Staunton, January 18 – Even as some in the West are thinking about how to rebuild their relationships with Moscow, Yevgeny Savostyanov, the former head of the Moscow FSB, says that what Vladimir Putin has done in Ukraine will have a far deeper, longer-lasting and more negative impact on relations between Russia and the West.
Savostyanov, who resigned last week from his position as the Coordination Council on the Protection of Intellectual Property, said on TV Rain that the reason for that conclusion lies in the very different positions the West took on Ukraine as compared with the one they took on Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania before 1940.
“The US and Great Britain – as well as [Russia] – were guarantors of Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” he said. “Right now they are in the situation of states that defaulted on their promises. They can’t forgive that or close their eyes to it.” That is different than what was the case with the Baltic countries.
“Even though [Western governments] never de jure recognized the Soviet Union’s annexation of the [three Baltic countries], de facto they kept quiet because they had never given any guarantees” to the Baltic countries. The Ukrainian case is “different as both the US and the UK feel humiliated because they didn’t back up their guarantees.”
The Western powers will “continue to do so,” Savostyanov said. The situation is “irreversible and will have a very long and very negative impact on Russian-American and Russian-British relations and on Russian relations with the West in general.”
Savostyanov’s post-resignation interview attracted far more attention for what he said about the possibility that Russia will lose more territory around its periphery in the future and that at least some of them will become part of China – and do so before the middle of the next decade.
He said that his prediction that “around the years 2022-2024 more territories will fall off Russia” was the direct result of Putin’s policies in Ukraine and Russia’s “rising dependence on China” that has resulted. That dependency will lead to Russia’s “economic and technological downfall” as well.
The former Kremlin official said that “the Chinese have a different sense of time. As Chingiz Khan said, ‘Time always worked in favor of the Chinese and will always work in favor of the Chinese.’” Russians have forgotten that and have taken steps which will allow China “to exploit” the situation.