As Moscow prepares to take over as the Chair of the organization of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in 2024, Russian Security Council Secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, met with senior CIS security representatives during which he gave his assessment of the changing global security landscape, blaming possible escalations involving weapons of mass destruction on the West.
In his view, Russia and its allies needed to be aware of the deep, fundamental and complex changes taking place in the relationships between global powers. This would present new security challenges that required continued analysis to fully understand and navigate the evolving landscape of international relations.
Reports of the meeting in TASS, the Russian state media outlet, gave a not-unexpected one-dimensional take on his remarks. In summary, he gave his thoughts on the following which mostly included attacks on the US – “the Great Satan”:
Declining Western Influence
Patrushev asserted that the world order centered around the interests of the West, led by Washington, is in irreversible decline: “…the Anglo-Saxons and the collective West as a whole are losing influence and ceasing to be the main subject of international relations.” He said Western powers were deliberately engineering crises aimed at destabilizing “unfavored countries” – by implication meaning those regions where Russian interests are paramount.
He accused the West of trying to maintain its dominance by “…rapidly building up military capabilities, to increasingly aggressively dictate their terms to states that are economically and politically dependent on them.”
He concluded that “NATO has finally emerged as an instrument of collective Western aggression.”
Fueling the Fire in Ukraine
Patrushev said the West is provoking an intensification of the conflict in Ukraine by providing military, financial, and political aid with all its might to Kyiv in support of “…the puppet regime it has created.”
According to Patrushev, Ukraine is failing on the battlefield and is increasingly resorting to terrorist methods: “…including assassinations and murders of Russian citizens, attacks on civilian objects and critical infrastructure, including even nuclear power plants.”
The Russian official warned that Western support for Kyiv will only fuel further conflict throughout the region and elsewhere.
Escalating Risks from Weapons of Mass Destruction
Patrushev said he blamed Western actions for damaging global security and international stability. Western countries, primarily the United States, are responsible for the growth in common threats, including terrorism, drug trafficking, and transnational organized crime.
He pointed the finger at Washington for “deliberately undermining the international arms control regime, which increases the risk of the use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The militarization of space and cyberspace is being carried out at an accelerated pace.”
Many international bodies created to coordinate the efforts of the world community and prevent conflicts, are rapidly depreciating and losing influence because: “…the politicized approaches of Washington, London and Brussels have hollowed out and made meaningless… the activities of the UN, the OSCE and the Council of Europe.”
Patrushev also cited intelligence reports that dangerous bio-experiments were being carried out by Western countries, primarily the US, in the post-Soviet space. This claim, though controversial, adds another layer to the list of Russia’s grievances against the West.
Negative Western impact on the CIS
He said that the West openly demonstrates double standards towards the CIS. Not only do they “encourage the crimes of the Kyiv regime,” they turn a blind eye to “gross violations of laws and human rights in Moldova,” they condemn Russia and Belarus and demand “investigation into events in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and arbitrarily introduce unilateral restrictive measures.”
He said that a settlement between Azerbaijan and Armenia is possible only when “extra-regional forces stop interfering in the conflict.” The West is trying to create leverage over the countries of Central Asia to separate them from Russia. “We are talking here not only about political pressure and economic blackmail from the West, [but also] threats of secondary sanctions.”
Patrushev said that in taking over the chairmanship of the CIS in 2024, Moscow will strive to strengthen integration between its participants. “In this way, we will contribute to the safe and stable development of our states.”
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