by Sergei Lavrov
International relations have entered a very difficult period, and Russia once again finds itself at the crossroads of key trends that determine the vector of future global development.
Many different opinions have been expressed in this connection including the fear that we have a distorted view of the international situation and Russia’s international standing. I perceive this as an echo of the eternal dispute between pro-Western liberals and the advocates of Russia’s unique path. There are also those, both in Russia and outside of it, who believe that Russia is doomed to drag behind, trying to catch up with the West and forced to bend to other players’ rules, and hence will be unable to claim its rightful place in international affairs. I’d like to use this opportunity to express some of my views and to back them with examples from history and historical parallels.
It is an established fact that a substantiated policy is impossible without reliance on history. This reference to history is absolutely justified, especially considering recent celebrations. In 2015, we celebrated the 70th anniversary of Victory in WWII, and in 2014, we marked a century since the start of WWI. In 2012, we marked 200 years of the Battle of Borodino and 400 years of Moscow’s liberation from the Polish invaders. If we look at these events carefully, we’ll see that they clearly point to Russia’s special role in European and global history.
History doesn’t confirm the widespread belief that Russia has always camped in Europe’s backyard and has been Europe’s political outsider. I’d like to remind you that the adoption of Christianity in Russia in 988 – we marked 1025 years of that event quite recently – boosted the development of state institutions, social relations and culture and eventually made Kievan Rus a full member of the European community. At that time, dynastic marriages were the best gauge of a country’s role in the system of international relations. In the 11th century, three daughters of Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise became the queens of Norway and Denmark, Hungary and France. Yaroslav’s sister married the Polish king and granddaughter the German emperor.
Numerous scientific investigations bear witness to the high cultural and spiritual level of Rus of those days, a level that was frequently higher than in western European states. Many prominent Western thinkers recognized that Rus was part of the European context. At the same time, Russian people possessed a cultural matrix of their own and an original type of spirituality and never merged with the West. It is instructive to recall in this connection what was for my people a tragic and in many respects critical epoch of the Mongolian invasion. The great Russian poet and writer Alexander Pushkin wrote: “The barbarians did not dare to leave an enslaved Rus in their rear and returned to their Eastern steppes. Christian enlightenment was saved by a ravaged and dying Russia.” We also know an alternative view offered by prominent historian and ethnologist Lev Gumilyov, who believed that the Mongolian invasion had prompted the emergence of a new Russian ethnos and that the Great Steppe had given us an additional impetus for development.
However that may be, it is clear that the said period was extremely important for the assertion of the Russian State’s independent role in Eurasia. Let us recall in this connection the policy pursued by Grand Prince Alexander Nevsky, who opted to temporarily submit to Golden Horde rulers, who were tolerant of Christianity, in order to uphold the Russians’ right to have a faith of their own and to decide their fate, despite the European West’s attempts to put Russian lands under full control and to deprive Russians of their identity. I am confident that this wise and forward-looking policy is in our genes.
Rus bent under but was not broken by the heavy Mongolian yoke, and managed to emerge from this dire trial as a single state, which was later regarded by both the West and the East as the successor to the Byzantine Empire that ceased to exist in 1453. An imposing country stretching along what was practically the entire eastern perimeter of Europe, Russia began a natural expansion towards the Urals and Siberia, absorbing their huge territories. Already then it was a powerful balancing factor in European political combinations, including the well-known Thirty Years’ War that gave birth to the Westphalian system of international relations, whose principles, primarily respect for state sovereignty, are of importance even today.
At this point we are approaching a dilemma that has been evident for several centuries. While the rapidly developing Moscow state naturally played an increasing role in European affairs, the European countries had apprehensions about the nascent giant in the East and tried to isolate it whenever possible and prevent it from taking part in Europe’s most important affairs.
The seeming contradiction between the traditional social order and a striving for modernisation based on the most advanced experience also dates back centuries. In reality, a rapidly developing state is bound to try and make a leap forward, relying on modern technology, which does not necessarily imply the renunciation of its “cultural code.” There are many examples of Eastern societies modernising without the radical breakdown of their traditions. This is all the more typical of Russia that is essentially a branch of European civilisation.
Incidentally, the need for modernisation based on European achievements was clearly manifest in Russian society under Tsar Alexis, while talented and ambitious Peter the Great gave it a strong boost. Relying on tough domestic measures and resolute, and successful, foreign policy, Peter the Great managed to put Russia into the category of Europe’s leading countries in a little over two decades. Since that time Russia’s position could no longer be ignored. Not a single European issue can be resolved without Russia’s opinion.
It wouldn’t be accurate to assume that everyone was happy about this state of affairs. Repeated attempts to return this country into the pre-Peter times were made over subsequent centuries but failed. In the middle 18th century Russia played a key role in a pan-European conflict – the Seven Years’ War. At that time, Russian troops made a triumphal entry into Berlin, the capital of Prussia under Frederick II who had a reputation for invincibility. Prussia was saved from an inevitable rout only because Empress Elizabeth died a sudden death and was succeeded by Peter III who sympathised with Frederick II. This turn in German history is still referred to as the Miracle of the House of Brandenburg. Russia’s size, power and influence grew substantially under Catherine the Great when, as then Chancellor Alexander Bezborodko put it, “Not a single cannon in Europe could be fired without our consent.”
I’d like to quote the opinion of a reputable researcher of Russian history, Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, the permanent secretary of the French Academy. She said the Russian Empire was the greatest empire of all times in the totality of all parameters – its size, an ability to administer its territories and the longevity of its existence. Following Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdyayev, she insists that history has imbued Russia with the mission of being a link between the East and the West.
During at least the past two centuries any attempts to unite Europe without Russia and against it have inevitably led to grim tragedies, the consequences of which were always overcome with the decisive participation of our country. I’m referring, in part, to the Napoleonic wars upon the completion of which Russia rescued the system of international relations that was based on the balance of forces and mutual consideration for national interests and ruled out the total dominance of one state in Europe. We remember that Emperor Alexander I took an active role in the drafting of decisions of the 1815 Vienna Congress that ensured the development of Europe without serious armed clashes during the subsequent 40 years.
Incidentally, to a certain extent the ideas of Alexander I could be described as a prototype of the concept on subordinating national interests to common goals, primarily, the maintenance of peace and order in Europe. As the Russian emperor said, “there can be no more English, French, Russian or Austrian policy. There can be only one policy – a common policy that must be accepted by both peoples and sovereigns for common happiness.”
By the same token, the Vienna system was destroyed in the wake of the desire to marginalise Russia in European affairs. Paris was obsessed with this idea during the reign of Emperor Napoleon III. In his attempt to forge an anti-Russian alliance, the French monarch was willing, as a hapless chess grandmaster, to sacrifice all the other figures. How did it play out? Indeed, Russia was defeated in the Crimean War of 1853-1856, the consequences of which it managed to overcome soon due to a consistent and far-sighted policy pursued by Chancellor Alexander Gorchakov. As for Napoleon III, he ended his rule in German captivity, and the nightmare of the Franco-German confrontation loomed over Western Europe for decades.
Here is another Crimean War-related episode. As we know, the Austrian Emperor refused to help Russia, which, a few years earlier, in 1849, had come to his help during the Hungarian revolt. Then Austrian Foreign Minister Felix Schwarzenberg famously said: “Europe would be astonished by the extent of Austria’s ingratitude.” In general, the imbalance of pan-European mechanisms triggered a chain of events that led to the First World War.
Notably, back then Russian diplomacy also advanced ideas that were ahead of their time. The Hague Peace conferences of 1899 and 1907, convened at the initiative of Emperor Nicholas II, were the first attempts to agree on curbing the arms race and stopping preparations for a devastating war. But not many people know about it.
The First World War claimed lives and caused the suffering of countless millions of people and led to the collapse of four empires. In this connection, it is appropriate to recall yet another anniversary, which will be marked next year – the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Today we are faced with the need to develop a balanced and objective assessment of those events, especially in an environment where, particularly in the West, many are willing to use this date to mount even more information attacks on Russia, and to portray the 1917 Revolution as a barbaric coup that dragged down all of European history. Even worse, they want to equate the Soviet regime to Nazism, and partially blame it for starting WWII.
Without a doubt, the Revolution of 1917 and the ensuing Civil War were a terrible tragedy for our nation. However, all other revolutions were tragic as well. This does not prevent our French colleagues from extolling their upheaval, which, in addition to the slogans of liberty, equality and fraternity, also involved the use of the guillotine, and rivers of blood.
