Why does the West blame Russia for all the sins of mankind, but does not want to see a beam its own eyes ? What is the main tool for measuring the power of a state? How can Russia make the West respect her?
Inna Novikova, the director general of Pravda.Ru, asked these and other questions to Leonid Krutakov - political scientist, publicist, analyst, associate professor of the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation.
"Leonid, why does the West always accuse Russia of aggressive influence even in the territories that Russia cannot reach? Russian officials always say that Russia does not meddle into other countries' affairs, that Russia's politics is to influence no one and respect the sovereignty of any state and any organization."
"The power of a state is measured by how it can control its national contour and how it can spread its norms of living and rules into the outside world. This is the only way. If a country isolates itself on its territory, like North Korea does, one may say that this country does not have a proactive attitude to life. The West, of course, tries to demonize Russia in every way, to create the image of Russia as an enemy. Yet, there is a silver lining here too - the West advertises Russia a lot."
"Russia is not North Korea, of course. We help many countries, but our government gives money to others and does not want it back, as it appears. Russia still forgives debts of many countries, and sometimes we find ourselves guilty of being not too generous."
"I think that the Russian political leadership has learned very good lessons from the Ukrainian crisis. We can see it in the development of Russia's relations with Belarus. As it appears to me, Russia is trying to reformat its relationship with Belarus, because at court everyone is for himself."
"What do you think of Putin's recent decree to simplify the process for obtaining Russian citizenship for residents of the People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as for all other residents of those territories that hold neither Ukrainian, nor Russian citizenship? Many still wonder why Russia has not made the Donbass its territory, like they did with the Crimea. Do you think that giving citizenship to residents of the breakaway territories is a quiet move to annex the Donbass?"
"No, I do not think so. It didn't work with Abkhazia and North Ossetia, although everyone there got Russian citizenship too. This has nothing to do with annexation."
"Why did the Ukrainian government and Nazis go ballistic about the Russian passports in the Donbass then?"
"Because it gives Russia more reasons and arguments to protect people in the Donbass. In fact, the Russian people are the most divided people in the world after the collapse of the Soviet Union. When the CIS was being created, we were attempting to avoid the Yugoslav scenario. Milosevic wanted to protect the Serbs in other republics, because other ethnic groups started exterminating the Serbs there. When the Soviet Union fell apart, we tried to avoid that scenario. The example of Donetsk and Luhansk shows that it is impossible to silence the problem of the separation of the Russian people. One can still see vestiges of the Yugoslav scenario in the Donbass. There is a similar problem in Kazakhstan too.
"Kazakhstan is switching into the Latin alphabet, but there are many Russian people there too. This problem also existsIn in Uzbekistan, in Kyrgyzstan, etc. A theory of Greater China says: if Chinatown appears somewhere, Greater China protects its right to speak Chinese, to live by the rules that people are accustomed to. This is their foreign policy doctrine to protect the Chinese diaspora."
"How can China protect them?"
"Well, when the Canadians tried to arrest vice president of Huawei, the Chinese started persecuting the Canadians at home. They said that the arrests would continue until the Huawei vice president is released. That's all - they reckon with China."