Russian ex-premier Yevgeniy Primakov warns against anti-Americanism

Russian ex-premier Yevgeniy Primakov warns against anti-Americanism

NTV Mir, Moscow
6 Jun 04

Russia has maintained its opposition to US policy on Iraq, but has
wisely avoided a damaging lapse into anti-Americanism, ex-premier
Yevgeniy Primakov told Russian NTV Mir television.

Primakov said Moscow had been against US policy on Iraq in
circumvention of the UN from the very start, and “we have stuck to
our position”.

“But if we had allowed this policy to develop into anti-Americanism,
we would have lost out… Could you imagine antiterrorist activity
against international terrorism – this is the main threat – being
pursued without the Americans? Could it be done? Could we now seek to
do something against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
without the Americans?”

Primakov, who heads the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
denied Russian business interests in Iraq had suffered as a result
of the US-led war.

“I just want to say that it was necessary to prevent this from
developing into an anti-American tendency. What would we have
achieved? A return to the cold war? Would you have withstood an arms
race, I ask you now?” he said rhetorically on the “Orange Juice”
interview programme.

Primakov told presenter Vladimir Solovyev he had just been to the
Armenian capital, Yerevan, for a children’s festival and he did not
think that a conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia was imminent as
“everyone understands” that peaceful methods are needed.

Territorial integrity, he said, is an “incontrovertible value”, and
“today one must speak of self-determination without it necessarily
leading to separation”.