Andrei Gronovsky, 1990

Interview at the Foreign Ministry, Moscow, 5 Sept. 1990, about the Northern Area, re the Arctic security initiative.
Interviewer: Gwynne Dyer

“We had expressed our views and proposals on the improvement of the situation in the North, including the Arctic, in the speech of the Soviet leader, Gorbachev, in Tuva, 1987. Here we expressed our position that the security of the North, including Arctic, is a comprehensive process which includes the arms control measures and also measures of cooperation in science, technology, economy, ecology (especially ecology) and other matters. These processes — of cooperation and arms control — are not officially linked but of course are interdependent. As for the arms control, we have given our multi-optional proposals and it is up to our partners to choose those which they feel are more suitable to them. We have also elaborated some of our proposals in detail, which normally is being done during the course of negotiations. So, to speak figuratively, we can say that on our behalf we have unilaterally cross the process which is normally being done in the course of negotiations, I mean the elaborations of proposals — the giving of several options of different kinds of ways of going toward the aim of reasonable sufficiency for defence, etc. Unfortunately, there is no response from our partners to our detailed proposals. We are ready to listen to counter proposals, we are ready to listen to arguments: What is wrong with our proposals and what better options can be chosen which we are quite prepared to constructively discuss? But until now, we hear only “No” and that’s all. At this stage it is difficult for us to further elaborate our proposals, I mean to give further details, before in principle there is no agreement to discuss them.”

Dyer: “Essentially you are negotiating with yourself and giving more and more in order to get your partners to talk at all. … The last major concession that would perhaps have been made at the bargaining table, if there were negotiations, was six months ago when you agreed to put the Kola Peninsula’s military installations on the bargaining table as something that may be discussed, which was a move forward from your previous position. And still you got nothing back. Nobody agreed to talk?”

Answer: “ We don’t have any official reactions. Just silence.”

Dyer: “What more can you do?”

Ans: “Well, we can do something if there is a partner, but now we are blocked from further movement.”

The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy, by Metta Spencer, published by Lexington Books