Sputnik: How do you see international community react to the elections and potential results? Do you think that we will hear much about allegations from international mainstream media that the elections have been unfair?
Tony Kevin: I think we probably would. This election is taking place against the climate of rising Russophobia for at least the last 5 years, probably longer. I think, it's customary now in the Western mainstream media community to think the worst of Russia in every possible way, so I'm afraid this won't be any different. Whether the Skripal poisoning affair has certainly pushed the election off the front pages of it, so far as Western media interest in Russian things is concerned, but I think they will come back. They will try not to take the elections seriously, which, I think, is a great mistake, because it is an important event in world politics.
Sputnik: What's your take on this Russian hysteria at the moment? Do you think it will calm down? Or do you think that we have now got to a stage that it's going to accelerate, that there's an agenda, in terms of the United States and Russia generally?
Tony Kevin: As a former diplomat I'm always reluctant to predict the future. That's the one thing about the future: it's unexpected. I think that there is a small minority of people in Australia who do think seriously about international relations. That group of people has come to the view that Russia is an important country that must be taken seriously and must be treated with respect. We will continue to follow Russian news with interest and in a respectful and sympathetic way. Certainly, we are outnumbered, but our morale is good, we know we are right, because there is no future in going back to a cold war — it would be bad for the whole world. There's no reason for it. Russia has a decent government, Russians are a decent people; certainly they are different from the West, but that is something we should simply come to terms with and accept. Some countries have different priorities. Different countries have different ways of looking at things. We got to relearn to treat each other with respect and not to prejudge, not to try to impose one particular country's standards on other countries. We all have to share the same planet and we all have to get on.
Sputnik: How do you feel about the whole situation [in the world] in the moment?
Tony Kevin: I certainly do feel that the children are now in charge of Western countries. I don't think there is a great depth of judgement in Washington or in London. I think Trump tried to make a new beginning in relations with Russia. But he's been pretty well locked down by, what you might call a military, intelligence establishment. I don't think Trump has much room to move now. Thank goodness the Russian government is very sane and balanced. I'm always hopeful that we come through the worst situations, but certainly the climate of the cold war has become hotter in the last two weeks, no doubt about that.
The views and opinions expressed Tony Kevin are those of the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.