The United States, Washington, July 9 / Trend , N.Bogdanova/
Former U.S. National-Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served during 1977-1981, under was Jimmy Carter's administration spoke with Trend in an exclusive interview.
Trend : What kind of influence did Obama's Moscow trip bring to the region in term of frozen conflicts and decrease of the regional tension?
Zbigniew Brzezinski: There are serious geopolitical conflicts of interest between the US and the Russian Federation. The bottom line is that Moscow resents and wants in some fashion to reverse the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Gaining control over Ukraine would restore in effect an imperial Russia, with the potential to ignite conflicts in Central Europe. Subduing Georgia would cut the west's vital energy connection -the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline to the Caspian Sea and to Central Asia. Azerbaijan then would have no choice but to submit to Moscow's control.
But, Russia must re-focus with post-imperial eyes. US should have three central goals in mind with Russia: first, to advance US-Russian co-operation in areas where our interests coincide; second, to emphasize the mutual benefits in handling disagreements between the two countries within internationally respected "rules of the game"; and third, to help shape a geopolitical context in which Russia becomes increasingly conscious of its own interest in eventually becoming a genuinely post-imperial partner of the Euro-Atlantic community. As my opinion, this is exactly what Mr. Obama experience in Moscow.
Q: So, do you think this meeting managed to join US and Russia's regional interests?
A: So, Moscow summit was a sober and realistic summit, one which didn't create undue expectations, but one which also marked some real progress. There was, in a sense, an unstated agreement to disagree, and that's progress.
Q: The U.S. and Russian presidents set a target to reduce their countries' nuclear arsenals to between 1,500 and 1,675 warheads each within seven years. Does this mean that the nuclear dispute between US and Russia is weakened now?
A: I think what's going on is, in effect, a kind of an adjustment, particularly on the part of Russia, but also on the part of America, to new international realities. We have learned, rather painfully, in the course of the last eight years especially, that even if we are the only global superpower, we are not capable of unilateral action, of sustaining that. We simply don't have enough power to dictate to the world. And the Russians are learning that the days of their empire are over.
Q: What did Azerbaijan gain from the Moscow summit? Do you believe that this meeting was an opportunity in terms of adjusting the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
A: I must say, that I do believe in the possibility to create new realities in the negotiation process on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Moscow meeting between the US and Russia presidents, and the fact itself, that they were discussing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, has raised not only the international importance of that issue, but also the increases the belief of the sides of the conflict. Such kind of negotiations between Russia and US are opening new opportunities for the region.
Q: What do you think the current situation in Iran? Where is this country heading?
A: It is too early to draw any conclusions about which model fits in Iran and which direction Iran is going to go to. But in this case, I have to say I'm pessimistic in the short term, and optimistic in the long term.
Q: Many experts are criticizing the US administration's observing policy towards Iran...
A: Actually, I would like to advise the U.S. administration to avoid interference in Iran's internal affairs, warning that such attempts would backfire. There is a movement in the U.S. that does not believe in accompanying Iran and they misuse the current developments in Iran to attain their extremist policies against Tehran and they prefer to see a scenario in Iran similar to the one implemented in Iraq but it should be said that this is never in the U.S. interest.
So, current developments in Iran are unlikely to leave an impact on U.S. position on the country. Despite protests by a limited number of the youth, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad enjoys a wide and strong support among the low and middle-class citizens.