Undoubtedly, the Russian Revolution was a major event which impacted world history in many controversial ways. It has become regarded as a kind of experiment in implementing socialist ideas, which were then widely spread across Europe. The people supported them, because wide masses gravitated towards social organisation with reliance on the collective and community principles.
Serious researchers clearly see the impact of reforms in the Soviet Union on the formation of the so-called welfare state in Western Europe in the post-WWII period. European governments decided to introduce unprecedented measures of social protection under the influence of the example of the Soviet Union in an effort to cut the ground from under the feet of the left-wing political forces.
One can say that the 40 years following World War II were a surprisingly good time for Western Europe, which was spared the need to make its own major decisions under the umbrella of the US-Soviet confrontation and enjoyed unique opportunities for steady development.
In these circumstances, Western European countries have implemented several ideas regarding conversion of the capitalist and socialist models, which, as a preferred form of socioeconomic progress, were promoted by Pitirim Sorokin and other outstanding thinkers of the 20th century. Over the past 20 years, we have been witnessing the reverse process in Europe and the United States: the reduction of the middle class, increased social inequality, and the dismantling of controls over big business.
The role which the Soviet Union played in decolonisation, and promoting international relations principles, such as the independent development of nations and their right to self-determination, is undeniable.
I will not dwell on the points related to Europe slipping into WWII. Clearly, the anti-Russian aspirations of the European elites, and their desire to unleash Hitler’s war machine on the Soviet Union played their fatal part here. Redressing the situation after this terrible disaster involved the participation of our country as a key partner in determining the parameters of the European and the world order.
In this context, the notion of the “clash of two totalitarianisms,” which is now actively inculcated in European minds, including at schools, is groundless and immoral. The Soviet Union, for all its evils, never aimed to destroy entire nations. Winston Churchill, who all his life was a principled opponent of the Soviet Union and played a major role in going from the WWII alliance to a new confrontation with the Soviet Union, said that graciousness, i.e. life in accordance with conscience, is the Russian way of doing things.
If you take an unbiased look at the smaller European countries, which previously were part of the Warsaw Treaty, and are now members of the EU or NATO, it is clear that the issue was not about going from subjugation to freedom, which Western masterminds like to talk about, but rather a change of leadership. Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about it not long ago. The representatives of these countries concede behind closed doors that they can’t take any significant decision without the green light from Washington or Brussels.
It seems that in the context of the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, it is important for us to understand the continuity of Russian history, which should include all of its periods without exception, and the importance of the synthesis of all the positive traditions and historical experience as the basis for making dynamic advances and upholding the rightful role of our country as a leading centre of the modern world, and a provider of the values of sustainable development, security and stability.
The post-war world order relied on confrontation between two world systems and was far from ideal, yet it was sufficient to preserve international peace and to avoid the worst possible temptation – the use of weapons of mass destruction, primarily nuclear weapons. There is no substance behind the popular belief that the Soviet Union’s dissolution signified Western victory in the Cold War. It was the result of our people’s will for change plus an unlucky chain of events.
These developments resulted in a truly tectonic shift in the international landscape. In fact, they changed global politics altogether, considering that the end of the Cold War and related ideological confrontation offered a unique opportunity to change the European architecture on the principles of indivisible and equal security and broad cooperation without dividing lines.
We had a practical chance to mend Europe’s divide and implement the dream of a common European home, which many European thinkers and politicians, including President Charles de Gaulle of France, wholeheartedly embraced. Russia was fully open to this option and advanced many proposals and initiatives in this connection. Logically, we should have created a new foundation for European security by strengthening the military and political components of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Vladimir Putin said in a recent interview with the German newspaper Bild that German politician Egon Bahr proposed similar approaches.
Unfortunately, our Western partners chose differently. They opted to expand NATO eastward and to advance the geopolitical space they controlled closer to the Russian border. This is the essence of the systemic problems that have soured Russia’s relations with the United States and the European Union. It is notable that George Kennan, the architect of the US policy of containment of the Soviet Union, said in his winter years that the ratification of NATO expansion was “a tragic mistake.”
