“That the chemical attack was carried out by Assad’s forces allegedly assured the Israelites, who, perhaps, are best informed about what is happening in Syria, so I am inclined to their opinion,” notes the analyst of security and journalist Lukasz Vikingr.
He has other considerations in this regard: “of Course, this does not mean that the order was given personally by the Assad regime, because it is clear: some services of this regime are operating to some extent independently. Moreover, in Syria there are the Iranians, who have also their own goals. Some forces in Syria, of course, it would be beneficial if the US inflicted on Assad’s army a powerful blow, or if there had been some confrontation between the Americans and the Russians. In Syria chemical weapons were used by anyone: and the troops of Assad and the “Islamic state” (banned in Russia — approx. ed.), and some other Islamist groups”.
— Parlamentní listy: Recently shocked the world of air attack with chemical weapons in Syria, where chlorine gas was used or combat gas sarin. Most Western countries condemned President Bashar al-Assad. This issue has already been discussed at the General Assembly of the United Nations. However, the Russian claim that Assad’s forces only bombed weapons caches the rebels, where he kept these toxic substances, which in past years were used in Iraq. Is it possible to believe it, or again dark? Could any action whatsoever to prevent the use of this terrible weapons in Syria and Iraq?
— Lukasz Vikingr: In the first hours a more reliable it seemed to me the Russian version that the bomb hit the warehouse, where its chemical weapons are stored so-called moderate opposition, about which we should not nourish any illusions. When before the Assad regime had used chemical weapons, he did it in a completely different situation: then he lost in the war. Now he, on the contrary, comes and wins, so this seems to me an irrational step. But then I read some analytical articles, the authors came to the same conclusion: the fault lies with the regime. In addition, this allegedly assured the Israelites, who, perhaps, are best informed about what is happening in Syria, so I’m inclined to think that the chemical attack had still the Assad regime.
Of course, this does not mean that the order was given personally by the Assad regime, because it is clear: some services of this regime are operating to some extent independently. Moreover, in Syria there are the Iranians, who have also their own goals. Some forces in Syria, of course, it would be beneficial if the US inflicted on Assad’s army a powerful blow, or if there had been some confrontation between the Americans and the Russians. In Syria chemical weapons were used by anyone: and the armies of al-Assad and Islamic state and other Islamist groups. Probably only the Kurds, in this sense, clean hands. Anyway, according to available information, with full confidence it is impossible to say who carried out this attack. Maybe we never know, although some indirect evidence suggests, rather, on aircraft mode, even if the order to strike was given to one who was guided by specific, perhaps even irrational motives.
— Donald trump ordered to destroy missiles “Tomahawk” the military base from where the blow was struck with chemical weapons. Russia and Syria have rebelled and want to convene another Assembly of the United Nations. So Assad again fell out of favor, although the White house stated that it was ready to accept his rule. Whether it is possible to make some forecasts of further developments in the Syrian conflict? If the reaction of Washington hasty, because the incident has not been investigated?
— Honestly, the American attack began for me are pretty convincing proof of the allegations that chemical weapons were used by regime forces, even if not on the orders of Assad. Trump was a kind of strategy for Syria. He outlined the change in attitude towards Assad, and the United States even said that his departure is no longer a priority for them, and that all forces should be directed to defeat the “Islamic state”. But now everything has changed. And trump is not exactly it would have gone to if he hadn’t had a really good reason. Therefore, it is likely that intelligence agencies have received information proving the guilt of the regime in the chemical attack. It is also noteworthy that trump didn’t want to embarrass myself as well as several times did Obama. Trump did not carry out any “red lines” and threatened in vain — he immediately ordered to strike. And it is very proportionate, accurate and largely symbolic blow. Base for some time has failed, but not completely destroyed, and the casualties were few. In time, the Americans warned the Russians knew that they would pass information on, so the base had to evacuate Russian personnel. Trump would have sent the message and made it clear that he does not care about Syria, and if you read “between the lines” in the Russian answers, you, apparently, Moscow understood. Of course, it would harm relations, but not in a way that left no chance for an agreement. Syria for Russia is extremely important, and Putin wants to negotiate with America. Trump understands this very well.
— Whether there is now the threat of a nuclear conflict in Asia? Us General Jack Keane, who was to become Minister of defense, trump said on the pages of the Times and other publications that if China does not impose order in North Korea will not stop its continued nuclear testing, it will have to do US use of force. Talking about the bombing and missile attack on Korean underground nuclear weapon depots and things. Now the representatives of Beijing and Washington will meet for talks on North Korea, which will discuss the current dangerous situation. Should we be afraid of a nuclear conflict? And what could be the consequences for the Czech Republic, even though we will be far from the war?
— I’m afraid that the problem of North Korea, there is no easy solution, because if it were, it anyone probably realized. In the end, a military strike may be the only option, maybe not the worst. Trump has repeatedly made it clear that US patience is over, and so, as before, will be no more. Americans do not just want to see how North Korea threatens all around, in fact, turning the surrounding country hostage for blackmail, as it fires missiles and tests nuclear weapons. North Korea is behaving like a gang of gangsters, which no one interferes and which are becoming more daring. The agreement is good here obviously will not work, so in the end it may be that these bandits can be stopped only by force, although it will bring great suffering and great damage.
Nobody particularly wants to use military means, because the answer, as suggested by Kim Jong-UN gives the order to massively use chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Then the neighboring countries are flooded with thousands of impoverished and hungry refugees from the DPRK, which is also nobody wants. However, nobody wants to live in conditions of unpredictable threats, the source of which was the DPRK. The correct solution is not here, but it seems to me that after all the case comes to a speedy, albeit not to the best conclusion. If to speak about the Czech Republic, the direct consequences of us, apparently, would not be affected, but, of course, we can expect that if it used weapons of mass destruction, may require us to send the military “chemists” or field hospitals that we participated in liquidation of consequences of the conflict.
— Saint-Petersburg lives in fear. A few days ago, the Islamic, apparently, a terrorist from Kyrgyzstan has committed a terrorist act in the metro, in which 14 people were killed and several dozen were wounded. At the same time Russia and Iran have very good relations, and Russia even placed military bases there. In your opinion, could this be the response of the Islamists to fight Russia with “Islamic state”? And whether it is possible to prevent similar incidents in cities, where constant mass congestion of people?
— Yes, I’m sure that behind this terrorist attack are the Islamists. For the “Islamic state” is fighting the mass of the radicals of the Caucasian and Central Asian people, so in this case, the connection is obvious. By the way, one of the minor reasons for Russian intervention in Syria was the fear that if ISIS wins, there will be a Domino effect, and the Islamists will greatly strengthen its position also in Central Asia. Unfortunately, one would expect that the Russian intervention will push the Islamists to commit terrorist acts in Russia. This was confirmed by the bomb that in October 2015, destroyed a Russian aircraft in the skies over Egypt. So the attack in Saint-Petersburg — just one of a series. I’m afraid there will be more, because stopping all potential terrorists is impossible.
Of course, Russia is very skilled intelligence services, but they are not omniscient. Even the Israelis are not always possible in time to stop such “lone wolves” or small groups of fanatics. No measures can provide complete security from terrorism, particularly where there is a huge number of people. There should be no panic, no irrational fears, so it would be a mistake to fall into apathy and lethargy. We don’t have to “get used” to such attacks. Need a cool head to prepare for what could something like this happen. Everyone should know how to behave in critical situations. Exactly this approach in Israel, which should become an example for all those who want to counter the threat of Islamism.
— However, the saber rattling continues in Europe. NATO expands presence in Poland and the Baltic States, and Russia in the Kaliningrad region supposedly more tanks than cars. Some experts in the security field say that the more these forces will be close to each other, the higher the risk of conflict, albeit unintentional, caused by someone’s mistake. Isn’t it time in order for the parties to sit down at the negotiating table and stop this senseless arms?
— Yes, I’m talking about for a long time. On the one hand, I understand the motivation of the NATO countries and Russia. If the situation escalates, the policies and the military must demonstrate that “doing something”, otherwise they will lose public support. This applies to the West, and Russia. Despite what some Western media, Vladimir Putin is not restricted by a despotic autocrat. Its position also depends on the support of various influential groups and, of course, the court of public opinion. It is impossible to be the Russian leader and to show weakness, otherwise, Putin for a long time in power I would. The placement of the unit, which is now being implemented, to a certain extent a “game”, a kind of arm wrestling, which is intended partly to the public. Hence, some hard statements of politicians and the military.
Of course, professionals know it as fact that sometimes some tension in the international arena is helpful. But, on the other hand, it is true, of course, that it is not necessary to go too far, and that is what is happening now. Mainly in the Baltic States and over the North sea tensions have reached a dangerous level, and I’m really afraid that someone “lost their nerve” and not a shot was fired. It’s time to stop playing muscles. It is clear that Russia wants to have military forces in Kaliningrad. It is also clear that Poland and the Baltic republics want to see on its territory troops of the allies. But there is a limit. I’m sure neither the US nor Russia want a kind of repetition of the Berlin crisis, American and Russian tanks were aiming at each other, at a distance of several tens of meters.
In media also there was information that Russia has new missiles, which NATO has no protection. Is it possible that the Russians are advanced in the development of these weapons further than the West?
