Thursday, November 30, 2017

West Plans to Promote Ethnic and Religious Protests in Russia to Undermine Its Sovereignty, Federation Council Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 29 – A special commission of the Federation Council for the defense of state sovereignty says that “Western countries are stimulating inter-ethnic and inter-religious protests in Russia” and seeking to transform Russian youth into a weapon against the existing regime.

            The West hopes, the commission says, to produce enough young leaders opposed to the Russian system who 10 to 15 years from now will be able to overthrow the Russian government and install a different one more in line with what the West would like to see (

            The Federation Council commission, which consists of nine members and is headed by Andrey Klimov, was created in June 2017. It has held hearings and proposed legislation, but now, according to its leaders, it is preparing a new report on foreign interference in the upcoming Russian presidential election to be released early next year.

            That report, which will have both a closed section detailing direct Western interference in the elections and an open one about broader Western strategies against Russia, is not about the young as the authors say now but rather about the opponents of Vladimir Putin, like Aleksey Navalny, according to political analyst Abbas Gallyamov.

            The regime expects that the West will launch a major propaganda effort to discredit the Russian elections, a campaign that will suggest that Russia is not a democracy and that therefore the voting next March does not give the regime any new legitimacy. This report, Gallyamov continues, is a kind of “vaccination” against such Western plans.

            In the open part of the report, its authors say, the report will rate the level of Russian state sovereignty. In order to do so, the commission has been analyzing the sovereignty of the members of the G20. According to its approach, a country’s sovereignty depends on having nuclear weapons, a capable military, developed industry and a developed political system.

            Using that measure, the commission has already concluded, “the most independent” countries in the world are the US, China and Russia.

            According to the commission, “the chief initiator of interference in the internal affairs of Russia and the CIS countries is traditionally the US.” The senators plan to compile a “Black Book” of the representatives of that country and others they see as interfering as well as “a wall of shame.”

            In addition, the members of the commission said this week that they plan to come up with various legal initiatives to block such interference in the future not only inside Russia but against Russia in international organizations like the CIS and other Moscow-sponsored bodies of the post-Soviet states.

            Andrey Kortunov, the head of the Russian Council of International Affairs, says that the senators may be getting ahead of even where the Kremlin is on these questions and that their work may cause unnecessary problems. On the one hand, few Western activities are still going on in Russia. And on the other, such reports will only worsen relations and invite responses.

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