Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov’s answers to questions from Rossiya Segodnya and TASS
Question: What do you think about recent publications in US media concerning the possibility of a “Russian trail” in the hack of the US Democratic Party’s servers and statements by US officials to the effect that Moscow is allegedly trying to influence the outcome of the presidential campaign?
Sergey Ryabkov: I am stunned by the mayhem and anti-Russian venom that’s taken over Washington in the past few days. We are sorry to see such unscrupulous methods used by certain forces in Washington in order to advance their domestic political goals.
I hate to draw parallels with the past, but, in fact, this is about revisiting the worst and the most painful pages of the Cold War, when the Russian bear was always used to scare people, with the exception maybe of children in kindergartens. It’s disappointing to see responsible politicians, people who regard themselves as arbiters of the world and believe it wholeheartedly, suddenly stoop to such low-level ploys.
The fact that they see the hand of Moscow everywhere they look reveals an insecurity, which the United States has developed towards Russia. They get up in the morning and they go to bed at night with Russia on their minds. They are haunted by this ghost. This is reminiscent of the 1950s, when former US Secretary of Defense James Forrestal worked himself into a fit and jumped out of the window yelling “The Russians are coming!”
However, we are humane enough to be able to wish people well, wish them good health and composure. They all need to spend more time jogging outdoors.
Notably, the news about Russian hackers allegedly hacking servers and stealing correspondence appeared for the first time in May.
Then, according to US media, the relevant US services dropped this issue, as they clearly didn’t find any reasons to believe Russia had anything to do with it.
But then there was the Democratic Party Convention, a lively one, so to speak, so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings by using other adjectives. Instantly, large numbers of anonymous sources in Washington, quoting completely “reliable” sources, claimed that there truly was a Russian trail.
People from the Obama administration used the word “possible” in their assessments. What does this word mean? It means that the deal is done, and they washed their hands. Later, when it becomes clear that there was no Russian trail – and there’s no way for there to be one – they can always say that we said it was possible, but now we know that it’s not the case. So, there’s nothing to discuss ... It is very convenient.
There’s another angle to this situation. Many people in Washington have developed a bad habit of blaming Russia for everything. Whenever something goes wrong in their own backyard, they refocus the media and public on “external factors.”
This is not the first time we are confronted with these kinds of ploys that make it possible to fling some mud while pretending that you don’t have to mop up after yourself. So, such is the state of manners in today's Washington.
We have to put up with this, but we will, of course, keep this in mind. All of it is sad. The level of political debate in this presidential campaign in the United States is quite low.
Question: Will this controversy, this rhetoric affect our cooperation with the United States, including in Syria?
Sergey Ryabkov: I can assure you that things like this do not go unnoticed. I'm referring specifically to the current administration, including very high-ranking officials in Washington. I'm not even talking about former US ambassadors who served a stint in Moscow and Kiev, who, as if on a cue, blurted out everything they had on the tip of their tongues. These has-beens were just waiting for the chance to say a bunch of obscenities about us.
We do not pay attention to them, because people of that sort just discredit themselves with such stovepiping.
Going back to the statements made by US officials, including those who are actively serving in government and bear responsibility for their actions. We noted that by and large, their political outlook and manner of conducting international affairs betray that they lack a basic understanding that everything is interconnected in the modern world. Therefore, they shouldn’t count on trust-based and close cooperation with Russia after saying what they said about us, the people with whom they cooperate. Or, they have to be much more careful in what they say publicly. After such escapades, further cooperation with Russia will not necessarily be smooth sailing. All the more so, since Washington continues its sanctions policy.
We have already told the US administration that we draw certain conclusions from this situation. Whether they want to or not, the Americans are changing the international reality in which they are accustomed to operating. This will negatively affect the atmosphere of their dialogue with us. Such excesses always have consequences.