Top Russian Policy Analyst to EIR: Kremlin’s Policy in Ukraine Is One of Deterrence

Dr. Andrey Kortunov, the Director General of the influential Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), gave an interview to the weekly online Executive Intelligence Review on Jan. 6, in which he offered insights into Russian strategic thinking that one rarely hears from Western geopoliticians and media, that deny there is any validity to the security concerns raised by President Putin over Ukraine and NATO.

While Kortunov stated he is not expecting a breakthrough coming from the scheduled talks, especially given the “rather militant rhetoric coming from the West”, he has observed “a readiness…to start talking to Moscow, and this is exactly what Mr. Putin apparently wants.”

On Ukraine, he expressed “growing disappointment with the performance of the Normandy group”, especially over the failure of the French and the Germans to “use their leverage in Kiev to make the Ukrainian side implement the Minsk agreements.”

Ultimately, the issue was brought “to the attention of Biden,” who, “delivers on his commitments. Moreover, President Biden has demonstrated that he is ready to continue a dialogue with Moscow.” He added that the decision to take actions which would engage Biden was based on the belief that “we should count on the United States more than on our European partners.”

However, given the “military cultivation” of Ukrainian territory by the U.S. and the NATO alliance, which Vladimir Putin has denounced, this has led to concerns in Moscow that President Zelensky “or whoever is in charge in Kiev, might decide to go for a military solution of the Donbas problem.” He concluded this section of the discussion by saying that, “…in certain ways, the Russian policy in Ukraine is that of deterrence, to deny Kiev a military solution for the problem of the east.”

Of special interest was his answer about how some see the present situation as a “reverse Cuban Missile Crisis”, with Vladimir Putin in the role of President Kennedy in 1962 standing up to the Soviets, demanding they dismantle the offensive weapons they had placed in Cuba.

Kortunov ridiculed the Americans’ argument that they are merely enforcing the “rules of the game”, that since “we are the good guys,” we only install “peacekeeping missiles”. But “since you are the bad guys, it means your missiles are also bad, and that they should be removed.” He said that such “double standards” prevailed for decades, but they can “no longer work in our world.”

On other issues, Andrey Kortunov sees Afghanistan as “an opportunity for a multilateral, international cooperation”, while on the riots in Kazakhstan, of which he said there are “external players, that might be interested in turmoil and mutiny” in the country.

The full interview can be found at this link:

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