The underlying problem of this Western policy is that it disregarded the global context. The current globalised world is based on an unprecedented interconnection between countries, and so it’s impossible to develop relations between Russia and the EU as if they remained at the core of global politics as during the Cold War. We must take note of the powerful processes that are underway in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
Rapid changes in all areas of international life is the primary sign of the current stage. Indicatively, they often take an unexpected turn. Thus, the concept of “the end of history” developed by well-known US sociologist and political researcher Francis Fukuyama, that was popular in the 1990s, has become clearly inconsistent today. According to this concept, rapid globalisation signals the ultimate victory of the liberal capitalist model, whereas all other models should adapt to it under the guidance of the wise Western teachers.
In reality, the second wave of globalisation (the first occurred before World War I) led to the dispersal of global economic might and, hence, of political influence, and to the emergence of new and large centres of power, primarily in the Asia-Pacific Region. China’s rapid upsurge is the clearest example. Owing to unprecedented economic growth rates, in just three decades it became the second and, calculated as per purchasing power parity, the first economy in the world. This example illustrates an axiomatic fact – there are many development models– which rules out the monotony of existence within the uniform, Western frame of reference.
Consequently, there has been a relative reduction in the influence of the so-called “historical West” that was used to seeing itself as the master of the human race’s destinies for almost five centuries. The competition on the shaping of the world order in the 21st century has toughened. The transition from the Cold War to a new international system proved to be much longer and more painful than it seemed 20-25 years ago.
Against this backdrop, one of the basic issues in international affairs is the form that is being acquired by this generally natural competition between the world’s leading powers. We see how the United States and the US-led Western alliance are trying to preserve their dominant positions by any available method or, to use the American lexicon, ensure their “global leadership”. Many diverse ways of exerting pressure, economic sanctions and even direct armed intervention are being used. Large-scale information wars are being waged. Technology of unconstitutional change of governments by launching “colour” revolutions has been tried and tested. Importantly, democratic revolutions appear to be destructive for the nations targeted by such actions. Our country that went through a historical period of encouraging artificial transformations abroad, firmly proceeds from the preference of evolutionary changes that should be carried out in the forms and at a speed that conform to the traditions of a society and its level of development.
Western propaganda habitually accuses Russia of “revisionism,” and the alleged desire to destroy the established international system, as if it was us who bombed Yugoslavia in 1999 in violation of the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act, as if it was Russia that ignored international law by invading Iraq in 2003 and distorted UN Security Council resolutions by overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi’s regime by force in Libya in 2011. There are many examples.
This discourse about “revisionism” does not hold water. It is based on the simple and even primitive logic that only Washington can set the tune in world affairs. In line with this logic, the principle once formulated by George Orwell and moved to the international level, sounds like the following: all states are equal but some states are more equal than others. However, today international relations are too sophisticated a mechanism to be controlled from one centre. This is obvious given the results of US interference: There is virtually no state in Libya; Iraq is balancing on the brink of disintegration, and so on and so forth.
A reliable solution to the problems of the modern world can only be achieved through serious and honest cooperation between the leading states and their associations in order to address common challenges. Such an interaction should include all the colours of the modern world, and be based on its cultural and civilisational diversity, as well as reflect the interests of the international community’s key components.
We know from experience that when these principles are applied in practice, it is possible to achieve specific and tangible results, such as the agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme, the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons, the agreement on stopping hostilities in Syria, and the development of the basic parameters of the global climate agreement. This shows the need to restore the culture of compromise, the reliance on the diplomatic work, which can be difficult, even exhausting, but which remains, in essence, the only way to ensure a mutually acceptable solution to problems by peaceful means.
Our approaches are shared by most countries of the world, including our Chinese partners, other BRICS and SCO nations, and our friends in the EAEU, the CSTO, and the CIS. In other words, we can say that Russia is fighting not against someone, but for the resolution of all the issues on an equal and mutually respectful basis, which alone can serve as a reliable foundation for a long-term improvement of international relations.
Our most important task is to join our efforts against not some far-fetched, but very real challenges, among which the terrorist aggression is the most pressing one. The extremists from ISIS, Jabhat an-Nusra and the like managed for the first time to establish control over large territories in Syria and Iraq. They are trying to extend their influence to other countries and regions, and are committing acts of terrorism around the world. Underestimating this risk is nothing short of criminal shortsightedness.
