Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Russian Foreign Policy and Syria
13 February 2016
EIRNS—Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev granted an interview to Sputnik in which he highlighted the Russian view of security in Europe, the war in Syria, and the danger of wider war in general.
"I am going to Munich to outline Russia’s position on the main issues of European security," he told Sputnik. The main threat is terrorism from which there is no safe haven. In some countries, terrorists have gone so far as practically replace the government," he said. Therefore, "our first and main common goal is countering international terrorism." Russia’s second goal is solving the Ukraine crisis. The basis for that is the Misnk agreement, but "Kiev is not in a rush to implement" it.
"The issues we shall be touching upon are extremely sensitive and painful for many," said Medvedev. "I presume that many may not like our position. That is normal. What’s most important is that we have one. Unfortunately, our western colleagues cannot get used to this, and instead of building relations with Russia like an equal partner with its own, quite justified for a large country geopolitical and economic interests, they are trying to present us as a ’second-rate country,’ or a ’regional’ power at best." He stressed that Russia is seeking its rightful place in the world but is not trying to run it. "But no country, neither Russia nor the United States of America, can lay the weight of global problems solely on its [own] shoulders," he said.
On Syria, Medvedev stressed the importance of international law and recognition of the rights of Syria, both of the government and of the people. He said air strikes alone won’t defeat the terrorists, but before making a decision on the deployment of ground forces on Syrian soil as part of the international coalition led by the United States, it is necessary to ascertain whether the Syrian people need this." If this is not done," the operation could complicate the already complex situation in the country, lead to more casualties and destroy the remaining conditions for a political settlement of the Syrian conflict." He stressed the importance of internaitonal law: "Because if we pretend today that there is no such fundamental institution in the lives of people and nations, tomorrow we will get a world drowning in chaos and anarchy."