Under the conditions of the growing conflict between the main geopolitical players, the story of the poisoning of the opposition blogger Alexey Navalniy has found a big public resonance and can be used by various political actors as a bargaining chip. The accusations that are made by high ranking officials and politicians adversely affect the relations between the European countries and USA on the one hand, and Russia on the other hand.
Will Europe accept the investigation findings if, as their result, the version of the poisoning by a warfare toxic agent will be disproved? Or the stakes are so high that nobody can be bothered with these results? On this and some other issues to Greg Butterfield, a famous American member of the opposition, an editor of Struggle-La Lucha newspaper and activist of the Socialist Unity Party (U.S.)
– The Kremlin press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said that opposition blogger Alexei Navalny could work with Western security services, in particular, that during his treatment in Berlin, he was working with “CIA specialists”. Is this possible?
Certainly. We know the CIA and other Western war agencies have a long history of working with “oppositionists” who are friendly to imperialist aims against governments that are considered the enemy. From the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran, Sakarno in Indonesia, Allende in Chile, right up to the present day. Washington was directly involved by various means in the Maidan movement in Ukraine in 2013-2014, and the current front-runner in the presidential election, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, served as the “colonial governor” of Kiev after the coup. Many suspect U.S. involvement today in the events of Belarus and the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Navalny is just another pawn in their chess game.
It’s important also to understand that the U.S. billionaire class has its own overarching aims regardless of which political faction is in power at the moment. So while Trump may be more focused on building up for war against China and Iran, it doesn’t mean that U.S. “intelligence” is any less interested in Russia and other former Soviet republics. Breaking up the Russian Federation has been a long-term goal of the U.S. rulers, under both Democrats and Republicans, since the fall of the USSR.
– What may be the goals of Western intelligence agencies concerning Navalny? Could they try to use Navalny to try to start mass demonstrations in Russia for regime change?
It is possible that the CIA and other agencies could try to foment pro-Western protests around the Navalny case. However, I think that is unlikely right now. The protest movement that exists in various parts of Russia has taken on more of a working-class character over the last few years, especially since the mass demonstrations against the proposed changes to the retirement age. I don’t think Navalny has much credibility since he and his backers are uninterested in the social demands of the working class.
To me, it seems more likely that this is a “long game” to build up Navalny’s reputation and notoriety in the West as an anti-Putin symbol. Perhaps they will try to bring his case to the International Criminal Court, the European Court of Human Rights, or other such bodies. This could be useful to Washington and the EU for future anti-Russia war moves and economic sabotage.
– How plausible is the version that the Kremlin was involved in the poisoning of Navalny?
I think it’s very, very unlikely. We should ask, who benefits from a sloppy assassination attempt against Navalny? Not the Russian government. It is only serves as propaganda for the West.
– Will the story of Navalny be used to try to impose new sanctions against Russia or to stop the launch of the Nord Stream-2 project?
Yes, I think that is a likely outcome. Sanctions are a preferred method of low-intensity warfare by the U.S. these days. While Trump has focused less on direct confrontation with Russia than the previous administration, he has shown himself more than willing to slap arbitrary and harmful sanctions on Moscow.
Trump’s strongest backers in the U.S. ruling class come from the oil and gas billionaires. The global slump in oil and gas prices threatens their profits. Because of this they want to control every fuel route. Hence Washington’s seizure of oil and gas fields in Syria, its interference in Nagorno-Karabakh and Venezuela, and the ongoing military standoff with Iran. Because of this, Nord Stream-2 may become a flashpoint for more open hostilities between the U.S. and Russia, even if Trump manages to remain in power after the upcoming election.