Putin's plutonium bluff

Author : Mykhailo Sokolov

Respondent : Igor Eidman

Source :

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on suspension of an intergovernmental agreement with the US on Plutonium Disposal due to "hostile actions" of the USA
22:00, 5 October 2016

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In State Duma Russian president introduced a bill in which the resumption of cooperation is linked to the fact that the United States should abolish the "Magnitsky Act", remove the sanctions against the Putin regime because of the annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbas, and even compensate the losses of Russia from this.

Why in such a way today Vladimir Putin calls to withdraw sanctions against Russia that as recently stated do not cause harm to the country?

Their points of view share President of the Institute for Strategic estimates Alexander Konovalov, and sociologist Igor Eidman.

Igor Eidman: In general this whole escapade with a completely ridiculous bill, it is, I believe, primarily aimed not outside, but inside the country, on the population. The fact that all the Putin’s system is staying on the constant creation of military alarms. Russian population at all times should be maintained in a mobilization condition, for this periodically they need new information causes that would strain the society, that would say to the public that they are surrounded by enemies, that we are in besieged fortress, that we continue to fight against these enemies who want to deprive us of independence and correct sexual orientation, energy and so on.

Related: Putin intimidates with plutonium: the danger of Russia's threats

Here, is affected a very strong long-term fear of the population of Russia and the whole world, the fear of nuclear threat, of nuclear war and so on. The details, of course, do not include what kind of fuel we are talking about, which role is it playing, they hear the ominous words - plutonium, a radioactive substance, and it is all in the context of the confrontation with the United States, which, again, is a reminiscent of the days of the first Cold War, when was the constant threat of nuclear war with the United States, so with, this theme Putin took a trump card.

- How people in Germany perceive this?

I can say that ordinary Germans were very much afraid of a confrontation with Russia. Many people have told me, even my friends, - we do not want to fight because of all these events in Ukraine. That is to say they are very much afraid of war, because this forcing military threat has paralyzing effect on many people, for them the main thing is - if only there is no war. Many are willing to make their countries’ authorities even to make concessions. Therefore, it is not an entirely insane strategy, it is insane in the form, but in the content it can lead to some quite reasonable results.

Alexander Konovalov: It is designed explicitly to be submitted is in such a way in which America would not accept it, would not seriously consider it. So it will be possible to say, we launched a new peace initiative, but the United States as always, has rejected our feeble efforts.

Related: Russia suspended implementation of agreement on plutonium disposal

- So it turns out to be such an international hooliganism?

In general, yes, of course. You know, as I said, there is a lot of talk that this is a kind of disorder or hooliganism. But once again I remind you that this is a bilateral agreement, so we consider it appropriate to do what is beneficial for our country. We see how the US government acts impudently enough, surely, sometimes rude, in 95% of cases in violation of applicable international law, when defending his foreign policy, domestic policy, and sometimes there are outbreaks of war in this or that region. For them, international law does not have any value. The agreement with Russia - it's just a piece of paper. The latest incident on Syria, where an agreement was signed between the two countries, but it lasted a few hours, the Americans broke it by bombing.

- And who bombed a humanitarian convoy, do you remember?

This column was bombed by terrorists.

- You think that the United States behaved badly, very badly. Why do you think that Russia should repeat the same bad actions?

Of course, we do not repeat, we have not unleashed any war.

- And are there robots fighting in Ukraine?

Ukrainian domestic situation was caused by the internal conflict – it is a civil war.

- And who seized Crimea?

 No one seized - it was a will of citizens, the same as it was in Kosovo. We follow generally accepted global trends, which are all over the world. If there is an opportunity for self-determination of the people in Europe, we believe that the Crimea also has the freedom to self-determination.

I would like to advise if this is acceptable, when you discuss the bill introduced in the State Duma, to start not only from economic considerations, that what is cheaper - to use plutonium mixed fuel to destroy plutonium or store it. In fact, storage is a very expensive process, very dangerous, and with its political consequences too. Because if plutonium exists on earth, there always will be persons wishing to access it, and if it will be destroyed, there will be nothing to get access to. It is a question of our security, too. We have many of such hilarious neighbors and those with whom we work in different places of the world.

Recycle of plutonium is even more expensive. Technology development goes so fast that it's possible that in the next 5-10 years will appear technologies, which will allow it to use it cheap and effectively. So why should we be in hurry with question of plutonium disposal?

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