Voici une interview du ministre russe Ivanov à la Frankfurter Allgemeine.
Ivanov dit que les rapports avec Berlin restent excellents.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany
20:23 | 06/ 02/ 2006
FAZ: The situation around the Iranian nuclear program is aggravating, but it depends to a significant extent on Russia’s stand.
Sergei Ivanov: At the IAEA Board, Russia voted with the majority, with all other Security Council members. This consensus sends a signal. But Russia was against removing the Iranian nuclear dossier from the competence of the International Atomic Energy Agency and referring it to the UN Security Council. As a result, we agreed that it would only be reported to the Security Council. For us this is especially important, because we want to use absolutely all available means for a peaceful resolution of this sensitive problem.
FAZ: Tehran has turned down your proposal to enrich Iran’s uranium for peaceful purposes in Russia. Do you still believe that it will agree?
Sergei Ivanov: I still hope for a sensible compromise that Iran will accept for the sake of its own interests. We have made a good proposal. The Iranian leadership has to make a decision soon.
FAZ: If Iran does not agree, will Russia support introduction of sanctions against it in the Security Council?
Sergei Ivanov: For us, this time has not come yet. It is very important that IAEA inspectors should work in Iran. Any measures that make it impossible for them to continue will be counterproductive.
FAZ: Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that strategic partnership between Germany and Russia has to prove itself on the Iranian issue as well.
Sergei Ivanov: We have proved it during the recent voting. But the opinion that Russia plays a decisive part is not quite true. We have good relations with Iran, but we cannot rely on Iran to follow all Moscow’s recommendations.
FAZ: U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has said that Iran is the biggest supporter of terrorism.
Sergei Ivanov: This is debatable. In any case, the terrorist attacks against America on September 11, 2001, were not carried out by Iranians. Iran does not support terrorist activities in Chechnya, unlike other Middle East countries.
FAZ: Let’s get over to the issue of Russian gas. Moscow is accused of using gas as a political weapon, for example, against Ukraine and Georgia.
Sergei Ivanov: Today Russia lives according to market principles. And we want other countries, which have received a market economy status from the EU, to do the same. Why do we have to subsidize Ukraine with $4.6 billion annually? We also raised gas prices for Georgia, Armenia and Moldova. But Armenia did not start shouting about neo-imperialism. When the gas pipeline in southern Russia was blown up two weeks ago, Armenia was also left without gas. But, unlike Georgia, it did not accuse us of all mortal sins.
FAZ: Belarus buys gas at a far lower price.
Sergei Ivanov: There is a difference. Russia owns the transportation network in Belarus. We have repeatedly offered Ukraine to set up a consortium with Germany’s participation. We have failed. Unlike in the Soviet era, now there are transit countries on the way of our gas supplies to the West. Unfortunately, they are not the most honest and scrupulous ones.
FAZ: The situation in the North Caucasus is not only about Chechnya. Neighboring republics are also unstable. How are you going to establish control?
Sergei Ivanov: There are many problems left in Chechnya, most of which are economic and social, and to a lesser degree, problems of terrorism. We continue to fight the remaining militants. However, the situation in other regions of the North Caucasus, such as Dagestan, cannot be described as stable either, and it worries us more than Chechnya. In addition to social and economic problems, we are now seeing the results of what happened after the Soviet Union’s breakup, when local young men were sent to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries to get religious education. But Islam is taught differently there, often on the basis of fundamental, extremist positions. Moreover, we do not have a mechanism for solving social and economic problems in the North Caucasus. Corruption is more widespread there than in other regions of Russia; budget money is often misappropriated. It would be unrealistic to expect quick results there.
FAZ: Last week Alexander Milinkevich, opposition presidential candidate in Belarus, was received by the EU leadership and Chancellor Merkel. Russia is the only country to support Europe’s last dictator. Why?
Sergei Ivanov: Belarus is a sovereign state and we do not interfere with its affairs. We do not manipulate elections, do not finance non-governmental organizations there as Britain did in our country. In this sense we differ from our respected Western partners. The choice of the next president lies with the Belarussian people.
FAZ: As a result, Alexander Lukashenko will get the necessary number of votes. Belarus is a dictatorship.
Sergei Ivanov: No, it is not. It is a sovereign state and it should develop the way its people want, and not as Germany, Russia or the United States would like to see it. Belarus is successful in fighting crime, there is no drug trafficking, there is less corruption and living standards are higher than in many neighboring countries that consider themselves democracies. This is what matters most for the people. In fact, Belarussians and Russians are one people. And we are still working on creating the Union State. It is not progressing fast, but the goal is still there.
FAZ: After the period of close friendship between Gerhard Schroeder and Vladimir Putin, the tone has changed in Russian-German relations, and criticisms are often voiced.
Sergei Ivanov: We always welcome constructive criticism. It is not the tone, but the content that is important. After Chancellor Merkel’s visit it became evident that nothing had changed in the content of our relations, in the content of our close partnership in many areas. No matter who the German leader is, he or she will always want to promote these relations, because a great deal depends on them for Germany as well.