Western countries, including the United States, need to recognize their responsibility for the destruction of constructive relations with Russia. This was announced on September 5 by former United States Secretary of Defense William Perry in an article for the Outrider portal.
Perry believes that the roots of the current crisis in relations between the Kremlin and the White House go back to the end of the twentieth century. At that time, the West was beginning to improve relations with post-Soviet Russia, but it did so in the position of the winner in the Cold War.
The former head of the Pentagon noted that many in the mid-nineties spoke of NATO expansion as a serious provocation.
“At the time, I opposed this expansion, partly out of fear that it would affect Russian-American relations. But the bigger problem was not just this expansion, but what it represented: the general failure of Western governments to respect the vital importance of this nuclear power to the world order,” Perry said in the article.
In addition, the former minister condemned the inconsistency of Western countries in dialogue with Moscow during the 1998 financial crisis in Russia.
In his opinion, the West then had the expectation that Russia would get out of default on its own. “Many in the West saw Russia as nothing more than a loser in the Cold War, a country unworthy of our respect,” Perry said.
Washington’s unwillingness to help Moscow at that time, he said, “sowed bitterness in many Russians.”
The former head of the Pentagon also recalled that during that difficult historical period he maintained “friendly and cordial relations” with Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev.
“We have both made dedicated efforts to develop this nascent relationship between our countries,” he wrote.
As Perry summed up, misunderstandings between nuclear-weapon powers are especially dangerous, so contacts between Russia and the United States must be maintained, since there is “no organic reason why Russia should be an enemy of the United States.”
On September 5, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said that if the United States of America recognizes Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism”, this will lead to the toughest response.
Earlier, on August 13, Director of the North America Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Darchiev said that the Russian Federation had warned the United States about the points of no return, after crossing which a break in diplomatic relations is possible. He mentioned a legislative initiative being discussed in the US Congress to declare Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism.”
On June 22, the head of the press service of the State Department, Ned Price, said that the authorities are discussing the situation with the removal of Russian diplomats from the country during diplomatic consultations with the Russian Federation.
Before that, on June 7, Antonov said that the Russian-American dialogue is at an unprecedented low level.
The US Senate passed a resolution calling on the State Department to recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism on July 28. The events in Georgia, Syria and around Ukraine are indicated as a factor for the adoption of an appropriate initiative.
Now the United States considers four countries sponsors of terrorism: Iran, Cuba, Syria and North Korea. Iraq, Libya, South Yemen and Sudan were on the list, but then were excluded from it.