The myth of a “Russian threat” has emerged as an intrinsic part of information wars in the current global geopolitical environment, Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Russia’s Federation Council, wrote in an op-ed for the newspaper Izvestia.
The senator noted that back in the day this argument helped the Baltics speed up their admission to NATO and the European Union. After the conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine, Kiev has been exploiting “Russian aggression” as an excuse for its military operation against the self-proclaimed republics in Donbass.
“[Some Western politicians claim] that Russia is dreaming of taking over Kiev, Riga, Tallinn, Vilnius, Warsaw and so on. Why would Moscow ever need this? But no one can answer. And it doesn’t really matter, does it?” Kosachev ironically remarked.
Furthermore, the senator touched upon the issue of anti-Russian sanctions pushed by the United States. Currently, the US Congress is considering a bill imposing new sanctions against Russia. The sanctions bill is dubbed the “Countering Russian Hostilities Act of 2017.” Its authors insist that it was designed in response to Russia’s alleged “hacking” of the US presidential election in 2016 as well as to Moscow’s “failing to comply” with the Minsk agreements and the “annexation” of Crimea.
“There has been no single piece of evidence of Russia’s meddling in the US election. Moreover, Russia is not party to the Minsk agreements, hence Moscow cannot comply or fail to comply with them. As for Crimea, the decision to rejoin Russia was made by its residents at the polls. How could one see aggression here?” Kosachev wrote.
According to the Russian lawmaker, the latest example of Washington’s disinformation efforts was the recent chemical attack allegations against the Syrian government.
Last week, the White House issued a statement claiming that Damascus was preparing a chemical attack in Syria and warned that if such an attack was carried out President Bashar Assad and the Syrian military “would pay a heavy price.” Later, the White House said that the warning was “successful.”
“As a result of all of these efforts, we’re finding ourselves in some kind of a distorted reality in which a disinformation campaign is called the fight against propaganda, NATO’s military build-up is portrayed as a response to aggression, and sanctions are described as a reaction,” Kosachev wrote.
He noted that in accordance with this logic US sanctions against Russia could be described as an “act of aggression” and financial and “technological blackmail.” At the same time, according to Kosachev, sanctions cannot force Moscow to change its policy.
“The only way to stand against this distortion is to stand for reality. Russia should continue to explain the real goals and motives of its foreign policy. Moscow would confront Western allegations with the truth behind the West’s geopolitical ambitions. It is a difficult but possible mission,” he concluded.