Deputy Ambassador for the Russian Mission to the UN Addresses SI Conference
Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy presented a concise overview of the Russian position in the ongoing talks in his message to the Jan. 22 Schiller Institute online conference. He began on “a cautiously optimistic note. Our dialogue with the U.S., NATO and the OSCE is ongoing…. So, we meet and we talk. I don’t have any doubt that this is a kind of positive development, compared to the stalemates we used to be in for the past few years. The value of these contacts should not be underestimated. Some time ago, this could even be viewed as the result itself.”
However, “talking is not enough now”, he explained, referring to the repeated violations of previous verbal commitments “by our western counterparts”. Therefore, Russia now expects “a very concrete response from our Western colleagues with regard to the proposals on security guarantees we put on the table.” Ambassador Polyanskiy then summarized the content of the two draft treaties, which set out Russia’s red lines (cf. SAS 3, 1/22 and 49/21).
While Russia awaits comments on these strategic initiatives, “Unfortunately, our western colleagues are trying to descale the whole issue to Ukraine. It seems at times that they are, in a way, self-hypnotized with the imminent threat of the Russian invasion. It is something irrational, you know — self-inflicted phobias, something to be discussed in therapy, rather than in a serious political circle.
“It also seems that our Western colleagues are blinded by the so-called ‘victory’ in the Cold War, and continue to live these memories and try to talk from the position of superiority, and impose double standards. They blame us for the presence and movement of our troops on our own sovereign territory, while claiming that everything they do on NATO territory is nobody’s business. This will no longer work.
“On the destabilizing activity, this is exactly what the West is doing in Ukraine, sending more and more weapons and troops there…. Instead of encouraging Kiev to comply with the Minsk package of matters, and its other international obligations, our Western partners encourage Kiev’s bloodthirsty looks to Donbas, since it sees Western so-called “assistance” as a carte blanche….”
However, Ambassador Polyanskiy stressed, the real problem is much bigger than Ukraine. “The whole architecture of regional security in Europe is almost ruined. The situation is escalating, and contrary to the Western narrative, all threats come from the West, rather than Russia. They, on a daily basis, try to intimidate us by sanctions, grave consequences, you just name it. It is not something new. Russia has been resisting various threats for centuries. So, we learned how to handle this. I hope our Western colleagues will be good students of history as well.We should not repeat the mistakes of the past, and we still have a chance to focus on what unites us other than divides.”