Russia and the United States should form a “political and military partnership,” declared Sergei Rogov, Dr. Sc., the director of the Institute of the USA and Canada Studies, according to official Russian sources.
The Institute of the USA and Canada Studies is an internationally known Moscow-based think tank with close connections to the Russian government.
“Russia is not a geopolitical rival of the United States,” Rogov stated, “therefore it is high time to make meaningful what [U.S.] President George W. Bush describes as a new strategic framework of relations with Russia.”
Rogov’s remarks were carried by the Voice of Russia World Service, the official broadcasting service of the Russian government.
The Institute of the USA and Canada Studies, founded in 1967, is part of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Institute describes itself as the “first and largest” Russian think tank devoted to the study of the social, political and economic activities in the United States and Canada.
According to Rogov, the “common struggle against international terrorism” presents a “moment” where there exists an “opportunity to step up cooperation” between Russia and the U.S. in areas beyond the present war on terrorism and specified chemical, biological and nuclear proliferation.
Allies are not necessarily required to share “common views on all matters and at all times,” but they must have a “set of values” enabling them to “believe that partnership can bring more profit than confrontation.”
Rogov cited the cooperation between the U.S. and Russia during World War II as an example of a “reliable” partnership despite differences over the events leading up to the beginning of the war and the division of post-war Europe.
“Did [Josef] Stalin and [U.S. President Franklin] Roosevelt share views on the reasons for the Second World War and the post-structured Europe?” Rogov asked rhetorically.
Rogov’s reference to Stalin and World War II holds a particular irony, since most Western historians agree that Stalin either lied to Roosevelt, failed to adhere to his promises after World War II, or both.
Instead of free elections held in Eastern Europe after the defeat of Nazi Germany, as agreed by the major allied powers, Soviet Russia installed its own brand of petty dictators letting fall, in the words of Sir Winston Churchill, an “iron curtain” across Europe.
Rogov’s reference to the differences between Roosevelt and Stalin over the outbreak of World War II also gives rise to irony – and it is an irony that continues to this present day.
Moscow still regularly refers to its brave participation in the anti-Hitler coalition. While the defense of the Russian homeland following the German invasion was heroic to the extreme, Soviet opposition to the Nazis did not begin until the invasion.
In fact, Germany and Russia were allies until the invasion.
On Sept. 1, 1939, without provocation, Nazi troops invaded Poland. Slightly more than two weeks later, Sept. 16, Russia invaded Poland, also without pretext.
Russia’s alliance with what Moscow today calls the “anti-Hitler” coalition only began on June 21, 1941, when Germany launched its attack on Russia.
The cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union in opposing Hitler was actually undermined by Moscow’s extensive and intensive spying campaign against the United States.
The wide extent of Moscow’s espionage efforts against the U.S. only began to be understood with the National Security Agency’s release of files, beginning in 1995, from the “Venona” project, a U.S. counterintelligence operation that exposed Soviet espionage efforts during the 1940s.
Not only does the present Russian government avoid readily acknowledging Moscow’s alliance with Germany that made World War II possible, but it still attributes the beginning of the arms race to the U.S.
As recently as May 2001, the Voice of Russia used its version of history to condemn U.S. efforts at developing a limited missile defense shield.
Referring to the post-World War II era, the Voice of Russia claimed that “while the peoples of Europe hoped for peace through disarmament, the U.S. developed nuclear weapons,” which “enabled the United States to place itself in opposition to other countries, first of all to the Soviet Union.”
“The United States made the Soviet Union develop its own nuclear arsenal,” the Voice of Russia declared.
It may be noted that the USSR was able to quickly catch up to U.S. nuclear achievements through espionage.
Churchill, in contrast to the Voice of Russia’s assertion, had stated during the post-war years that American nuclear weapons prevented a Soviet attack on an already devastated European continent.
At present, Moscow remains the close friend of every nation the United States has described as a rogue state, supports communist China’s right to seize the island of Taiwan by force as well as Beijing’s remarkable military build-up, and seeks to establish a pan-European coalition – without the participation of Europe’s traditional partner, the United States.
Moscow’s successful espionage efforts against the U.S. continue, as the arrest in February 2001 of now-confessed Soviet/Russian spy and former veteran FBI agent Robert Hanssen demonstrates.
Counterintelligence personnel described Hanssen one of the most – or the most – devastating instance of espionage against the United States.
Moscow, however, dismissed concern over the Hanssen case as “hysteria” and declared that some in Washington were using the incident as a possible cause for “a new cold war,” according to the Voice of Russia.