As President Barack Obama embarked on his weeklong international trip Monday, the first stop and main focus of the journey took him to Moscow, where he hoped to “reset” tense U.S.-Russian relations on nuclear arms and other issues.
But a former Russian diplomat who defected to the United States in 2000 said on Fox News that Washington should not fall into the trap of thinking the Cold War is over and that Russia still is bent on destroying America.
“People ask me all the time, ‘What has happened after the Cold War?’ And I’m always asking them, ‘Who told you that the Cold War was ever over?’” said former KGB spy Sergi Tretyakov.
“It transforms; it’s like a virus,” Tretyakov, one of the highest KGB spies who ever defected, told Fox News.
“In the former Russian military doctrine, the definition of ‘potential main enemy/adversary’ was ‘the United States, NATO and China.’ In today’s doctrine, and especially the doctrine of modern Russian intelligence, the definition of ‘main target’ is ‘the United States, NATO and China.’
“The difference is, if you are my potential enemy, that’s one thing. But if you are my target, you are my target right now.”
America is still a target for Moscow, said Tretyakov, the subject of the best-selling book, “Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia’s Master Spy in America after the End of the Cold War.”
It is a mistake for the Obama administration to concentrates all its efforts in dealing with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Tretyakov said. Medvedev doesn’t have any political weight in Russia today or any authority to talk on behalf of the former Soviet Union, he said.
“I can express my own opinion about Mr. Medvedev. I think that Mr. Medvedev, who never had any political experience and doesn’t understand what politics are, that’s why the best thing is just to speak with some other people,” Tretyakov said referring to Prime Minister and former Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Putin is not that much better than Medvedev,” Tretyakov acknowledged, “but at least Putin managed over eight years to build his mafia.”
It will be difficult for Obama to deal with Russia when discussing nuclear weapons and international foreign policy, Tretyakov said.
“It’s difficult, but he’s the President of the United States. He must deal with whatever regime [Russia has in power] because we cannot neglect Russia. Russia is still a pretty important place in the world. But in my understanding, it’s a third world country with a lot of weapons, especially nuclear weapons.”
Progress can be made in negotiating with Russia, which just the other day allowed the U.S. military an air corridor to support American efforts in Afghanistan, Tretyakov said. He acknowledged that there will be some cooperation between the two super powers but said he doesn’t expect there to be very much when it comes to stopping Iran’s nuclear effort. Medvedev has said he doesn’t want any more sanctions placed on Iran.
“First of all, this concession with Afghanistan, it’s in the interest first for Russia because Russia lost the war in Afghanistan,” Tretyakov said. “And right now, if America defeats Afghanistan, it’s in the interest of Russia. If you go to any other aspect of international relations — the Middle East, Latin America, Iran, South Korea — there is no productive dialogue between Russia and the West, or Russia and the United States of America.”
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