Defense Ministry Expert: Russia Needs to Buy More Time to Modernize Military and Prepare!
Maxim Kazanin, Military University of the Russian Defense Ministry: As for the security architecture and the concept of security, on the whole, certain points, which have already been mentioned today, were explicitly outlined by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit. He pointed out 4 lacking elements. Firstly, it's the lack of political willpower. Secondly, it's the lack of trust. Thirdly, the lack of peace; and fourthly, the lack of development. They all intertwine. So, the lack of political willpower entails the lack of trust, which provokes misunderstanding and conflicts, followed by the absence of peace. And the absence of peace and social, economic, etc. security generates the lack of development, meaning economic problems, and an array of additional issues. So, what's the result? What is the Chinese President driving at? He says that we should reconfer powers to the two leading international organizations: the United Nations and the WTO. These supernational bodies could take measures on an international scale.
According to China, modern regional security isn't about the use or non-use of nuclear weapons. Clearly, nuclear weapons guarantee the security of a State. And US President Donald Trump offered China to reduce its nuclear arsenals and intermediate-range missiles. But intermediate-range missiles account for 80% of all China's missiles. So, what does China respond? The Chinese side offers cooperation, all-around, mutually beneficial, long-term, sustainable cooperation and partnership.
— With whom?
— In general, global cooperation. All people must cooperate. But this is the Chinese view.
— What's the Chinese view of cooperation? Well, I'll explain. It's like a quail-and-horse patty. The proportion is 1:1: one quail and one horse. Of course, cooperation is good, but China is so huge that sooner or later you find yourself devoured by it in this «cooperation.» Speaking about the WTO, who will lead it? Speaking about the UN, the crisis has a reason. Who makes the decisions? Will economic heft be the criteria? Then, we'll have to secure it for good. So, it's always the case with honorable Chinese friends. Their speeches are extremely deep and wise, and nobody can get them but for other Chinese who actually wrote these speeches. I mean, they're so…
— Well, yes, they are ulterior. But, again, let's take a look at the longstanding cooperation between the USA and China.
— Yes, and it led to war. It was all so lovely and nice. Nikolai Vasilyevich bet there would be no problems, like, they have a single Sino-American economy, they are intertwined! But the current situation is just the opposite.
— He's still holding his ground.
— Yes, of course, but how can that be? It's an existential issue. When Trump says: «Oh, Xi is a nice man! He's my bro! But we'll have them.»
— But they can well take countermeasures.
— Yes, but now it's a war.
— But still, they keep trading.
— Yes, they do!
— Well… Let's turn to the national security protection and the role of…
— Come on, what national security? Did you see what's going on in Hong Kong? And, amidst these developments, China voices to the US what it doesn't like. Is it about China's national security? Yes, it is! Can Americans deny themselves the pleasure of scrutinizing what they call human rights? No. Americans can't help but comment on everything. They even said to PACE: «Hey, you're crazy if you bring the Russian delegation back!» They're going to impose sanctions on Russia because PACE brought it back.
— How can countries cooperate in the digital economy, for example? It's inaccessible for the majority of countries.
— Of course, nowadays, there are two countries, China and India, who suggest forgetting about the boundaries and to start voting according to the number of people. Tempting, but no, given that there are ten times as many Chinese as us. So, the purpose of such voting is obvious. Mr. Shakhnazarov, we need you as a director.
Karen, we need the whole picture.
Karen Shakhnazarov, film director: As a director, I'd say that I'm convinced that people never change. So, what changes is technology; cell phones, computers, and the Internet appear. But the human being is unchanged in their essence. They were all the same in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Israel, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, in the medieval ages and now. We can draw an easy conclusion. We can't create what you call a security system. It's just impossible. Clearly, President Putin is a seasoned and shrewd political leader. He says what he must say. Initially, his idea was to unite Russia that was on the verge of collapse, get it reintegrated into the world and preserve its status even if the alignment of forces didn't play into Russia's hands. Actually, much was achieved in this direction. Of course, it would be beneficial for the Russian Federation if some security system was created. But let's take a look at the world. If a people or a country has an advantage, they will never refuse to take advantage of it. This is a cornerstone aspiration.
The only political leader, who was actually cursed a lot, but suggested creating a peaceful world, was Vladimir Lenin. Though, he died quickly and didn't succeed. His successor Stalin dropped those ideas because he was more realistic.
When was there parity between the USSR and the West? When the USSR created a vast defense system and alliances that they couldn't ignore. Are there doubts that if it hadn't been for nuclear weapons, they would've done to Moscow what they've done to Belgrade? Do you have any doubts?
— I don't.
— Can anybody say that after the referendum in Crimea and its reunion with Russia, Moscow wouldn't have been bombed? Everyone understands that they would have. They'd have found a million justifications for it. They don't bomb us only because we have nuclear weapons. That's how the world works. Unfortunately, we must bear that in mind. Clearly, the main goal of the West and the USA is at least to contain Russia after what they call «winning the cold war.» Obviously, Russia has recovered since that period, it now has its national middle class, its interests; it's starting to compete for markets. It's inevitable as if it doesn't compete for oil, gas, arms markets it won't exist anymore. Obviously, it pursues certain expansionism, which is, understandably, absolutely unacceptable for the West. So, they can meet and discuss things as much as they want. You were right to say that, perhaps, Trump thinks Mr. Xi is nice. But their interests contradict each other so much that they'll inevitably continue the struggle. Trump and Mr. Xi can't do anything about that because it's a matter of history. The United States can't afford to be weak. As I already reiterated several times, though some people disagree, saying that I'm anti-Western or whatever, both the West and the United States are certainly losing momentum. They're outgoing, but they can't afford to lose because otherwise, they'll begin to collapse. It will affect living standards, etc. That's why they'll fight to the bitter end. That's how the world works, and no suggestions of cooperation even in the teeth of death from global freezing and whatever else will work because this is human nature. Humans will always strive for domination if they have the necessary resources.
So, unfortunately, I don't think the global security system can be created anyhow. The West and the USA believe that after the collapse of the USSR in 1991 Russia is still weak and that they can still beat it. They keep thinking that they can off Russia somehow, meaning that they'll try to do it until, just like it happened in 1970 in Helsinki, they suddenly realize that it won't work. They actually reached the agreements, but as soon as they had an opportunity to deliver a blow at the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, they did it right away. Nothing could stop them. The truth is, we responded to them too.
— So, let's be optimistic.
— So, that's why I can't… It's not a catastrophe. It's not a catastrophe, it's just the world. It has worked like that for thousands of years. Unfortunately, history didn't show any other scenarios to us. So, the only scenario for Russia is to understand it, seek negotiations, of course, and it's really important to us as we are weaker anyway, though we're gaining ground; and then, as you've just said, we need to organize our domestic life. We must do it. We can do it.
— I'm not in Death to Spies unit yet.
— We should also understand that, unfortunately, force is still decisive in this world.