Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia
February 9, 2001

[Unofficial translation from Russian]


Concerning the Statement of CIA Director George J. Tenet
in the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence


The CIA Director, George J. Tenet, spoke in hearings in the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence a few days ago. Among other subjects, he also touched upon relations with Russia, though - unlike U.S. President George Bush - he chose to put the Russian theme not in the context of international cooperation, but on the list of "threats" to United States security.

Of course, remembering the specifics of the CIA, which flourished exactly during the period of the Cold War, it would have been difficult to expect of its chief any thoroughly thought out assessments with regard to us. But, even despite this, a number of pronouncements made by Tenet cause, mildly speaking, bewilderment.

Take, for example, his assertion that Russia is trying to counteract U.S. interests on a global scale. Of course, in our approaches to a number of major international issues there are differences of opinion, including ones of a serious character. But in our policy we have proceeded and continue to proceed from the assumption that Washington is our important partner in the joint maintenance of international security and strategic stability, and that Russia and the U.S. no longer threaten each other, nor do they regard each other as opponents. As we understand, the new U.S. leadership also shares this fundamental approach.

We are also surprised by the forced attempts of Tenet to paint Russia as one of the culprits of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. Of all people, the CIA director should well know that it is Moscow that has fully ratified START 2 and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, thus decisively facilitating the preservation of the cornerstone Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and that the President of the Russian Federation proposed on November 13, 2000, a coherent program for real nuclear disarmament and the strengthening of all key nonproliferation regimes, including that for control over the spread of missile technologies. By the way, it has been precisely in this sphere that a structure and machinery for Russian-American cooperation were set up and have been operating quite efficiently - including with the participation of the intelligence communities of the two countries - thanks to which we have jointly achieved concrete results. Practice shows that what's needed is not empty exhortations and groundless accusations, but painstaking and delicate work on the strengthening of bilateral and multilateral dialogue on these questions, in which the CIA, unfortunately, has not always shown itself at its best.

On the whole, the "dark revelations" of George J. Tenet about Russia and our relations with the United States may play up to the "hawkish" sentiments in the U.S. Congress and help increase the CIA budget, but they in no way correspond to the real state of affairs or the priorities of Russian-American cooperation as defined by the presidents of Russia and the U.S. at this particularly crucial period of development of relations between the two countries.

February 9, 2001

Source: Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs