Sputnik has sat down with Adriel Kasonta, a London-based foreign affairs analyst and former chairman of the International Affairs Committee at the Bow Group think tank, who was one of the first to predict that Russia would overcome Western sanctions. Putin’s speech indicated that Russia is on track towards a self-sufficient economy, Kasonta said.
Sputnik: What are your personal impressions of the president’s speech?
I mean, he’s very well known for being a very coherent and concise speaker. But this speech was given at a very important time in history, not only for Russia, but also for the entire world. And by delivering this speech, this is my understanding of the speech, is that President Vladimir Putin made a very clear statement that Russia under his rule doesn’t want to fight with Ukraine or any other country, but Russia doesn’t want to be subjugated or be used or manipulated by external actors. Perhaps that was an allusion to the United States and its hegemonic appetite.
I think that this is very crucial and very important in this truly globalized world that countries like Russia are saying “no” to intrusions into their internal affairs. Countries like Russia are saying “no” to the attempts by other countries and other people to tell them how they should govern themselves and how their societies should be governed. Because as President Vladimir Putin also said, rightly said during his speech, Russia is a world in itself. It is a distinct civilization that inherited certain values from the past and from its ancestors, and it’s willing to live up to the standard set by their ancestors.
And in this particular regard, I will refer to the spiritual undertones of his speech, when he drew a distinction between the Western comprehension of society where, according to Friedrich Nietzsche, “God is dead,” and we know what the Western societies are doing, they literally abandoned religion and are trying to create different social constructs which are going against not only the Bible, not only the Torah, not only the Quran, but constructs that are going against a spiritual or even a religious life. That distinction was made.
And I think that was the main foundation of the speech, saying that “we are not willing to fight anyone without a purpose. But our purpose is to self-preserve ourselves, our culture, and we don’t want to embrace what is being set as a standard somewhere else, because we do not agree with this.” And I think that every single human being, every single sovereign nation should have this choice, a God-given choice, to make its own decision about its future and how society and the country should conduct itself as a sovereign entity within international society or the international community framework.
5 hours ago
Adriel Kasonta: Obviously, there is no doubt that in the West, President Vladimir Putin’s words will be misconstrued, this speech will be ridiculed, certain words and speech figures will be taken out of context in order to portray Russia as a terrorist state, a state that is an aggressor, which is not the case, and also to portray Russia as a failing state, to turn this speech against Russia.
So, I would not expect anything good, anything objective coming from the Western press. I think that this speech will be ridiculed and it will be used against Russia, and it will be used as an excuse to continue fuelling the conflict in Ukraine.
9 hours ago
Sputnik: Putin said that Russia cannot be defeated on the battlefield and warned that if the West supplies long-range weapons to Ukraine, then that will only force Russia to push these weapons even farther from its borders. How do you interpret these remarks?
Adriel Kasonta: We have to bear in mind that Russia is a nuclear power and there’s a purpose why many countries around the world have a nuclear arsenal. I mean, what is the purpose of the United States having a nuclear arsenal? What is the reason for Israel having a nuclear arsenal? What is the reason for France having a nuclear arsenal? I mean, the reason for having a nuclear arsenal is to not be defeated on the battlefield.
My concern is, and my guess is, I’m pretty much sure that this will be used as a threat to the West, that President Vladimir Putin threatened the West by saying these words. But let me give you an example. Let us use our imagination. You are a woman and you are returning home after a late premiere in the theater and you happen to live in a not so nice neighborhood and you have pepper spray or a gun.
On your way home, someone is starting to follow you and all of a sudden is trying to harm you, or rape you. Before you attack that person, you will say “listen, leave me alone because I have a weapon, I can harm you. So I’m giving you time to reconsider your violent intention, your intention towards me so that you can move away from those bad intentions towards me. But if you will try to harm me, please be assured that I have means to harm you and to prevent you from harming me. This is what any nuclear power would say.”
And again, let us use our imagination about long-range weapons. Although in the West, EU and NATO executives are saying that providing weapons to Ukraine is not a way of escalating things, let us imagine that you are living a peaceful life with your family, with your children, with your wife, your husband, etc., and you happen to know that someone living next to you is willing to kill your children, to harm your family. And this person is explicitly inviting other people and those other people are bringing different weaponry, different tools so that this person can harm you in a variety of ways. And it is made public that “one day I will harm you.” So what would you do? Would you sit on your hands and wait until your whole family is harmed and slaughtered, or would you behave as a head of the family? You would protect your family before someone strikes and harms your children.
I’m not taking this as a valid starting point to start my mathematical exercise by assessing the situation on the ground. If we know that this was pre-prepared by the West, that the writing was on the wall and now they are fuelling Ukraine with new weaponry – now we hear about tanks, we hear about jets, although at the moment Western European countries are quite reluctant to provide these jets, but not out of them being rational actors. It’s out of the fact that they do not have jets. In the British press, several army men were quite explicit about the fact that they do not have these jets to provide Ukraine. So it is not a goodwill gesture from the West. It is a simple fact that they are running out of ammunition, they are running out of weaponry, they are running out of tanks, they are running out of jets, because otherwise they would give them jets. They would provide Ukraine with those jets.