The Russian President called for forming a broad-based front in order to defeat the terrorists militarily. The Russian Aerospace Forces make an important contribution to this effort. At the same time, we are working hard to establish collective actions regarding the political settlement of the conflicts in this crisis-ridden region.
Importantly, the long-term success can only be achieved on the basis of movement to the partnership of civilisations based on respectful interaction of diverse cultures and religions. We believe that human solidarity must have a moral basis formed by traditional values that are largely shared by the world’s leading religions. In this connection, I would like to draw your attention to the joint statement by Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis, in which, among other things, they have expressed support for the family as a natural centre of life of individuals and society.
I repeat, we are not seeking confrontation with the United States, or the European Union, or NATO. On the contrary, Russia is open to the widest possible cooperation with its Western partners. We continue to believe that the best way to ensure the interests of the peoples living in Europe is to form a common economic and humanitarian space from the Atlantic to the Pacific, so that the newly formed Eurasian Economic Union could be an integrating link between Europe and Asia Pacific. We strive to do our best to overcome obstacles on that way, including the settlement of the Ukraine crisis caused by the coup in Kiev in February 2014, on the basis of the Minsk Agreements.
I’d like to quote wise and politically experienced Henry Kissinger, who, speaking recently in Moscow, said that “Russia should be perceived as an essential element of any new global equilibrium, not primarily as a threat to the United States… I am here to argue for the possibility of a dialogue that seeks to merge our futures rather than elaborate our conflicts. This requires respect by both sides of the vital values and interest of the other.” We share such an approach. And we will continue to defend the principles of law and justice in international affairs.
Speaking about Russia’s role in the world as a great power, Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin said that the greatness of a country is not determined by the size of its territory or the number of its inhabitants, but by the capacity of its people and its government to take on the burden of great world problems and to deal with these problems in a creative manner. A great power is the one which, asserting its existence and its interest … introduces a creative and meaningful legal idea to the entire assembly of the nations, the entire “concert” of the peoples and states. It is difficult to disagree with these words.
An elitist perspective. Lavrov is most concerned with the opinions and perspectives of Western elites. First and foremost he wants Russia to be considered ranking members of the globalist club — just like traitor Gorbachev.
Too much is conceded, especially in terms of acceptance of the Western historical perspective.
Beg to differ. Lavrov is presenting a long view. I have to differ with him on some points of recent history but I have to remember that his is not to position to create disputes.
I speculate that he washes his hands with disinfectant after shaking hands with Kerry.
Lavrov is a diplomat -and an extremely good one. You and I are not.
Speaking the blunt truth would not be helpful to Russia, either internally or externally.
Lavvrov knows exactly what he is doing, who to put in their place and who to placate and when. Timing is everything.
I could never do his job, nor would I want to.
Lavrov… traitor….i better whip out my tinfoil hat for this one.
Armchair generals, goodtime girls that only want to back a winner…. What a world.
Beg to differ too.
No threats, no ultimatums, just a simple statement of facts which anyone can check for themselves and ultimately arrive at the conclusion – they are true. Yes, Russia is powerful and growing stronger every day, and yet – we do not seek superiority but a rightful place in the assembly of nations, where everyone’s interests will be and must be taken into account, for the benefit, security and prosperity of ALL.
It’s like re-establishing the UN all over again, only sincerely this time.
Really everyone like every, every country or “everyone” meaning West plus Russia?
I speak Russian and read Russian media and forums. I find that Russians predominantly display either contempt or humiliating “older brother” attitude to most countries and nations that do not belong to the AZ.
Russians want to be white really badly, even though their r1a1 DNA is from north west India.
They are white, no doubt about that. I did not mean their color or genetics. I mean their attitude which serves them badly.
“their r1a1 DNA is from north west India”
You have that “backwards”. It was the Indo-European settlers from thousands of years ago who settled in India who brought that DNA to North West India.
Not only are you wrong, you are promoting a highly racist meme. A single haploid group means little. And The slav race has haploid groups of it’s own, the B group especially, not common to any other.
Which means nothing. To make a claim of any kind based on a gene group is Nazi-ism. It leads to genocide. People can be judged solely on their behaviour – which is what I judge and condemn the current Ruling Hegemon Junta inside the Beltway by.
Comments are a perfect expression of the Sakerite headspace, for better and worse.
