Six mistakes the West makes in dealing with Putin


The West estimated Vladimir Putin's behavior at Europe-Asia Summit in Milan as challenging and negligent. Indeed, everyone was expecting a "breakthrough," but Putin did not justify anyone's expectations. Why is that? In dealing with the Russian  president, Western officials allow insults, put Russia into line with worst enemies and do not hide the wish to destroy Russian statehood and faith.

How could Putin be late for the meeting with Merkel, pretending that he had more important things in Belgrade, The New York Times resented in a long article devoted to the Milan summit. Afterwards, Putin defiantly went to Berlusconi "for truffles", where he was partying till four a.m.. This  describes Putin as an irresponsible politician, because at six a.m., he had a scheduled "pivotal" meeting with Poroshenko, the newspaper wrote.

"For Mr. Putin, the helter-skelter blitz through Milan was only the latest demonstration of an unpredictable, often theatrical, diplomatic style that he has employed during the Ukraine crisis to throw his rivals off balance," the article said.  Putin may "face a tougher reception when he travels next month to a Group of 20 summit meeting in Brisbane, Australia," the authors of the article assumed.

Here is a more specific quote to the point of our article. "He didn't say that progress was made," said Valentino Valentini, a longtime aide to Mr. Berlusconi who was present for their meeting. "The impression was that their positions were still far apart.""

How so? Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explained. "The goal of Western sanctions is not to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, but to make Russia change its stance on key and most fundamental questions and to accept the position of the West, - Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday in an interview with NTV. - In fact, the true purpose of their restrictions permeates through their statements and actions - to remake Russia," Lavrov said. The Russian Foreign Minister said that even though Western politicians say nothing about the need to change the regime in Russia, but "some marginalized officials in Europe say such phrases," he said.

Let's brush aside Lavrov's everlasting diplomatic comme il faut. In fact, the situation is much tougher. Samuel Phillips Huntington in his "Clash of Civilizations?" from 1993 wrote about the true purpose of the West. According to him, the West is determined to destroy Orthodoxy or subordinate Orthodoxy to Western principles. We can see how, for example, the British were doing it for centuries. They fought against Russia in the Crimean War (1852-1856), were opposed to Russia's stronger positions in the Balkans and Central Asia, they got Russia involved in World War I, were active participants in the Entente during the struggle against the young Soviet power, they developed plans to seize oil fields of the Caucasus after Hitler's possible victory, they were preparing for a preventive strike during the Cold War. Today, murderers and thieves, who escaped from Russia, find political asylum in the UK. British prime ministers have always been at the forefront of accusing Russia of "aggression" - David Cameron is no exception.

According to Huntington, it goes about the destruction of the Slavic culture and the Russian statehood, which is based on Orthodoxy. Even communism has Orthodox roots. Statehood came to Russia from Byzantium, and in this model, law will never be first priority, because for Orthodox believers, morality, friendship and justice is above law. Remember Russia's reunion with the Crimea, and what Putin said in Belgrade: "Russia does not sell friendship." The Byzantine model stipulates for the unification of equal peoples in one state with the help of love, rather than with the help of the Western melting pot model, which is governed by strict laws.

Given that the faith has been a reason for countless wars for centuries, the merger of two civilizations is impossible. This is not necessary due to the law of the dialectical development of the universe. Even Yeltsin, who sold everything he could to the West, warned: one should not expand NATO to the east, forgetting that Russia has a "nuclear briefcase." Putin has recently reiterated this idea by saying that the current conflict was a conflict between nuclear powers.

A second conclusion from the clash of civilizations is Orthodoxy, and, consequently, Russia has her own ideal picture of the world order. The imposition of another project is perceived as an attack on the foundations of statehood.

President Putin - is not a "mini-Gorbachev," as The New York Times wrote. He is not a huckster like Poroshenko, but a statesman, who will continue his efforts to make Russian, Orthodox model flourish. Putin's prime goal for the time being is to make sure that the West sees Russia as a full partner. Russia lost this reputation during the time of Gorbachev and Yeltsin. For the time being, the West does not understand that and hopes that sanctions will break Russia.

Huntington does not say that unity is possible in the struggle of opposites. This is nonetheless possible, but only when one has skills in finding compromises. What do the Anglo-Saxons need to understand?

First. All types of "Eastern partnerships" are impossible without consulting Russia. One needs to understand that Putin will not allow NATO bases to appear on the territory of Ukraine. He will adequately respond to extra military threats - the deployment of the missile defense system and rapid response forces.

Second. Do not teach us how to live. Putin will pursue protectionist policies to protect the Orthodox civilization, restrict the activities of Western NGOs that undermine the constitutional structure of Russia and morality of its people. Russia is not strong for its economy, but it is strong for something that the West can not understand - it is strong for its soul.

Third. The Russian president will behave accordingly to your behavior. If you consistently topple Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Yanukovych, it is reasonable to guess who is next on your list. Noteworthy, each candidate for toppling would at first be demonized in Western media. The same is happening with regard to Putin. Suffice it to mention numerous offensive comparisons to Hitler and "shirt-fronting" threats, because this is the language the "aggressor" understands (we're talking about Australian Prime Minister Abbott).

Fourth. If Obama puts Russia on the second place on the list of global threats, please expect an adequate reaction.

Fifth. Re-read memoirs of German, French and other conquerors of Russia. Sending you all sorts of "messages" is not Putin's way - he will act on the basis of national interests. "Do not expect that once taken advantage of Russia's weakness, you will receive dividends forever. Russians always come for their money. And when they come - they will not rely on the Jesuit agreement you signed, that supposedly justify your actions. They are not worth the paper it is written. Therefore, with the Russians you should use fair play or no play," said Otto von Bismarck.

Sixth. Your approach to world affairs has a destructing effect that everyone sees. There is a large group of countries behind Russia that have not yet decided to take Russia's side. If a moment comes, they will not doubt to do it.

Lyuba Lulko

Read the original in Russian

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov