Borodin's yesterday's arrest is another link in the chain of consistent actions to discredit this country. All of us remember that not so long ago our ships were stopped in the Persian Gulf for no reason just on the grounds of idle suspicions, a bit later a Russian sailing-ship with schoolchildren on board was arrested in France. And now there is this rather cynical detention of a high-ranking international official — the state secretary of the allied state of Byelorussia and Russia. I consider it to be a direct insult to this country. The more so that Borodin was invited to attend the celebrations on the occasion of inauguration of the new US President.

I cannot undertake to say how well grounded is the charge that will evidently be brought against the former property manager in President Yeltsin's Administration in the near future. But I can state for sure that a similar situation would have been impossible about 20 years ago. Never and to nobody would it have occurred to treat Russian, or Soviet nationals at that time, to be more exact, in this way without this country's leadership being aware of it.

I believe that yesterday's event is a serious reason for us to ponder over this country's security in general. Unfortunately, this matter is not a subject to be given a proper attention and to be sufficiently funded, though the status of our armed forces does not meet present-day requirements. As the former commander of the armed forces in the north-east of Russia, I am quite positive in asserting it.

The absence of our warships in the Indian Ocean, in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Atlantic Ocean brings us to a conclusion that we cannot speak about effective foreign policy in these regions.

Presence of the Navy is one of the factors to ensure a successful foreign policy and economic interests of any state in every specific region. 10-15 years ago, there were our warships and nuclear submarines in the Indian, Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, in the Mediterranean Sea. And the states located there treated us appropriately. What is the reason for America to have now about 40 battleships and nuclear submarines in the Indian Ocean? It is not only America's active foreign policy, but also a way to influence the foreign policy of the states found in the region. What makes the USA to have several dozens battleships and nuclear submarines in the Mediterranean Sea? Who threatens it there? This is again supposed to ensure one's own political and economic interests.

I repeat it again I consider it necessary to ponder over Russia's security in the most serious way.

Recorded by Inna NOVIKOVA