Forgive me for saying that your article “Facing Russia…” published on March 26 is not right and more than that dangerous.
You don’t know Russia and have a fantasized vision about it. I spent approximately ten years there which certainly does not give me an additional right to the possession of truth.
Boris Yeltsin handed over his country to oligarchs and fired the cannon in October 1993 on the opposition in Parliament; nevertheless he was the darling child of the West, including of President Chirac who claimed to have translated all the woks of Pushkin. It was also this President who, in a vision that was singularly lacking in coherence, wanted France – but without success – to join back the NATO integrated military organization.
You keep the legend of humiliation alive. But Putin has never been a modernist like Peter the Great and I cannot believe that you seem to admire that he was like Stalin a “protector of the Russians and a unifying force of the Russian lands” while he sponsored the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. At most he has restored the State in its component as “structures of force”.
There has never been a Treaty of Versailles imposing on Russia sufferings but on the contrary the country took benefit from the aid of the IMF and the EBRD. It is now that Russia should “pay” reparations for the destruction it is committing.
You should read again the Munich speech by Putin in 2007, which is not what you are exposing and which excluded the use of force in the line of Evgeny Primakov’s doctrine. Times have changed.
I have high respect for your diplomatic efforts in 2006, mandated by President Chirac, to build European security. But you are missing a key point: the nature of a regime inherited from Boris Yeltsin based on the inbreeding of the state and the predatory oligarchy. If there is a problem with democracy in Russia, there is even more a problem with republic.
In contrast with what you are saying, the issue of extending NATO towards Russia is no longer an issue, because the process has been de facto frozen since 2008 and because the Ukrainian President has just ruled it out.
You are reckless in asserting that Putin’s Russia is not Nazi Germany. The difference of nature is certainly the Shoah, but you close your eyes a little bit too quickly, when we are witnessing Mariupol siege and countless war crimes resulting from unprovoked aggression.
The ball is now in Moscow’s court. Your overall description, I regret to say this, is historically false and complacent. Putin, followed by Lavrov – whose intellectual and moral shipwreck is pathetic – and a Russian “elite” considered as being educated and bright, is still talking about about “the genocidals of Ukraine” and “denazification“, in a way painting a tragic self-portrait.
It is rather a destalinization that should be operated. This can only be done by the Russians themselves. Until that happens, Russia will remain a backward and threatening country.