August 29, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
Karine Bechet-Golovko in Russiepolitics, translated from French by Tom Winter –
|U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft|
Before leaving his post, the US ambassador declared on the Russian opposition radio station Echo of Moscow that the United States had a choice between war with Russia and sanctions.
Imagine the Russian ambassador saying such a thing leaving his office in Washington. We live in a wonderful world.
In the August 28 interview, US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft, reviewing the difficulties of his work in recent years, explains how much the United States wanted to help Russia and still want to be Russia’s friend, how Russia is at fault in Ukraine, for the MH17, for cyber-attacks, for elections, for the Crimea. He also said he was not aware of the “transfer” of $500 million to “sponsor” the 1996 Russian elections and have Yeltsin win, as spokesman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Zakharova said. It would simply be the supply of new allotments of $100.
In other words, the United States is the sincere and constant friend of Russia and only the irresponsible behavior of Russia leads to destabilizing the world. For example, in 1991, the United States assumed the guaranty of Ukrainian territorial integrity and must now fulfill its commitment.
Maybe lethal weapons will be delivered to Ukraine, but nothing is yet decided … much will depend on the Russian attitude.
But of course, the United States does not want war, which is why the ambassador speaks of it in these terms, yet very close to a threat:
A. Venedictov: Do you consider the sanctions an effective instrument, Ambassador? In our country, sanctions are said to be not effective. Ever.
J. Tefft: Hmm, it seems to me that sanctions … Hmm, the response is an intermediate measure. Sanctions are a sharp instrument, there is no doubt on this point and everyone understands it. They were effective. And President Putin, and others responsible have been talking about finance and other issues. Of course they did not succeed in the Ukraine crisis. But the choice that was presented to the Obama Administration was: “Do you want to make war on Russia?” No one wanted that. And Russia did not want to go to war with the United States as far as I know. That is why it was necessary to adopt sanctions in order to express our disapproval of what was characterized as a violation of international law. And the new sanctions that were passed by the Senate, they are directly related to the cyber attacks against the American electoral system.
Imagine the Russian ambassador in Washington telling CNN before leaving office that Russia had no choice about adopting sanctions against the United States, otherwise it would have been forced to go to war. In your opinion, what would have been the reaction of the press, the international community? Utter scandal.Now, here, nothing. Absolutely no reaction outside of Russia. An ambassador, who is the representative of the state abroad, can threaten another country with barely veiled words and tell him essentially: we do not want war, but if you continue, you could think about it and you will be to blame for it. It is a certainly some vision of diplomacy.PS: For Russian speakers, you can watch the interesting 60-minute show last night on the question: