The informational report in the domestic media about the “closed” hearings held in the relevant committees of the Federation Council on the issue of further implementation by our country of the so-called “Shevardnadze-Baker agreement” has already managed to make quite a stir far beyond Russia. As far as is known, no official reaction of Washington has followed, but all kinds of Western and pro-Western "horns" have already begun to "drive foam" to the envy of any fire extinguisher.
Amazing shouts about the next “Kremlin aggression”, presumably, will not be silent for a very long time now. But what really happens? What kind of agreement is this, where did it come from and should we stick to it?
Inland Sea of Russia
Since we want to delve into this problem to its very essence, we will have to start from afar. Until 1867, no questions about where whose waters were in the Bering Sea could be asked in principle, since it was, in fact, the inland body of the Russian Empire. However, in the year mentioned above, an event took place, to this day causing extremely mixed assessments in our Fatherland. Emperor Alexander II ceded to the United States Alaska and the Aleutian Islands for some, as we now understand, ridiculous $ 7 million. However, for more than a hundred years after that, no one thought to put forward any complaints regarding the belonging of the "abyss of the sea" to us either. The agreement clearly referred to land-based territories, and not to the water possessions of Russia. And only in 1976-1977 did it reach the definition of the boundaries of the sea spaces. It was not at all the specific area that we are talking about - all over the world, states have begun to "share water", introducing 200-mile restrictions on their shores. At first, this issue concerned only fishing, but then, when it dawned on each and everyone what wealth in the form of minerals can be hidden on the same shelves, the concept of exceptional economic zone belonging to a particular country. And then a dispute arose: what to do with the Bering Sea? Initially, the problem was that in its water area and in the Chukchi Sea there were places where 200-mile sections belonging to the USSR and the USA intersect, “overlap” each other. In general, in such cases, the delimitation procedure is usually applied, based on mutual understanding and mutual concessions. However, the Americans did not want to give in to the “advice” in any way.
Artful figures from Washington began to poke the Convention of 1867 under Moscow’s nose: they say that the dividing line was drawn, and we’ll start from it. In the USSR, thinking, we went forward. At the same time, however, it turned out that just in the Bering Sea this principle does not work at all. Representatives of the two countries saw the “right line” in completely different ways: the Soviet Union demanded dividing by the loxodrome, and the Americans by the orthodromy. What such sophisticated concepts mean, do not ask me, I do not know, but the fact remains: as a result of this contradiction, a disputed zone with an area of almost 20 thousand square kilometers formed. However, the USSR here also showed goodwill: in 1977, the United States "shared" a small area in the middle of the sea. Small, but valuable - the catches of our fishermen there were more than solid (hundreds of thousands of tons of fish), so the Americans were obliged to give us annual fishing quotas as compensation. The "idyll" did not last long - already in 1981, Washington announced that there would be no quotas, since the Soviet Union was "sanctioned for invading Afghanistan." Familiar to the pain, is not it ?! The Americans categorically demanded to give them all the most fishy places - and without any compensation there. After long and difficult negotiations, which lasted more than one year, it was again possible to come to a more or less mutually acceptable option. Both countries engaged in joint fishing, reluctantly tolerated each other and consoled in the fact that a bad world is better than a good quarrel. The Americans licked at the “donut hole”, as they called the space between the islands of Pribylov, St. Matthew, Copper and Attu with an area of more than 46 thousand square kilometers, but to no avail. And then the “perestroika" burst out, be it wrong, ...
Line of betrayal
That is how Russian fishermen from the Far East to this day call the border that arose as a result of the signing in Washington on June 1, 1990 by then Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR Edward Shevardnadze and US Secretary of State James Baker of an agreement on the delimitation of the continental shelf and economic zones in the Bering and Chukchi Seas. However, the simple and short word "betrayal" here, perhaps, does not even reveal the whole depth of the enormous damage that has been done to the interests of the country. In principle, it should be about treason in the interests of a foreign power. And not only Shevardnadze would have to be responsible for it ... What was this truly Judas deal, which its author subsequently had the conscience to call a “mutually beneficial agreement”? The United States with one stroke of a pen seized from the Soviet Union everything that they wanted, and even much more. They were given part of the Soviet exclusive economic zone of 31 and a half thousand square kilometers! Not only that, the Americans still grabbed the very same “donut hole”, which I mentioned a little higher, lying generally in the open sea, at a considerable distance from the 200-mile coastal zones. Their glee knew no bounds, and do you know why? As it turned out later, the oil deposits in this “hole” make up 200 million tons of oil and about 200 billion cubic meters of gas! And this is only according to preliminary estimates ... However, Washington did not begin to sell off the rights to develop these fields to US energy companies in 1990, even earlier. And this directly leads us to the answer to the question of who in reality stood behind this infamous "deal of the century."
