Kremlin Rebukes Victoria Nuland After She Claims Putin Seeking to Rebuild USSR
14:49 GMT 08.12.2021 (Updated: 16:33 GMT 08.12.2021)
The Biden state department official isn’t the first to accuse the Russian president of attempting to rebuild the Soviet Union. In 2012, Obama Secretary of State Hillary Clinton alleged that Moscow’s efforts to promote Eurasian economic integration of the former USSR was a “move to re-Sovietise the region.”
Undersecretary of state for political affairs Victoria Nuland is perfectly aware that rebuilding the Soviet Union is impossible and not on the cards, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.
“Mrs. Nuland is well-versed on the subject of Russia and all the nuances of the post-Soviet space, and I am convinced that like us, and like other specialists, Mrs. Nuland understands perfectly well that the restoration of the Soviet Union is impossible,” Peskov said, speaking to reporters on Wednesday.
Peskov stressed that none of the integration projects taking place in the post-Soviet space today constitutes anything resembling an attempt to reincarnate the USSR. “Mrs. Nuland surely knows that integration processes with different speeds appeared in the former Soviet space a long time ago and are maturing. This includes the Commonwealth of Independent States, more advanced organizations such as the Eurasian Economic Community and the yet more advanced union state structure, such as the Union State of Russia and Belarus. But none are an attempt to reincarnate the Soviet Union and cannot become such,” the spokesman said.
Peskov further suggested that recreating the Soviet Union was impossible because the states which appeared in its place in late 1991 have had sufficient time to establish and strengthen themselves as independent entities.
The Kremlin spokesman’s comments followed claims by Nuland in testimony before the US Senate on Tuesday in which she suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin may have among his “legacy” goals a project to rebuild the Soviet Union.
In her comments, Nuland expressed “concern”
about “Putin’s public lamentations and private lamentations about the demise of the Soviet Union,” suggesting that they had “gotten noisier and stronger over the years.”
“Just in the last year, in the last six months he has increased his public comments to the effect that the sovereign nation of Ukraine is actually a part of Russia, belongs to Russia, etc.,” Nuland said, offering a novel interpretation of Putin’s essay ‘On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians,’ published in July, in which he stressed the importance of friendly ties between Moscow and Kiev, and pointed to Russian diplomatic efforts to stop the “fratricidal” civil war in eastern Ukraine.
“The concern is that he is actually as a legacy project seeking to reconstitute the Soviet Union, and then would his appetite be fulfilled with that eating or would he seek to go further. So I think this is why the unity here in the Senate, unity in the House, unity within the United States, unity in Ukraine, unity with our NATO allies and partners, and the significant consequences that we’re talking about are so important,” Nuland said.
Nuland served as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs in the Obama State Department and played a key role in the US-led effort to overthrow the Ukrainian government in early 2014. Publicly, she appeared on the streets of Kiev and passed out cookies
to protesters. Privately, she negotiated the future transfer of power to Ukraine’s opposition forces, famously quipping “f*ck the EU”
in a leaked telephone conversation with then US ambassador to Ukraine Jeoffrey Pyatt while referring to Brussels’ initial hesitation to overthrowing the elected government in Kiev outright.
27 January 2017, 11:02 GMT
Putin on the Soviet Union's Fate
The Russian president has said repeatedly that he has no aspirations to rebuild the Soviet Union, famously quipping in 2008 that he considered the country’s collapse a “huge geopolitical catastrophe,” but adding that while “whoever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart, whoever wants it back has no brain.”
In 2014, Putin told
Western news agencies that claim Moscow is looking to restore its "empire" are made up. “They try to stick this label on us – a label that we are trying to restore an empire, the Soviet Union, make everyone subordinate. This absolutely does not correspond to reality. It is a media weapon of war,” he said at the time.
Wednesday marked the 30th anniversary ofthe Belovezh Accords – the agreement between Russian Soviet republic president Boris Yeltsin and his Ukrainian and Belarusian republic counterparts to formally dissolve the USSR and establish the Commonwealth of Independent States. The agreement was signed less than nine months after the March 1991 referendum on the future of the Soviet Union, in which 77.85 percent of voters, including 75.4 percent of Russians, 83 percent of Belarusians, and 81.7 percent of Ukrainians voted in favour of preserving the country. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has characterized the Belovezh Accords as “illegal,” and suggested that such a question could only have been decided via referendum. He resigned as president of the USSR on 25 December, 1991.
19 August 2021, 18:57 GMT