The Russian Defense Minister, Sergey Ivanov, has left for the USA. He has something to talk about with the representatives of the American administration. The “eternal” subjects of the top negotiations, like the National ABM system, the reduction of the strategically offensive arms have been recently added with the US presence in the republic of Georgia and in Middle Asia, with the issue of cooperation with NATO, and the plans of the White House towards the countries of the axis of evil, particularly Iraq.
Sergey Ivanov expects the American side to clarify the information, published by the American mass media, which said that Russia could become a target of a nuclear strike. Ivanov stressed out that Colin Powell had already rejected those messages, but the Russian defense minister would like to hear the explanations from the American officials.
“I would like to ask Donald Rumsfeld, the head of the Pentagon, about the publication in the Los Angeles Times, which said that Russia was on the list of the possible targets for a nuclear strike,” – Ivanov said.
It is an open secret that Doland Rumsfeld and Sergey Ivanov position themselves as the followers of the tough course, and their harsh statements are corrected regularly: Rumsfeld’s statements are corrected by Powell, and Ivanov's – by President Putin.
However, according to the diplomatic etiquette, they are supposed to show some common features of their positions. The point of this position, no matter how formal it is, may turn out to be rather important for the future tone of the bilateral relations.
The Western media were not active to comment on that event. The majority of them believe that the report should be considered as the declaration of intentions, not as USA’s readiness to use the nuclear arms against the listed countries today, or in the nearest future.
However, some of the media outlets see a deep point in what has happened. Planning the nuclear strikes against such countries as Iran, North Korea, or Syria, the only super-power, which is left, makes the countries of “axis of evil” think it over, and not only think. It gives them the arguments for expanding their own nuclear programs. The USA can spend for nothing all the non-proliferation efforts.
The majority of the Russian politicians preferred not to comment on that message at all, but if they were making any comments, there were very few of them. The Russian media were totally different in that respect. “The leakage of the delicate information, which was organized in the American press, was only another step of the West, which attracted everyone’s attention. The scandals around the Russian Olympic athletes, introduction of the export tariffs on steel, NATO’s large maneuvers in Norway and Poland – these are the events of various kind, but of the same objective. Russia’s international status is being demonstrated in public,” – the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper wrote.
The above mentioned things do not add any optimism. We can only wish Mr. Ivanov to keep his tough position as far as Russia’s interests in the international scale are concerned.
Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov