President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and ex-Premier of the country Yevgeny Primakov backs the active policy course pursued by the Russian leadership, he said during his appearance in the Night Time programme of the ORT TV channel on Tuesday.
Primakov cited the setting up of the Russia-NATO Twenty, the signing of the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty and the recognition of Russia as a market economy country among the successes registered by Russia in foreign policy over the past year. Speaking of the above-said Treaty signed in Moscow last May, Primakov noted that the USA and Russia initially held different positions. According to him, the US side, in particular, came out against any restrictions of the level of offensive arms and binding documents. "If this stance had triumphed, the USA would have reached the stage of taking decisions on its own," Primakov said. In his opinion, it is a great service of Russia that this did not happen.
Speaking of the establishment of the Russia-NATO Council, Primakov pointed out that, as a result of the setting up of this body, "Russia is again gaining the right to influence operations beyond the NATO confines with the consent of the West-European states which are also discontent with the decisions the US takes on its own." Characterising Russian-US relations, Primakov noted that Russia was now "levelling relations with the USA which will be growing stronger." At the same time he warned against orienting Russia's foreign policy "to unconditional support of the USA and to turning Russia's back to other countries." "It is necessary to combine the development of relations with the United States and strategic relations with Europe and other countries," he emphasized.
Asked about the allegations that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs follows events but does not make moves to come ahead of them, Primakov said that "this criticism is groundless". He noted that now "the President of Russia is not simply a formal organiser of foreign policy" but actually carries it out. If the Ministry of Foreign Affairs "was clamorous" earlier, now, as Primakov put it, its role has somewhat moved to the background. For all that, the Foreign Ministry continues pursuing "a clear, coherent and reliable policy course," Primakov stressed.
Russia's Ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, said that Moscow would treat any military intervention in the affairs of Belarus as an attack on Russia