Our inability to think in terms of class and local geographic interests will be our downfall. Marxists and liberals are of the same species.
Whatever dystopian nightmare globalizing elites conceive of, you can be assured ‘reasonable’ people like Lavrov will join the project making reasonable suggestions about reasonable limits which satisfy their own reasonable interests and sensibilities.
This means genocidal homocidal maniacs like Kissinger will continue to roam the earth before, during and after they’re murdered millions and continue to be greeted and treated as honoured gentlemen while you get your appropriate reward everytime you cross a border.
>Whatever dystopian nightmare globalizing elites conceive of, you can be assured ‘reasonable’ people like Lavrov will join the project making reasonable suggestions about reasonable limits which satisfy their own reasonable interests and sensibilities.<
C I eh?, perhaps you do not mean to do so but most of your comments come across in a very totalitarian way. Any who do not commit to your exact thinking are traitors, enemys, moles ect.
in the last few days I have been running through the jihadist twitter accounts, jumping from link to link. Not a lot of difference between the extremism I see there and the way your comments come across.
Peter, I feel a sense of urgency.
I want my fellow man to stand up for himself and though I admire Putin, Lavrov, etc., they do not always represent me.
I believe people should always offer resistance. When you offer resistance you can’t be ignored. That is why I am strident, which is a very long way from your oft used pejoratives tin foil hat and extremism.
The Saker Blog is very fine. Thanks! So Russian Foreign Minister writes too, as he speaks. Yes, education of the now almost totally untutored America, stifled for generations with no second language being taught in US public schools, then in the 1970s the oligarchs began taking over the education of America,The experienced, carefully taught, principals of public schools were removed to be replaced by big contributors to wining elections, too often men and then some women who had no interest of learning either about teaching or children! A tragic and dooming change reverberating to day. To the point that for instance, Larry Summers and Mr. Bolton both have awesome power in Washington today. Summers was forced out of Harvard for openly deriding the abilities of women Harvard students at a large student gathering. Mr. Bolton is possessed of the same kind of obsessive thinking and that shreds questioning intellectual integrity similarly.They represent the silencing of dissent that the US is championing world wide with it’s 100% surveillance silencing, even assassinating of journalists, not unlike Turkey. A too long preamble to state the US has no Secretary of State to equal Sergey Lavrov. Excuse the length. Thank God the globe has him. President Putin, Russia, without him would be less.
I think Summers’ biggest sin was losing a chunk of Harvard’s endowment that was tied up in some kind of CDOs, at his own insistence. At least he put Harvard’s money according to what he spouted…
I was horrified at the appointment of Summers as president of Harvard. I stated my view in alumni publications.
Summers at Harvard was part of the era that included the looting of the former USSR by Harvard-based “advisors.” Summers is a terrible neoliberal and Zionist. When Obama, in I believe his first appointment just weeks after his election, named Summers as economic advisor a after his election, my heart sank like a rock. I knew the fix was in with Obama.
A Google search for “Summers Schleifer Harvard Russia” generates a articles on this subject. Here is an overview:
Note the comment from Alan Dershowitz, an avowed Zionist. Summers is in that camp. At the behest of a woman friend (I believe Jewish) in the ENglish Department, and presumably with the connivance of Summers, a poetry reading by a Palestinian poet planned by the English Department was nixxed, the poet “disinvited.’ That’s Zionist manners and “free speech” fer ya!
Here are some more links regarding Summers/Schleifer/Harvard/Russia:
The Counterpunch article is a good case study of how opinion leaders succeed in covering up uncomfortable facts and thus in distorting the historical record. The author of the book discussed is Martin Gilman, “He was named a senior member of the International Monetary Fund’s Russia team in 1993, just after the Clinton administration took office. He moved to Moscow in November 1996 and remained until 2002. Along the way he married a prominent Russian political columnist, Tatiana Malkina, gaining thereby unusual access to the Russian government at its highest levels, and, . . ”
If Rusdian had any honour they would have caught that summers and killed him thenandthere for his crime in looting Russia in 90s.
