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Anton Chekhov, 1890

Former head of Moscow FSB warns Russia could lose territory to China

By The Siberian Times reporter
17 January 2015

Yevgeny Savostyanov fears loss of land after becoming too dependent on Beijing.

The former official was long seen as a liberal with noted pro-Western views, and his opinions are unlikely to be shared by many ex-colleagues. Picture: TV Rain

His forecast of China grabbing Russian land in the country's Far East came in a TV interview soon after his resignation last week as head of Russia's Coordination Council on Intellectual Property Protection. Previously, Savostyanov served as head of Moscow FSB and deputy chief of the Kremlin staff.

Asked by Rain TV on his forecast for the future, he replied: 'Sadly I suppose that around years 2022-2024 more territories will fall off Russia.

'And I am afraid that it will be happening around the peripheries of the country under the influence of our rising dependence on China.'

He did not specify which territory he meant but made clear he was critical of the direction Russia has taken in the past year, apparently referring to actions in Crimea and Ukraine. 

'My forecast is rather a sad one,' he said. 'I am not even sure if I should voice it - for fear of spoiling people's moods. I am afraid that beginning from March 2014 we have determined the destiny of our country for a long time. On one hand, this destiny will be about economic and technological downfall, and on the other on our rising dependency on China. This dependency might turn into a truly dominant one.'

He fears China exploiting a switch which has seen Russia angle its trade towards Beijing and away from Western countries which have imposed sanctions on Moscow. 

'I know just too well how good China can exploit it,' he said. 'These days we have literally cut ourselves off from the Northern - or Western - civilisation.'

Relations with the US and UK are spoilt for a very long time, he claimed. 'The USA and Great Britain - as well as ourselves - were guarantors of Ukraine's territorial integrity. Right now they are in the situation of states that defaulted on their promises. 

'They can't forgive it and close their eyes to it. This is different to what has been going on with the Baltic states. Even though they never de jure submitted to the Soviet Union's annexation of the territories, de facto they kept quiet because they never gave any guarantees to the Baltic states. 

'The situation is very different here, as both the USA and UK feel humiliated because they failed to deliver of their guarantees, and continue doing so. 

'As it is clear that the situation is irreversible, this will have a very long term and a very negative effect on Russian-American and Russian-British - and overall on Russian-Western - relations.'

The former official was long seen as a liberal with noted pro-Western views, and his opinions are unlikely to be shared by many ex-colleagues. The Kremlin argues that the new situation gives Russia the motivation to rebuild its economy to reduce its dependence on the outside world. 

But Savostyanov claimed: 'Take the  example of a girl before she gets married. Everyone praises her and desires her while she is still single. As soon as she gets married everyone turns their backs on her, except of course for her husband.'

He warned: 'The Chinese are people with a different feeling of time. As Ghengiz Khan said: 'Time always worked in favour of the Chinese, and will always work in favour of the Chinese. We ourselves took certain steps which made China almost a one and only partner for us, and I know too well how well China can exploit it.'

In resigning last week, he blasted Russia's culture minister Vladimir Medinsky as he resigned from this ministry's board and public council. 

'The reason for this decision is the stance that you and the Culture Ministry have taken on a range of important matters of public interests, as well as some of your public statement and remarks for which I am ashamed,' he wrote.

Comments (11)

Jaker, the FSB knows who you are and where you live....but it was Obama the one promoting the coup in Kiev, and not Putin who just reacted to the NATO violent anexation of Ukraine.

What a comment, Enrique. The first part...I don't think they know where they live, never mind me. Shh, I won't tell, if you don't.

2nd part, you're looking at too many Russian iffy channels.
Jaker, Dundalk.
23/01/2015 10:49
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Jaker, the FSB knows who you are and where you live....but it was Obama the one promoting the coup in Kiev, and not Putin who just reacted to the NATO violent anexation of Ukraine.
Enrique, Spain
22/01/2015 18:02
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As much as I hate the FSB & all clones of it...I think your man has made a good point. Ever since the bulldozing into Crimea & Eastern Ukraine uninvited & like a bully, Putin has brought terrible sanctions against his country. So what does he do? Take his begging bowl to China & signed some deal on the line, which China will exploit not because they are mean but because it's "Business as Usual".


China have the upper hand because they are into lot of technologies & manufacturing, all Russia has at moment is oil they get very little for, because the Ruble has crashed. You don't need to be a mathematician to figure out the sums.
Jaker, Dundalk
22/01/2015 05:27
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As an international Chinese, I am amazed this overachiever espoused such childish concept about geopolitical reality of our time. China will be economcally #1 within 10 years, but millitarily still dominated by the US probably for the next 100 years. In the mean time, the world moved to knowledge economy. The most important factor for a prosperous country will be the quality of its human resource. So, China is more or less guaranteed a bright future, owing to the large amount of scientists and engineers graduates each year. So, if you are a decision maker in Beijing, would you risk a confrontation with Russia while still millitarily dominated by the USA?
Peter Wang, Davao/Philippine
20/01/2015 08:06
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this guy is delusional
ericsson, canada
20/01/2015 03:23
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Russia invaded China and Manchuria to kick out the Japanese in WW2. Then they gave it all back. There have been ups and downs. But relations have never been better. I don't think this guy is doing anything but cashing checks from Soros.
Ian, Ohio USA
19/01/2015 19:38
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If we read the statistics about trade, investment and Chinese immigration from Australia, Canada or the US, Russia is still far behind any of them. Why is it good for Australia and Canada selling oil, gas and iron ore to China but it is bad for Russia according to Savostayanov? Remember that Germany (Hitler) or France (Napoleon) invaded Russia....but China never invaded Russia. China represents a great opportunity for Russia, and is time for Russia to grab market share in China from Australia, Canada and the US, which resouces are more expensive for export to China tan the Russian ones (once the necessary infraestructure is built) So, it is a unique opportunity for Russia, long overdue, to diversify its exports instead of keeping its high dependence on the lagging European market. Same as Australia did two decades ago, successfully, Russia has to increase its trade, investment and social interaction (tourism, immigration) with China. Russia cannot lose this train.
Enrique, Spain
19/01/2015 07:09
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I am from Russia and live in Moscow, I get so tired of watching on the tv news 'glorious Russia and all glory comes from Putin' I don't believe it!
Boris Mars, Russia
19/01/2015 04:00
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Age of control and manipulation is coming to the end, everything will be exposed divine settling of all accounts. Those who seek to control over other people will find nothing but frustration and fear, those that seek further control over other people will soon see cosmic reality in needing exponential energy and resources will go into depreciation returns to control what they can never have. They will will ultimately be easily overridden by constant expansion of this universe, China and Russia will build the GREATEST friendship that has ever existed between nations, end of story.
Lazar, Moscow
18/01/2015 06:21
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What a prescient fellow!



He probably doesn't need to ride bare-chest on a horse wi th a bow and arrow.
hrobidohi, usa
18/01/2015 04:54
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What a chance we all missed in 89! We could have been on the way to a knowledge based common future. I miss Russian mathematicians, physicists, and intelligentsia. I miss sharing a future between Russia and Europe. Unfortunately it was left to vindictive short sighted European politicians and kleptocratic Russian goons.
Hannibal, London
18/01/2015 00:06
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