this is natural. Proceed from this. We are doing something that can be called a tactical warning. The goal - you must realize that we are smarter, stronger and more determined than you think.

Der Spiegel:For example, we are strongly, and unpleasantly, surprised by your recent approach to military operations in Syria. We do not act together, as it were, but in a way we cooperate in some way. But recently you withdrew part of your troops without even telling us about it. So trust does not work ...

Karaganov:It was a very strong, wonderful step of my leadership. We act on the basis that we are stronger in this region. The Russians may not be so strong in the economy, in the art of negotiating, but we are beautiful warriors. You have a political system in Europe that will not stand the test of time. You can not adapt to new challenges. You're too down to earth. Your chancellor once said that our president broke away from reality. So - you are too real in this sense.

Der Spiegel: It's easy to see that you in Russia have been actively enjoying our failures recently. In particular, with regard to our problem with refugees. Why is that?

Karaganov:Yes, many of my colleagues often mock you and your problems, but I always tell them that you do not need to be arrogant. Well, well - what do you want: European elites were looking for confrontation with us - they found it. Therefore, we will not help Europe, although it could easily be in the issue of refugees. For example, we could close the borders together - in this sense we are able to operate 10 times more efficiently than you, Europeans. But instead you are trying to cooperate with Turkey. It's a shame for you! We stick to our rigid line, with success adhere to.

Der Spiegel: You talk all the time, that you are disappointed with Europe and what is happening there. But Russia recently like in Europe? Or would you like the European era Adenauer and De Gaulle and the change surprised?

Karaganov:Do not make me laugh - most Europeans want the same Europe, not the modern one. In the coming decades, Europe clearly will not be an example for us, what we want and what we need.

Der Spiegel:In your report, several times it is mentioned that the use of weapons is "an obvious and correct measure in the event that the interests of the state are obviously affected." Do you understand Ukraine?

Kagaranov:Yes, certainly. In addition, there are cases when serious enemy forces are concentrated near the state.

Der Spiegel: Well, that is, you mean that the accumulation of NATO troops in the Baltic countries - is this the case?

Kagaranov:The idea that we are ready to start confrontation is idiocy. Why does NATO collect troops there, tell me, why? Do you have any idea what will happen to these troops in case there is really an open confrontation. This is your symbolic help to the Baltic countries, no more. If NATO starts aggression towards a country that has such an atomic arsenal as ours, you will be punished.

Der Spiegel: There are plans to revive the Russia-NATO dialogue. I understand that you do not take these ideas seriously?

Karaganov:Such meetings are more illegitimate. In addition, NATO has evolved over time into something completely different. You started out as a union of democratic states in order to protect yourself. But gradually it all turned into the idea of ​​constant expansion. Then, when we needed a dialogue - in 2008 and 2014 years, you did not provide a chance for dialogue.

Der Spiegel:... let's count ... Do you mean the crisis in Georgia and Ukraine? Clear. Tell me, in your report there are constantly terms such as "honor", "valor", "courage", "dignity" ... is it a political vocabulary?

Karaganov:This is something that really has value for Russian people. In the world of Putin, and also in my world, it is simply not possible that the honor of a woman can be trampled in the most bawdy way.

Der Spiegel: You are referring to the ill-fated Christmas night in Cologne?

Karaganov:In Russia, men who would have tried to do something like that would have been killed on the spot. The mistake lies in the fact that both the Germans and the Russians have spent many years searching for certain universal values, not understanding in essence what it is about. We, too, were looking for socialism in Soviet times. Your search for democracy is very similar to our search for socialism.

Der Spiegel: What mistakes do you see Russia's foreign policy recently?

Karaganov:The fact that in the near past we did not have any clear policy towards our closest neighbors - post-Soviet countries. The only thing we did was to subsidize and buy the elite. The money was partially stolen - on both sides. And, as the conflict in Ukraine showed, it is impossible to avoid a global crisis. Our second mistake is that our policy has been aimed at fixing 90 errors for too long.

Der Spiegel:Last question. Is there a chance that Russia in the near future will be to look for ways to cooperate?

Karaganov:We do not have to expect direct and open confessions in our wrong, because we are right. At the moment, Russia has become an Asian-European powerful state. And I was one of those who marked this path of development, to the east, as true. But at the moment I can say that we should to some extent again turn to Europe. This is the only thing I can say.
Peter Deryabin
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