Remember summers approved American printing of money in 2008 exactly opposite to what he reccommended for Russia in 1993
My first comment on Lavrov’s piece of history,writing of the US school system was meant to highlight that politicised public school system that now graduates people who can neither read nor write at about 25 to 30%. Each ten years the quality of schooling continues to go down as deliberate politically changed ways of teaching are introduced as teacher’s pay goes down. In the 1970’s. So, it is not surprising no one as passionately committed and skilled as Minister Lavrov appears in America any more. This rise of Russia and China with all Asia, the Bricks, the Silk Road countries must remove this hegemony without war. Without war removal of it is possible, but facts must out, often those never even written. Secrets needing to be told.
Lavrov: …re: the translation of “monotony of existence within the uniform, Western frame of reference” or is it “the monopoly of existence within the uniform Western frame of reference?” Actually, both work but one is more whimsical than the other. Since this is not really a rhetorical piece but rather a very well reasoned, almost scholarly discussion, I’d think that latter is the more correct translation; however, if I see one more Super Hero X Force sequel type movie coming out as cultural food for the Western young, I’d chose the former as the better one by far.
I think “monotony” fits better in the text.
“Monopoly” implies a conscious control from some elite; while “monotony” is even more frightening, there is no need of coercion, as the control is already on our minds (and that is, sadly, our current western world).
It is “monotony” – tedious repetition and routine.
I have said in past months on another forum that I like Putin, but I love Lavrov. At the time I didn’t fully know the depth of his understanding of world affairs, and I am only halfway through reading this awesome essay – the second half will have to wait until tomorrow.
Suffice it to say, I begin to perceive why I love Lavrov.
His mention of Kissinger, which comes near the end of the essay, is a thought I have seen mentioned by others as a possibility for the forward movement with regards to the Syrian cease fire – it seems very likely. Kissinger is a hard lump to swallow; I cannot say that I love Kissinger – far from it. But I do respect him. And that is how we must deal with those wiser than many of the leaders of today. Respect their wisdom, hardwon. Accord them that at least.
Thank you, Saker, for these important translations, and thanks to the translators: hardworking saints you are!
Regarding Kissinger, he’s a War Criminal to the nth degree, responsible for millions of deaths in Indochina, Indonesia, Chile, Argentina, Central America, South Africa, and numerous other countries, and only deserving of the contempt reserved for the worst of the Nazi War Criminals, who he emulated so well. That he and others of his ilk continue to walk free is an indictment of the cowardice of the global community and utter impotence of the United Nations. Indeed, his freedom empowers those wanting to copy his actions–Obama, Clinton, and too many others.
Agree. Furthermore, Kissinger’s words can not be trusted any more than Kerry’s. What he said in Moscow, publicly and as a seasoned diplomat, are precisely Putin’s own words of how Russia ought to be regarded in the world, hence it should be regarded as diplomatic nicety.
In the mean time, RF earned its world’s role, a hard way, and does not need a Rockefeller servant to confirm it.
Totally agree, Kissinger has his hands so bloodstained that there is no soap in the world for cleaning them. This kind of “people” never have my respect and I hope he can never rest in peace. While I understand the shenanigans of diplomacy and sometimes you have to shake hands with the devil himself to avoid or greater evil for humanity, see him treading the corridors of the Kremlin as a guest of honor and as a “friend” turns my guts so that I have to spend all day fasting. Comrade Vladimir Vladimirovich must have a bombproof stomach, but lately I even can see him thinner …..
Comrade Vladimir Vladimirovich must have a bombproof stomach –
his stomach is the same as any other capitalist’s.
Surely Lavrov’s reasons for quoting Kissinger—for using Kissinger’s words as backup to his own position— are tactical.
Very true. It always amazes me,the degree of accepted horror in the “Modern World”.In the “old” (better?) days. People like Kissinger,Blair,Bush,Cheney,etc,etc, (the names are almost endless). Routinely, were felled by an assassins blade. Even in France two Kings fell victim to them,in a row.And almost every country had something similar. But today,the only fate hideous fiends like that (in the West) fear to suffer is,a “bad press”,and comments on internet blogs.As they count their millions. And read paeans to their “fame”.
Where to begin, Julie.. We compare a scholarly, intellectual, multilingual statesman to the philistine buffoons presented by the soulless criminal cabal, against which the amazing man must parley. So many are full of hope for the whole of civilization thanks to H.E. Vladimir and his amazing Lavrov. But no respect is due to perhaps the most cynical war criminal of all time, Kissinger. The depth of his depravity is unfathomable.