And at the same time, at the Munich Security Conference, the current prime minister of the United Kingdom, Mr. Rishi Sunak, is saying, and he’s proud of himself by saying that the UK is willing to be the first country in the West to provide Ukraine with long-range missiles. So if the writing, again, is on the wall and the purpose of a long-range missile is to conduct an attack on the territory of Russia, Russia and every single country which would have been in Russia’s place, has every single right to protect itself. My interpretation is that “I don’t want to have this conflict, but I will do whatever it takes to preserve, to self-preserve as a country, as a sovereign entity.” Would the United States, or China, or any other country sit on their hands and be perfectly content with the fact that someone is trying to attack it and wouldn’t do anything to protect itself?
Obviously the Western military personnel is well aware of this fact, because every single country in Russia’s place would do the same, to push back a threat from its borders. This is how countries maintain their environment secure. But unfortunately, I think that the West is in a certain state of mind, what I would call hubris, that they speak about the fact that every single country has a right to be secure. Every single country can join the NATO alliance, because it’s a peaceful organization. But at the same time, they are not taking into consideration that if they would have been in the Russian shoes, they would do exactly the same as Russia is doing. And my greatest concern is that if it were the United States in President Putin’s or Russia’s shoes, we would already have World War III.
23 hours ago
Adriel Kasonta: I’m happy to say that I was the first person who prepared a report when with the Bow Group think tank, with several other contributors from the United States, from Ukraine, from Italy, from Poland as well, where I made very clear from the scientific point of view that sanctions will not do any harm to Russia.
And this might be also an interesting point to mention the Nord Stream II and the Nord Stream I pipeline where, according to Seymour Hersh, an investigative journalist from the United States, was an inside job within the NATO alliance, the so-called “family.” And so if these allegations are true, we are in a way presented with the corporate terrorism within the alliance where one NATO member – Mr. Hersh named the United States, committed a crime, committed a terrorist attack, a corporate terrorist attack in order to influence another NATO member, which is Germany, to seize any energy relationship with Russia, to harm the people of Germany and also the people of Europe by being forced to buy more expensive LNG from the United States and other parts of the world.
15 February, 11:05 GMT
Because we have to bear in mind that the success of the European Union was based on cheap energy from Russia. The deindustrialization process is in place. It is slowly emerging now during this winter, but the repercussions of this forced decoupling from Russia that was orchestrated in Washington, DC will have long-lasting repercussions on the well-being of the regular citizens of Europe, because they will have to pay much higher prices. And sanctions on Russia are a boomerang. Russia will survive.
So, by using this narrative that the Russian economy will suffer, that the West is waging an economic war, economic blitzkrieg, that Russia’s economy will be destroyed, it is a fairy tale to anyone who is familiar with the economy, anyone who is familiar with the facts, anyone who is just briefly reading what is happening with the Russian economy. Russia has not been isolated. Russia was forced to cease its relationship to the detriment of the European people, predominantly.
But the world is much larger than the West. As we are entering, organically, the multipolar world, the world is much larger than the West, and the world is most certainly larger than the United States. New centers of power are emerging, and I would say that this special military operation comes as a blessing or a Western blunder and push to maintain the unipolar moment or unipolar world order, hegemonic world order, came at a very important time of human history. It allows Russia to position itself in the new world order, in the position where it can create the rules, it can benefit from the relationship with multiple civilizations, multiple nations and countries around the world based not on the history of colonialism, of destruction and death, but based on respectful interactions.
But they are already proving that they are a very good investment. I mean in Africa, when it comes to the case of Mali, Burkina Faso. My father is from Tanzania, so I’m perfectly aware of how African people feel towards Russia, how they [feel] towards the injustices imposed or conducted by the West towards Russia, because they see in Russia themselves. The only difference is that Russia has the means and the will to protect itself, and it’s doing this very, very well. And because of this fact, it can get respect around the world, because it’s protecting itself and its good name.
13 February, 14:45 GMT
Adriel Kasonta: When it comes to the New START Treaty, I think that President Putin stated an obvious fact. I mean, I can’t imagine any other analyst or sane person saying that it is justified for the United States to make an inspection of Russian stockpiles and Russia’s equipment in the nuclear sense. I’ve been paying attention to what he was saying during his speech. He made it very clear that he is not withdrawing from the New START, but he’s suspending. This is the key word that he’s suspending, because he wants to check other actors like France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, other countries who have the nuclear arsenal and nuclear capacity, what their endgame is, what their real intention is.
3 hours ago
I think that the sensible actors in China and in India, and other parts of the world, non-Western world, will make a very sensible assessment of the speech, of what was said by President Vladimir Putin. And they will adjust, because President Putin just laid out everything. As I’ve mentioned, he left no stone unturned. He made clear what Russia’s intentions are in terms of internal and external policy. It is up to us to take it as it is, or to misconstrue his words and paint our own stories to justify our questionable actions.
Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the book, Kevin MacDonald’s Metaphysical Failure: A Philosophical, Historical, and Moral Critique of Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, and Identity Politics. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.