— Yes, in professional circles such news appear for several years. Russian was impressed by the possibilities of the American “Tomahawk”, so Russia decided to create an analogue. They become missiles “Caliber” with a range of more than 2.5 thousand kilometers, which was demonstrated in the strikes on Islamists in Syria. The Treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) prohibits the missiles on the ground, but not in the air or at sea, therefore, does not apply to American missiles “Tomahawk” and the Russian “Caliber”, placed on ships and submarines, what would the range of these missiles may possess.
The difference is that Russians have placed modify the “Caliber” also on self-propelled launchers. If the range of these missiles is less than 500 miles, the contract is not broken, but if it is true that the missile 9M729 has the same range as the sea “Caliber”, i.e., more than 2.5 thousand kilometers, the INF is broken. From a technical point of view there is no reason to limit the range of the missiles — it’s more politics: is Russia ready to violate the INF?
Anyway, I note that these missiles are designed to counter NATO, and, above all, China. He’s not bound by any contract, and relies on its medium-range missiles. Apparently China has a few thousand, so it is natural that the Russian is concerned. The INF Treaty, thus gradually becomes a relic, and probably it would cost to modify, for example, subject to only Europe. And then Russia can deploy its missiles East of the Urals, in contrast to the Chinese Arsenal.
— Threaten any of Europe’s next challenges in the field of security for Turkish President Erdogan? He gave to understand that it has an impact on their compatriots in Western Europe and may force them to act against the General population, if we talk about the preparations for the presidential referendum in Turkey. Was followed by a diplomatic skirmish with Germany and the Netherlands. In addition, Turkey has the biggest army in Europe. Could it be that Erdogan and his dictatorial methods will no longer talk intelligently and attack someone from their European NATO partners? First in line would be, most likely, Greece…
— To read the mind of Erdogan we can not, however, to exclude a direct military conflict with Turkey in the medium term is impossible. I’d say he probably is, and, moreover, Turkey as a state is the biggest threat for Europe. The situation is compounded by the fact that Turkey is still a NATO member, although it behaves as what is clearly a very aggressive country with its own interests, hostile to the West. Yet the Turkish generals could influence policy and, if necessary, to remove the Islamists from power in Turkey is generally still possible to rely on, because in essence, she was a secular country.
But since 2002, when Erdogan’s Islamists won the first elections, the situation is only getting worse. Suggests a parallel with Adolf Hitler. Election victory, the gradual elimination of democratic freedoms and the building of a dictatorship and even a possible staged a coup attempt, which was followed by extensive cleaning. This similarity is literally appalling how appalling the absolute inability of the Western countries something to do with it. Similarly, had nothing to do with Hitler. Now Erdogan is saving his strength and trying to achieve their goals, blackmailing and putting pressure. Although in Europe some where there is disagreement, this still is not enough. That Erdogan will not stop and the situation will only get worse. Then I allow myself a small provocation. Frequently talking about Russia’s “hybrid war”. But see how now Erdogan mobilizes the Turkish minority in Western Europe: is it by accident the first step in beginning Turkish “hybrid war”? And if so, whether there is at European countries a plan for the next stages?
— The Ukraine is still not seen even attempts to implement the Minsk agreements. Both sides have regularly violated the truce. What do you think, in the coming months will result in the Ukrainian problem? Donald trump is not fundamentally affected in their speeches subject of relations with Russia and Ukraine. Why? Former Minister of foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Karel Schwarzenberg, for example, stated that Europe and the United States do not have the right to prevent the Russian occupation of Ukraine, because it will completely change the balance of power in our geopolitical space. Whether the rights of honorary Chairman of the party TOP 09? And that the EU should take in this regard?
— I think that trump is not talking about Ukraine, first of all, because they do not want to waste arguments in the run-up to the really important negotiations with Russia. In the case of Ukraine, what did I say about Syria, is doubly true. Syria is very important for Russia because of the access to the Mediterranean, Ukraine and Russia is of literally vital importance.
If we discard the ideological ballast, it must be admitted that at least the East of Ukraine with the historical, cultural, geographical and any other terms associated with Russia so that the Russians just can’t claim not to be interested in the events in Donbass. It’s just a statement of geopolitical fact. Western Ukraine is very different, but, unfortunately, these “two Ukraines” is located in one state. Any solution that ignores the interests of one of them, is unsustainable.
It should be understood by both the West and Russia, if you don’t want every few years to join in the conflict over Ukraine. Of course, Russia does not want to occupy the whole of Ukraine, but wants to be there great, maybe a decisive influence. This, of course, understands and Donald trump, who was also known that Ukraine for US is zero. From this it follows that trump could offer Putin a “big deal” for the division of spheres of influence, which will take into account the interests of Russia in Ukraine and Syria. Thus, for example, Ukraine could become a neutral buffer zone, and the Bashar al-Assad emigrated to a safe place. But, of course, the question is, what Putin can offer in return, or rather, that trump will demand for the United States.