‘The goal of sanctions is a color revolution in Russia’

The goal of Western economic sanctions is a “color revolution” in Russia, Russian Academy of Sciences presidium member, academician Yevgeny Primakov is convinced. He told TASS in a jubilee interview of conspiracy theories around oil prices, the U-turn of Russia’s economy to the East and the role of informal diplomacy in conditions of a political crisis. On October 29, Yevgeny Primakov, who consecutively headed the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), the Foreign Ministry and the government, turns 85.

How large-scale can the influence of reciprocal sanctions be on the global policy and economy?

– I can’t agree with the term “reciprocal sanctions”. The sanctions imposed by the United States and their allies against Russia are one thing. And response measures taken by Russia are quite another thing. The aim of anti-Russian economic sanctions is to weaken Russia, corner us, put into practice the idea of a “color revolution” in our country. The response measures that in their scale are not comparable to anti-Russian sanctions are mainly aimed to create an atmosphere that does not favor escalation of sanctions imposed by the West. Of course, in such a situation, a signal is sent to relevant departments and businesses on the required support for the domestic producer in order to loosen our dependence on imports, especially in the food sphere.

Economic sanctions without a relevant decision of the UN Security Council are a measure that contradicts global processes – both economic ones aimed to develop interaction in the interests of all countries, and political ones who solve the problems of creating various systems of counteraction to the real threats to the security of the modern world.

– Has escalation of the conflict discredited the leading institutions of international economic cooperation – the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the IMF? Do they require transformation?

– The development of the conflict imposed on us by the United States directly contradicts the principles that underlie the WTO, the World Bank and the IMF, but it does not mean that Russia should quit these institutions of international economic cooperation. Even in conditions of the changed global situation, Russia does not accept a course for self-isolation.

– Does the role of informal diplomacy grow in conditions of political contradictions? In particular, do you think that representatives of big business of Russia, the US and the EU will contribute to rapprochement of political positions of the countries involved in the confrontation?

– Informal diplomacy is especially important now, including at the level of Russian, American and European businesses, interested, it seems, not in destruction but in creation, in development, first of all, of economic cooperation.

– Has China retained the status of the United States’ arch geopolitical rival against the cool-off in Russian-US relations? Or is it now Russia?

– As far as economics is concerned, in the context of the existing inter-dependence of the United States and China their competition is unlikely to fade into the background, particularly so now, that the Chinese economy has taken first place. At the same time, I do not believe that one should project this situation to the worsening of relations between the United States and Russia, which by no means signifies that Russia positions itself as the United States’ main geopolitical rival.