Yesterday, I watched with interest a talkshow called “The Right to Know” which featured an hour long interview with Sergei Lavrov (those who understand Russian can watch it here). It was an interesting exchange between Lavrov and five Russian reporters. It was not important enough to warrant translating it all into English, but I want to share with you something which I had noticed in the past but which was powerfully expressed during this conversation.
Predictably, the topics included the civil war in the Ukraine, the status of the investigation about the shooting down of MH17, sanctions against Russia, the expansion of NATO, the negotiations in Minsk and Russia’s engagement with the BRICS countries.
All all these topics, the Q&A had a similar format. One of the reporters asked Lavrov to comment on what appeared to be a dead-end situation and Lavrov confirmed saying “we tried our best, but to our great regret, that had no effect”. What was so interesting is that while the reporters were expressing bafflement that things had gone so far, Lavrov’s reaction was “yes, you are right, this is truly hopeless”. The overall effect was one of a PTA meeting discussing some hopelessly stupid and incapable student. Except the “student” in this case was the entire West.
For example, about MH17 the reporters voiced their amazement at the sterility and vagueness of the recently released report. They noticed that while the entire western media went into a full hysteria mode with headlines like “PUTIN THE TERRORIST!!!!” or “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!” they all apparently totally forgot that the investigation was still ongoing. Lavrov’s reaction was “yes, I agree, well, we tried at the UN Security Council, we submitted our questions, we wanted a full ceasefire with a thorough investigation of the debris, we offered our own information, we spoke to the Malaysians, we wanted to speak to the experts, but they spent three weeks in Kiev talking to the Junta officials,, we still have questions but we are the only ones who apparently are still interested in getting a full transparent and accountable investigation going” (this is no a quote, but a faithful paraphrase, I think). The sense one got from listening to this was “frankly, they are hopeless, what else can we do?”
Touching upon the sanctions, the reporters said that many countries were surprised at the speed at which Russia turned away from the West and began building relations with Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Indian Subcontinent and, again, Lavrov replied “yes, we were even surprised by the pace of events ourselves, but we had no choice”.
This is not the only show which sends the same message. The sense that I am getting is that Russia has given up on the West. Sure, she will continue talking, and she will try, against all evidence, to elicit some adult responsible behavior from western politicians, but nobody in Russia is holding his/her breath.
On another show (Sunday Evening with Vladimir Soloviev) the participants remarked that Germany had taken the lead in putting pressure on Finland, the Slovak Republic and the other nations who did not want to adopt more sanctions. Again, the message was “forget about the Germans, they are hopeless”.
I believe that there is a sincere and widespread sense of disgust and hopelessness in Russia towards the EU countries. As for the USA, they are mostly seen as a hate-filled messianic lunatic who will do anything and everything to harm Russia in any way it can, no matter how crazy, absurd, useless and hypocritical.
All this builds up to a consensus that while war with the USA and NATO must be avoided, of course, there is nothing much else to be gained from making much efforts. Many politicians now say “our foreign policy has been way to fixated on the West and that needs to be stopped – our future is elsewhere”.
The recent adoptions of sanctions against Russia are a perfect example of that. While I few hardcore pro-US liberal figures complain, I kid you not, that the French ‘belon‘ oysters will not be available in Moscow, most people see that these sanctions are a blessing in disguise as they force Russia to sever links with the West, something they believe should have been done long ago. In the short term, the western sanctions will “bite”, especially on some high-tech items, but by and large most people understand that being dependent on the West for such items was the real mistake in the first place.
Again, the prevailing sense is one of disgust, bewilderment, and fatigue. Though somebody as diplomatic as Lavrov will never say the, the general reaction is clearly “you guys are both hopeless and in decline; we don’t need, you, goodbye”. This is said without anger, mostly with sadness, really.
I don’t think that Russian diplomats will make a big anti-western statement at the UN or anywhere else. The opposite of love is not hatred, but indifference. And Russian officials will continue to speak of “our partners” or even “our friends”, but while this nice sounding rhetoric will continue, relations with the West will gradually cease to be a priority for the Russian diplomacy, business community and even general public. In fact, Russia is already building a multi-polar world and if the West wants no part of it – tough. The Russians know that the West cannot prevent the emergence of this new world, and they don’t really care if they refuse accept this reality or play by the new rules.
One more thing: the Russians are most definitely upset about the very aggressive NATO stance because they – correctly – interpret it as a sign of hostility. But, contrary to what a lot of bloggers say, the Russians have no fear of the military threat posed by NATO. Their reaction to the latest NATO moves (new bases and personnel in Central Europe, more spending, etc.) is to denounce it as provocative, but Russian officials all insist that Russia can handle the military threat. As one Russian deputy said “5 rapid reaction diversionary groups is a problem we can solve with one missile”. A simplistic but basically correct formula. Putin said the very same thing when he clearly spelled out that in case of a massive conventional attack by “anybody” Russia would engage tactical nukes. In fact, if NATO goes ahead with its stupid plan to deploy forces in Poland and/or the Baltics I expect Russia with withdraw from the IRNF Treaty and deploy advanced successors to the famous RSD-10 (SS-20). As I mentioned before, the decision to double the size of the Russian Airborne Forces and to upgrade the elite 45th Special Designation Airborne Regiment to full brigade-size has already been taken anyway. You could say that Russia preempted the creation of the 10’000 strong NATO force by bringing her own mobile (airborne) forces from 36’000 to 72’000. Having thus taken care of the threat, the Kremlin will simply turn to more important business elsewhere.
Among the many misconceptions we absorb during our training (I cannot call it “education) we, in the West, have a tendency to view our part of the world as the center of the planet, some even would say the indispensable and only truly important one. This can be seen in our systematically Europe or US centered maps of the world, to our quasi dogmatic beliefs that nobody matters as much as we do. This is wrong. In fact, while the AngloZionist Empire is on slow but steady and ineluctable decline, the rest of the world pays it the needed lip service and basically moves on. If the training facilities we call “schools” had any educated educators we would start hanging China-centered maps of the world in our training rooms, and we would tell out young trainees that nobody takes the so-called “western values” seriously anymore. Not because they are not good, but because clearly we, in the West, don’t take them seriously in the first place.
Obama announced a “pivot” towards Asia but, in a typical AngloZionist manner, all this pivot really meant was more military forces and more pressure to obey the Empire’s demands. Unlike the US, Russia did not announce any “pivot”, but Putin already met with Xi Jinping four times this year and both sides have declared that their strategic partnership was the strongest it had ever been in the history of their relationship.
Russia is really turning her gaze to China, Latin America, Africa and elsewhere. Her diplomats will continue to talk, smile, speak of “partners” and “friends”, but I believe that we are witnessing a historical event: for the first time since the 13th century, Russia is turning away from the West again and betting her future with Asia (and the rest of the planet).