The United States has been preoccupied with the economic and political blockade of Moscow, when Russia began to assert her national interests. Will the Russians withstand the current difficulties? Pravda.Ru interviewed political analyst Sergei Mikheyev on whether consumer society values may eventually win over national values.
"Do you think that the National Unity Day has become a real national holiday?"
"This holiday has been getting more and more popular. Clearly, the holiday was introduced as a compromise between the Soviet November holidays and the need to have a holiday instead at all. In this sense, the compromise is fairly successful, because, like it or not, the events from 1612 are symbolic in the history of Russia. It was indeed the time when people took the initiative in their hands, defended independence of their country, when the then elite failed all that could be failed.
"This year, people united around the political agenda. Indeed, the situation is quite intense. Russia has never been in such a situation since 1991. We tried to articulate our national interests and immediately started getting serious resistance from those who believe that they rule the world. Now the country is facing a serious moment of truth. Will Russia show the world how strong the nation is, or will it should its weakness, to enemies' joy?
"The West imposes sanctions on us based on one simple thing. In their opinion, in 23 years, the Russian society has turned into a consumer society, which, in general, does not care where to live, what to believe, but the main question is how to consume. For consumer, there is no homeland, homeland for them is a place where they can consume. I think that the United States is testing the modern Russian society: have we really forgotten who we are? Have we forgotten the victories of our ancestors? Are we ready to bid farewell to all that for a piece of parmesan or jamon?"
"Forbes declared Putin's most influential politician in the world. What do you think about it?"
"All these ratings are relative and subjective. Nevertheless, it says that they do consider Russia at least a leading geopolitical player. This reveals the emptiness of our liberals who say that Russia is nowhere to be heard. They often like to say that it is the Russians, who invent some sort of confrontation with the US and Europe, who never think about Russia. If this were the case, nobody would Putin on the first line in such ratings.
"This suggests one simple thing: they think that we are a serious geopolitical rival, whose position they have to take into consideration. For them, the whole situation with Russia is a serious challenge, but I am personally convinced that the confrontation with the United States is not the meaning of life for Russia. At the end of the day, we are 1000 years, we are a civilization, and the current confrontation with the United States is a realities of today. Of course, we must do something."
"Naryshkin noted that the Americans admit that they have been running this policy to blackmail Russia. Even Biden said that the Europeans did not want any sanctions, but were forced to impose them under America's strong influence. We must react."
"Of course, we must do something, but one should not exaggerate anything here. One should neither underestimate, nor exaggerate the importance of the United States in our lives. We lived on Earth before the Americans appeared as a nation, and I hope that we will live after them. Putin was absolutely right in his Valdai speech, when he said that the Americans are creating a quasi-bipolar world. I am sure that the USA's goal in this case is not only Russia but also Europe.
"America, if you remember, had a very painful reaction to the process of creating the European Union, as well as to the process of the emergence of the euro as the second reserve currency. They saw it as a threat for the West to split. After the collapse of the Soviet camp, Europe started claiming to be an alternative of the West. That is, the Americans could lose a key role not only in the whole world, but also in the Western world.
"Two alternative models were being created in front of America's eyes, perhaps even two democracies. It appeared that the United States would have to compete with the European Union. To crown it all, after the disappearance of the threat from the east, Europe no longer needed America's shield. As a result, the Americans had no choice but to create certain military threats to justify their military presence. Secondly, they had to create conditions so that Europe could remain with, rather than without the United States.
"I'm sure it was the goal, for which they launched the unwarranted expansion of the European Union. When the European Union was stuffed with all these Eastern European countries and then former socialist republics, they simply buried EU's commitment to independence. First off, the USA created a great deal of economic problems for the EU. Secondly, they became a pro-American lobby in the European Union. Thirdly, these countries brought to life this anti-Russian agenda, as we can see.
"After all, what do the Americans offer Europe? They say - we give you military protection. Military protection from whom? One needs to invent constant threat. During the 1990s, it was silly to say that it was protection against Russia, so there were ridiculous threats created like Iran, North Korea and multiple terrorists that were threatening Europe. Now they are engaged in the reconstruction of the Russian military threat, trying to convince Europe that it is the United States that must defend Europe from Russia, because Europe can not handle Russia alone."