Recreating a communist superstate would be impossible and is not something Russia is working towards, the Kremlin has said in response to US claims that Moscow wants to revive the USSR, which dissolved 30 years ago this week.
In an appearance with the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said, "The worry is that [Russian President Vladimir Putin], as part of his legacy project, is trying to recreate the Soviet Union. And then, who knows if his appetite will be satisfied, or if he'll decide to go farther?"
Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov responded on Wednesday, telling journalists, "Ms. Nuland has extensive knowledge about Russia and all the nuances of the post-Soviet space. I'm convinced that Ms. Nuland, just like us or other experts, clearly comprehends that restoring the USSR is impossible."
Commenting on Russia's attempts at integration with other former Soviet nations, Peskov emphasized that the Kremlin has different relationships with individual post-Soviet states. He explained that "there is the Commonwealth of Independent States, and more top-notch integration organizations, namely the Eurasian Economic Union, as well as more advanced allied structures, such as the Union State of Russia and Belarus. None of this is an attempt at the reincarnation of the USSR, nor could it be."
The Soviet Union officially dissolved exactly 30 years ago, on December 8, 1991, when the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus signed an agreement creating the Commonwealth of Independent States. The agreement stated that the USSR no longer existed as "a subject of international law and a geopolitical reality."
In her Senate appearance, Nuland also warned that the US was considering unprecedented sanctions against Russia if it invaded Ukraine, including cutting it off from the SWIFT banking network. "What we are talking about would amount to essentially isolating Russia completely from the global financial system, with all the fallout that would entail for Russian businesses, for the Russian people, for their ability to work and travel and trade," she said.
The Kremlin has denied it has intentions to invade its neighbor, calling successive reports in Western media "American misinformation."