RIA Novosti

SERGEI LAVROV: WE DO NOT ADVOCATE REGIME CHANGE

15:58 22/04/2005

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti political commentator Arseny Oganesyan) - "We would not, of course, advocate what some people call regime change anywhere."

This is how Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented on a statement made by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Belarus was the "last true dictatorship" in central Europe and that "it was time for change" in that country.

Moscow takes a negative view on America's attempts "to export democracy." Despite Moscow's positive response to peace-loving statements that Russia and the West are not rivals in the former Soviet Union, it considers them to be empty declarations because reality points to the opposite: incessant attempts to drive Russia away from the zones of its traditional interests and a desire to change drastically the geo-strategic balance of forces in Eurasia.

"The desire of the United States to assume control of the entire post-Soviet territory is obvious," said Konstantin Simonov, the director general of the Center for Current Politics in Russia. He described Rice's statement on Belarus as "very harsh," and called the secretary of state a representative of "the radically minded circles in the current administration."

Today, Russia values relations with Belarus more than ever. Alexei Makarkin, the deputy director of the Center for Political Technologies, says, "Belarus is Russia's only military and political ally in Europe because it is a member of the union state and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. In the near future, the two countries plan to create a united air defense system. This is a fairly serious response to the plans the U.S. and Ukraine have announced to cooperate on missile defense."

The expert stresses, "The importance of Belarus for Russia has sharply increased since the 'orange revolution' in Ukraine because if in the past Russia could afford to play a rather complicated game, maneuvering between the two pro-Russian countries, today Ukraine wants to join NATO and the West welcomes Ukraine's initiative. Accordingly, Russia will make every possible effort to support Lukashenko's regime. Otherwise, NATO will close in on Russia along the entire stretch of its Western border."

So, democratization is only an attractive facade hiding the real geopolitical motives of U.S. intervention in the affairs of other independent nations.

© RIA Novosti