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‘Russian Envoy To U.S.: Channel That Stopped Nuclear War 60 Years Ago Is Dead’

Oct. 21, 2022 (EIRNS)—Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., delivered two messages to American policymakers and the public in an interview which Newsweek published yesterday with the above title: First, that the structure of communication between Moscow and Washington has been “demolished,” and second, that a return to the status quo ante before Feb. 24 would no longer be sufficient to resolve this enormous crisis, pointing to the Biden Administration’s National Security Strategy, released on Oct. 13, as proof. As Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche has also long insisted, Antonov argued that the only solution is a new security architecture based on mutual respect among all nations.

On his first point: Antonov lamented the reality that the lines of communications that existed between Washington and Moscow that were crucial to resolving the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis no longer exist. “The undeniable advantage of that time was a continuously operating confidential channel between Anatoly Dobrynin [then Soviet ambassador to the U.S.] and Robert Kennedy [the U.S. Attorney General and the president’s brother and adviser]. It allowed the Kremlin and the White House to relay information to each other in a timely manner, do appropriate analysis and clarify positions of the two states.”

But today, “the infrastructure of our communication with the Americans has been demolished. The attempts of Russian diplomats in Washington to re-establish such contacts have been futile,” he said. “The administration is unwilling to talk with us as equals.”

State Department spokesman Ned Price flippantly dismissed this warning in his Oct. 20 press conference, evidently considering “communication” to mean sending unilateral messages “when we need to.” Asked yesterday about Antonov’s charge “that there are no communication channels between Washington and Moscow to reduce escalation, like those that prevented a nuclear war between the two countries 60 years ago,” Price responded: “That is not true. That is not a characterization that we would agree with. Of course, it is not business as usual with the Russian Federation, but we certainly have ways to convey messages, messages of the highest importance, to the Russian Federation when we need to.”

As for Antonov’s second point, wrote Newsweek:

“ ‘I would like to emphasize that in the present conditions a return to the previous state of affairs is unacceptable, when threats to Russia’s national security were mounting on our western borders.’ But he questioned whether Washington was ‘ready for a serious professional conversation on international peace and stability.’ He pointed to the new National Security Strategy published by the White House last week as evidence of how the U.S. was only doubling down on its effort to enforce what he referred to as ‘the so-called ruled-based order.’ He called it ‘a kind of fantasy that Washington has dreamt up and is imposing on the whole world,’ and the notion that ‘the entire international community must unite in the fight against China and Russia.’ ”

Russia, Antonov explained, is “struggling not against Ukraine but on its territory—for equal relations, a world order based on international law, the UN Charter and practical implementation of the principle of indivisible security for all.”

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