RUSSIAN GENERAL SAYS NOT PREPARING FOR A LARGE SCALE NUCLEAR WAR
DEC 2 2005
JUST THE FACT THIS IS BEING DISCUSSED OPENLY AT THIS TIME IS VERY SIGNIFICANT
Russia stopped preparing for large
scale nuclear and conventional wars long ago, the chief of the country’s
General Staff has said. Russia does not regard any particular state as a
potential enemy, he added.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Colonel General Yuri Baluyevsky said the country would prepare to defend its own territory and not to wage war on foreign land.
He said Russia and NATO should avoid conflicts in their relations caused by “the remnants of old thinking among certain politicians and the military,” RIA Novosti news agency reported. “A war between Russia and NATO is not the path we should be seeking.”
Speaking about the domestic situation in a number of former Soviet states, Baluyevsky said CIS member states had the right to determine their destiny without foreign influence and pointed to Russia’s right to defend its interests in the post-Soviet space.
Earlier, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said that if Ukraine joined NATO, Russia might stop military and technical cooperation with the country.
Baluyevsky condemned the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe for turning into a surveillance organization by overseeing the progress of democratic principles in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Speaking on Russian U.S. military cooperation, the chief of General Staff said it had an “impulsive character”.
“Military contacts between our countries sometimes work impulsively. When there is a problem, there is an increase in activity. When the problem is gone, the activity gradually subsides.” He also spoke on the cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism.
He added, however, that “although Russia and the U.S. share views on key issues, we do not feel that everything in our relations is going smoothly.”
“The U.S. has made demands that a number of countries’ nuclear programs should be completely transparent,” he said. “On the other hand, the U.S. turns a blind eye to the fact that Israel has for a long time ... had a significant nuclear arsenal.”
Baluyevsky pointed to similar double standards in U.S. cooperation with Russia in other spheres, including control of missile technologies. According to Baluyevsky, the U.S. not only uses its arsenal to defend its interests, but also as a form of leverage to put pressure on rivals on the market for this form of weaponry.
The general also said that Russia had the technology for a strategic missile that could get around any existing or future anti-ballistic missile defense systems. “This is a very expensive technology and its (industrial) production depends on the situation,” he said.
According to Baluyevsky’s point of view, missile defense systems were not even efficient in their defense against existing types of weapons.
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