World Economy: Recently you’ve been in Russia. Provocatively formulated – is Putin preparing for a war?
Willy Wimmer: Regarding all the discussions I have had in Moscow – and I’ve just returned from Moscow – I must say: People worry about the same things there as we also do here in our own country. I’m familiar with the public statements of the Russian President and can only recognise that he calls for moderation and to have common sense. I didn’t see any facet of arguments in Moscow, that would go in the direction you have raised in your question. Looking at the global political situation, one must soberly assess that currently all dangers come from the United States. Hopefully this will settle after 8 November this year.
The Caribbean crisis started 55 years ago. You just talked about the United States, and we know or sense what happened at that time. Do we have a similar situation now which is to be characterised by: “it’s an eleventh-hour decision”?
Getting to the bottom of things, you have to look at it like this. The Caribbean crisis, the Cuban missile crisis, has a background, and most interestingly I listened to a speech by the long-time Soviet Ambassador Valentin Falin in Bonn at a conference that I attended. Within these comprehensive historical considerations Ambassador Falin called attention to something which directly resulted in the Cuban crisis. In the forties and fifties of the last century, there was an American strategic plan called Dropshot. This plan was to attack the 30 largest Soviet cities with a nuclear decapitation strike, making the Soviet Union incapable of acting.
And most interesting – as broadcasted on the Franco-German TV station Arte a few weeks ago – the Soviets learned for the first time, what the United States intended to do in this great plan, from the communication intercept station of the Red Army on Brocken mountain in the German Harz. And it was mentioned within this Arte broadcast that the Cuban missile crisis had its actual root cause in this Dropshot plan. And so, it was for me not only fascinating to talk with Valentin Falin about it, but also to realise that these are the things we currently must deal with as part of NATO planning. NATO is taking aggressive action against the Russian Federation. The NATO has altered clauses of its contract regarding its purpose and is no longer a defensive Alliance, as we know it from the cold war, but rather an offensive one as it was revealed firstly during the war in Yugoslavia. Against this background, the situation concerning Russia is highly dangerous.
Furthermore – visible for the world – the Democratic-Republican war complex in Washington postulates a corresponding action against the Russian Federation.
Let’s look in the direction of Syria – also a source of danger. Let’s assume Russia retreats and pulls back from Syria, Assad is dethroned. How will the situation in the region and in the world develop? Next is the Libya scenario, is there a thread of a third world war?
I personally do not tend to make such considerations, because Syria is more than just a civil war, that we are currently facing. We must not ignore that here two different concepts from two different great powers play a role. On the one hand, the attempt of the United States – much like in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali or elsewhere – is to enforce a new world order according to their own preferences. However, on the other side the Russian Federation has a double interest from my point of view. Russia doesn’t want to contribute to the American approach eliminating existing international law, which for a long time ensured peace in Europe and beyond. On the other hand, and this must be made perfectly clear, a victory for the coalition led by the United States would mean that those forces prevail in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, all of which have origins in the Caucasus: As a result of the Caucasus wars Chechens, Ingush, Dagestanis ended up in the aforementioned region and are already settled there.
And their interest is to resume the Caucasus wars against Moscow. That is, in this area Russia is defending not only a major alliance partner or international law, but also its own national interests, which are to protect its own borders. Everything is in compliance with international law, and that makes the situation in Syria so complicated.
Thank you, Mr Wimmer. •
(Translation Current Concerns)
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