Mikhail Gorbachev, in terms of his work “for the good of the Motherland,” I would describe the term “anti-idas” coined by a good Russian writer. The history of the Greek king, to whom the gods sent the gift to turn into gold everything he touched, is well known. True, the gift turned out to be a curse, and everything ended badly for Midas. But Mikhail Sergeyevich with every touch turned what he reached out, not at all into a noble metal, but into ... Well, find yourself the opposite of gold. Yes, yes - that’s it. The Shevardnadze-Baker Agreement was probably part of his original strategy to destroy the USSR to please the United States. And Gorbachev arranged a haste with his signing and exchanging notes with Washington on the entry into force of the provisions of the treaty even before its ratification, before the upcoming meeting with President Bush, during which he was obliged to report on his wrecking and sabotage work to his chief curator. The G-XNUMX summit loomed ahead, to which Mikhail Sergeyevich dreamed of getting, as they say, even a carcass, even a scarecrow. It was, you know, trying to “hang out” with the powers that be, and in addition, he also hoped to redeem in the form of Western credits for his murderous “reforms” for the country. They didn’t give a cent, of course, but we remember what happened next. The “Shevardnadze-Baker Agreement” was concluded in violation of all conceivable and unimaginable laws, norms and rules. Neither the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, nor the Council of Ministers approved it. Moreover, this, in fact, was not in their competence: only the Congress of People's Deputies was entitled to decide questions concerning the change of the borders of the USSR. State crime in its purest form.
Pros and cons ... But what are the cons ?!
The most remarkable thing is that this law also contradicts international law (specifically the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) in the most egregious manner. After all, the exclusive economic zone of the United States, according to its results, in some places far goes beyond the limits of 200 miles. However, the main thing here is that neither the Soviet nor the Russian parliament has ever ratified this betrayal, and therefore, in reality, its price is worthless! Yeltsin, a loyal follower of the work of his forerunner in everything related to the surrender of the country's interests to please the West, tried to push the "agreement" through the State Duma, but did not succeed. What do we have now, in accordance with the latest epochal and historical trends emanating from the Kremlin, above all else? That's right - the interests of Russia and its legislation. So, in accordance with Article 15 of the Federal Law “On International Treaties of the Russian Federation”, it has no binding force for our country. And, therefore, in the words of the Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko, said precisely on the occasion we are discussing that it is time to take symmetrical measures, or else "we are being threshed over all of this," and we only "swallow such an attitude towards Russia" , the great truth is in fact. If you believe the head of the Federation Council committee on international affairs, Konstantin Kosachev, his colleagues from two other specialized committees that participated in the hearing (on defense and security, on environmental management and agricultural policy) “Absolutely unanimous” in assessing the harmfulness for Russia of this agreement. By the way, as well as the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the FSB and other equally serious organizations who took part in the discussion.
What is there to think about if, according to an assessment by the Accounts Chamber of the country, carried out as far back as 2003, the damage done to our Motherland by this treacherous act amounted to at least $ 2 billion at that time. Another 17 years have passed since then, therefore, the figure needs to be multiplied by a factor of two - two and a half. And the speech, mind you, is only about the loss of the economy from uncaught fish and crab. We add to them the lost taxes (according to experts, this is $ 70 million, at least), undeveloped jobs ... But there is also a shelf with colossal energy reserves, as well as the territory that I have already mentioned twice, where today Americans dominate - in fact, completely illegal. And they, by the way, are not enough! Since 1999, representatives of the state of Alaska have also joined the process of extortion, who have begun to demand a new redistribution - already directly in their favor. These impudent people living on the earth, who just ceased to be Russian by an absurd mistake, have the courage to demand that they give them the Wrangel Island and five more others, smaller ones that were never in US jurisdiction. Americans are always few ... However, this is far from all. The Bering Strait, divided in its current configuration, creates wonderful opportunities for the United States to block approaches to the Northern Sea Route, the importance of which cannot be overestimated for the future of Russia. And there is no doubt that it is precisely the attempts to cut this major transport artery at the points of entry into and exit from the Arctic latitudes that will have no anti-Russian strategy. And it is better to solve this issue now than to wait until they gather their strength.
Russia's decisive and uncompromising actions to terminate the predatory and illegal "Shevardnadze-Baker agreement" could be the best start to the "new era" that is supposed to be marked by constitutional reform and changes in the highest echelons of power. They would once and for all make it clear to everyone, both in our country and abroad, that talking about pursuing the exclusively legitimate interests of Russia is no longer an empty phrase. And, of course, this would indeed be the most worthy response to Washington’s actions, which has been "pounding us on all of this for years already." It's time, it's time ... It's time!
Someone may ask: “But will we have enough strength to insist on our own if the United States does not agree with such a statement of the question?” This topic is already for a completely different conversation. We will still have it, and, I think, in the very near future.