Russian diplomat to Al Mayadeen: 'New world is taking shape'
The Russian deputy representative to the UN says Russia can't trust the West anymore.
A lot has changed since the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Borders of countries have changed, the form of relations and alliances has changed, and the war that began in the Donbass region has resonated across the world.
The West, headed by the United States of America, despite the losses and difficulties, still insists on supporting Ukraine with weapons, thus prolonging the war, while European countries are plunged into multiple economic and social crises as a result.
Russia, for its part, absorbs Western pressure, reassessing and rearranging its tactics and steps at every stage. It does not seem that the intensified Western sanctions on the Russian economy have left a significant impact on Russian society, at least in the short and medium term, so at what point is Russia's special operation in Ukraine today? Has it achieved its goals and is about to end, or could it evolve into a world war? How does Moscow view its changed diplomatic relations after the operation, especially in the Middle East?
The Russian deputy representative to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, answers these questions in an exclusive interview for Al Mayadeen.
Polyanskiy considers that the West is responsible for perpetuating the conflict in Ukraine and is the party that is currently pressuring Zelensky to reject political solutions, which Russia is open to at all times.
The Russian diplomat believes that a new world is already taking shape, "regardless of whether the West likes it or not."
Read more: War in Ukraine: A conflict that will decide the global system's fate
A year into the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, how do you assess the situation in general today? Is Russia closer to victory?
We launched our own military operation against the Kiev regime a year ago with several clear objectives. One of them was to stop the brutal war against the population of eastern and southern Ukraine, which this regime has been waging for 8 years with the full complicity of some Western countries.
This is not a war against Ukraine. It is an operation against the criminal and corrupt Zelensky regime. If it were only Russia and Ukraine, our operation would have already ended, because the military capabilities of Ukraine were destroyed or severely weakened weeks after the start of the operation.
Political analysts and journalists began to use the term war to describe what you called a special military operation. Can you say that the operation turned into a war? Do you see that it is going to evolve into a regional or global war?
As you know at this moment, Ukraine proposed a realistic peace plan that could become a good basis for a future peace agreement, but the Western backers of Ukraine decided to step in and save the "Russophobic pet project" (Ukrainian Nazis) from collapse.
They are in no way interested in seeing Russia and Ukraine living in peace and enjoying good neighborly relations. London and Washington insisted that Zelensky withdraw his proposals, convincing him that Ukraine could defeat Russia with the help of Western weapons.
It is NATO's proxy war in Ukraine against Russia, in which Ukrainian soldiers, many of whom are inexperienced conscripts, are being used as cannon fodder and sacrificed for the sake of Western geopolitical interests.
A year after this operation, what has Russia achieved?
We have indicated over and over again that we would be willing to engage in meaningful negotiations that would allow us to achieve the objective of the special military operation through peaceful means, which is our preference.
So far, the so-called "peace plans" by Ukraine and its Western allies sound like ultimatums about the conditions for Russia's defeat. There are no reasons for such an approach from a military point of view. Ukraine has already wasted several armies, not achieving meaningful military gains.
This means that we have to continue operations until we achieve all of its goals through military means.
Who are Moscow's real allies today, in your opinion?
Over the past year, more countries have begun to better understand the grounds behind the special military operation, the true reasons behind it, and the role of Western countries in it. For this reason, we feel more supported today. Only a little bit over 70 Western countries and their closest allies are keen to continue pushing Russophobia policies and plots.
This bloc is clearly more isolated in the United Nations. More countries are becoming less willing to support the anti-Russian agenda and decisions.
There is no doubt that Western sanctions against Russia were the most severe in history. How do you perceive Russia's economic situation after these sanctions? Does it have the tools and capabilities to survive them if the war extends for years?
The sanctions clearly affected the European and American economies more than they affected Russia. This is evident, even to leading Western specialists. It is impossible to punish and isolate a large and powerful country like Russia. We found new markets and implemented new measures to establish self-reliance.
If you travel to Russia, you will see that life is normal there: living standards have not fallen, the currency is strong, and all the producers and retailers who had to leave our market have been replaced by others willing to work without any political preconditions.
Read more: EU nearly out of means to sanction Russia: Borrell
Our society has become more united and determined to confront Western geopolitical plots against Russia. So, obviously, the sanctions backfired, and the West is feeling it.
There is an American insistence on supporting Ukraine and prolonging the conflict, but we sometimes hear European voices that do not agree with that. Do you see the European position as distinct from that of the American, or is it still attached to it?
I will not differentiate much between the American and European approaches. Both are determined to continue the proxy war against Russia using Ukraine. At the same time, people in both Europe and the United States are becoming more aware of the true intentions of their elites and of the dangers of the situation that could develop into a large-scale global conflict.
One thing is clear: after all that has happened, after the killing of civilians in Donbass by Western-supplied weapons, after all the revelations that exposed the true nature of the Minsk accords endorsed by the UN Security Council - a deliberate Western plot to "smokescreen" the supply of arms to Ukraine - it will now be “business as usual.” From our side, we can't trust the West anymore.
What do you think of the peace plan initiative put forward by China recently? How do you see the contrast between the Ukrainian and American opinions on it?
The Chinese proposals are a reflection of this country's desire for peace and the return to diplomacy and dialogue. This is commendable. It is especially significant against the background of useless Ukrainian and Western ultimatums to Russia.
Read more: 'Invisible hand' prolonging Ukraine war for geopolitical gains: China
Statements by Russian officials confirm that the conflict in Ukraine has led to an emergence of a new world order. Do you see that this world is close, or is it a long-term, strategic vision?
It is clear that this world is already being reshaped, regardless of whether the West likes it or not. It is a process that the United States and its allies cannot stop, and this is driving them crazy.
The Ukrainian conflict has accelerated this process by exposing Western hypocrisy and the West's real aims - which is to maintain American hegemony and the privileged position of the so-called “golden billion” at any cost.
Contrary to what is expected, Moscow's ties with a number of Arab countries have developed positively following the start of the operation in Ukraine. How does Russia see its relations with these countries in general?
We appreciate the understanding and support of these Arab countries, and we must take advantage of that and move forward together to improve and deepen our economic and political relations in the emerging new world.
We understand that some of them are facing severe Western pressure and blackmail, but we still hope that they will not fall prey to intimidation and manipulation imposed by the West to advance its geopolitical interests.
Read more: Saudi Defense firm Scopa drops US alliance, diverts to Russia, China
Do you think this spring will be decisive in the Ukrainian conflict?
I am a diplomat, not a military strategist, but I am fully confident that our victory is near and imminent, because we have the truth, and common sense is on our side.