The Floridian blogger about Russia, “Vineyard of the Saker,” posted an English translation on September 29th of an informative interview on Russian television. (You can see the entire translated interview at http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.ru/2014/09/dmitri-rogozin-interviewed-by-vladimir.html.) Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin, who has Russia’s military portfolio, was addressing his nation’s public, September 22nd, on Rossiya TV, and he explained how his country is responding to the threat of America’s intending to place its nuclear missiles on Russia’s border, inside Ukraine (much as the USSR had done in Cuba to America during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis). Russia is not responding with any talk about the nuclear button; at least not yet. There is still time enough to avoid anything so urgent as that. But they are preparing for such an eventuality. (8:50) “We are creating a nuclear submarine fleet … capable of reaching any country on any continent, if it suddenly becomes the aggressor and our topmost national interests come under threat.”
Obama has started clearly in that direction, with his February 2014 Ukrainian coup d’etat installing a U.S.-allied Ukrainian Government to replace the former (and democratically elected) Russian-allied one; and Russia takes Obama’s threat seriously; so, Russia is now rapidly updating its nuclear and other arsenals, and is offering technologically advanced military designers from all over the world extremely favorable terms for becoming Russian citizens.
Rogozin also says that (9:23), “by now, we have updated almost the entire fleet of strategic bombers.”
All of the military parts and products that were formerly being manufactured in Ukraine, have been switched to Russian factories instead. Now (10:48), “Everything is produced in Russia.” He says that many of Ukraine’s top military designers have already moved to Russia, and that most of the others are desperate to leave Ukraine.
He comments (12:31), “For Ukraine, it is the end. It is a complete demise of the Ukrainian state as an industrial country. Nobody wants their products in the West because they are outdated, and they [the West] have their own manufacturers. What they [Ukraine] are doing right now is suicide. … I say this with great regret. I’ll tell you one thing: we still had hope at the end of last year [before Obama’s coup] that we would be able to remedy the situation [that it wouldn’t happen].”
He says: (14:21), “On 21st of February, when a coup was staged, I had to fly to Kiev on behalf of The President [Putin]. [But] I stopped the car at the entrance to the airport, because it was clear that Ukraine was finished” as a manufacturing economy.
He sees manufacturing as the basis for a sound economy. (14:48) “Today, the only choice for them [Ukrainians] is to go into retail trade. But I think they also have another choice: to move to Russia.” So: Putin is looking to build Russia’s economy on a manufacturing basis, perhaps like China has done.
Rogozin repeatedly invites weapons-designers from around the world to move to Russia. Perhaps Putin takes as his inspiration what happened to the U.S. economy after our country, under President FDR in the 1940s, responded to the fascist threat by means of massive support to military R&D and manufacturing. Perhaps Putin hopes that Russia will become the new America, maybe that Putin will become the new FDR.
The interviewer responds (15:52) “What a strange story is unfolding.” And Rogozin continues, “From now on, we will be gathering the best experts in the world.” So: that (which also happened under FDR, and continued under Truman) is, indeed, their intention.
As if intending to make his point absolutely clear, he continues: “The Americans used to ‘suck out’ the best brains from around the world, … now we are reversing this process.”
Discussing France’s having gone along with Obama to stop production of France’s Mistral aircraft-carrier ships to the Russian Navy, he says (20:45), “The money [from us] is paid, which means that they have to return it with penalties. And … France is losing not just money, but their reputation as a reliable supplier.”
Then, starting at 22:32, he notes that when he first entered the Government (which was at around the time that Putin first became President), he noticed that “our individual businesses preferred to buy micro-electronics in the West,” and that they would need “to start the production, in Russia, of all that is necessary.” He says “We have already given the necessary instructions” to do precisely that. Obama’s action in Ukraine seems to have spurred Russia to do this. Yet again, it is like America during WWII.
He continues immediately to add: “However, what we cannot, or do not have the time to make, we can get in other countries who are in trading partnership with us,” mainly the “BRIC” or rapidly industrializing countries, with whom Putin has been building a trading-bloc.
The discussion then goes on to whether building Russia’s manufacturing base upon the making of weapons is a sound idea, and Rogozin says (24:34) that among Putin’s advisors, “we try not to argue publicly, but on the inside it is all boiling.”
He says that Russia’s high interest-rates are a great problem for developing manufactures. He makes a stunning admission (24:53): “They [America] are in a much more favorable position, no sanctions, no one prevents them from working; the banking policy [Federal Reserve] supports the industry. We do not have any of this. We are not going to now discuss the reasons why, but those are the facts. This is why the government now is making a decision to compensate for the [high] interest rate for enterprises in the military-industrial complex.” Russian sovereign debt will probably soar.
However, Putin has decided “to develop a program to transfer technology from the defense [sector] into civil” manufacturing, so as to reduce the extra economic burden on them. The real hardship, apparently, will go to Russia’s consumers. But, then, after the military-manufacturing sector gets humming, “they should be ready to produce similar high-tech products for the civil industry,” including, “metallurgy, electronics, composite materials, and much much more.”
Secondly, (27:06), “Today, they [Russian manufacturers] have defence contracts, tomorrow they might have less. They need a safety net — supplies for the civil market.” It would, yet again, be very much in the mold of FDR, and of Harry S. Truman.
Perhaps Russia is now learning the lesson that America has now forgotten. Maybe Obama’s America will become a spur to Russia — like Hitler, Tojo, and Mussolini, became spurs to America, in a time that America, evidently, has indeed forgotten, and in which we have become, eerily, the other side.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.