Thanks for comments.
Certainly the depths of depravity are realms which elements of mankind in general unfortunately continue to exploit as the illusion of power beckons. This is a separate issue from that of the shiplike passage of states through history, if I may use a poorly coined analogy. It seems to me the decisions made in that ocean, which are far from my cognizance as a poor individual soul, have to be made outside the parameters of individual conscience or condemnation, though such clearly influence a well charted course.
I said, I cannot love Kissinger, which is a very hard statement for a follower of Christ to make. I can, however, leave him to the inevitable confrontation with his Maker. That’s the best I can do. And there is always the possibility for any man to make a worthwhile contribution to the general welfare, be he the devil’s own minion, or even the devil himself, as Goethe pointed out. That is also a Christian concept.
Does the cristian perspective suggest we should love satan? And forgive the prince of Evil? And let him carry on his merry way? i dont know, im not a christian though I freely use their terminology.
I doubt it somehow…. In which case Heinze Kissenger is worthy of the hangmans noose if ever there was. I will pull the switch personally if required but im sure there are countless other who deserve the privilege and honour far more than I .
Let justice be done, and let it be seen to be done. Otherwise IMO the whole world is doomed.
Is that an extreme viewpoint you think?
Anyone know where this is and who Russia is going to invade next?
major-general Konashenkov covers journalists without body armor
Large number of technicals at Suqur-al-Sahara / Navy Seals base in Latakia
Hmmmmm…. Russian body armour, but with the Russian Naval Infantry Patch.
The outer-most area of the Russian airbase is guarded by the S-400 Triumph and C-200VE Vega anti-aircraft missile systems. The middle part is protected by the Moskva and Varyag S-300 Fort missile cruisers.
The short-range Osa-AKM and the C-125 Pechora-2M anti-aircraft systems have also been deployed for the protection of the base. Finally, the Pantsir-S1 combined short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon missile complex covers the main object at the airbase: the airfield itself and S-400.
A Fortress to be Reckoned With: How Russia’s Airbase in Syria is Protected: The air defense of the Hmeymim air… http://bit.ly/1QATm0k
Valentina Tereshkova and Iosif Kobzon in Khmeimim/Hmeymim airbase, Syria
Clear shot of 2 #RuAF Mi-8AMTSh with Vitebsk IR countermeasure system in Hmeymim AB. https://twitter.com/green_lemonnn/status/703682360324313088
Rebel with a MANPADS in Latakia 27/04/15
MiG-31s (a/base Kansk) drilled intercepting cruise missiles over Ural & Siberia using AAMs (range~40 km) v interfax
WHY would India need an aircraft carrier let alone 4 of them?
Russia to offer Project 23000E for India’s fourth aircraft carrier http://dlvr.it/KfvlRF
Turkey arrested 3 #ShamFront commanders in connection to the Opposition losing control over areas in N #Aleppo to #SAA & allies
SDF captures Maliha Oil Field inside Deir Ezzor governorate. SDF advance in #DeirEzzor province and have reached Abo Khashab, #IS leader of Deir & #Hasakah “Ahmad Ibrahim Al-Khalifa” has been killed
After repeatedly promising to spend £3.2bn on new French weapons for the well-trained but hopelessly under-armed Lebanese army, Saudi Arabia has suddenly declined to fund the project – which was eagerly supported by the US and, for greedier reasons, by Paris.
The nightclubs and high-class sex workers of Lebanon will not fall victim to the aggressive politics of the Kingdom’s young and newly powerful princes. And then there is the unfortunate case of “Prince Captagon”, the Saudi royal family member still in a Lebanese prison for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs on to his private jet at Beirut airport last year.
The Saudis will probably regret this assault. Pulling Lebanon’s financial magic carpet away opens the country up to other “friends”, not least Iran which, according to the latest Beirut reports, would be happy to fund the Lebanese army to the tune of £7bn – providing, of course, the newly purchased weapons come from Tehran, and not from Paris.
Strange, isn’t it, that the name “Israel” hasn’t once popped up in this saga?
Iran offers the Lebanese Army £7 billion https://t.co/UanAgiy3en
I liked a lot this speech, thanks to Comrade Sergey Viktorovich, for this history lesson and this measured way of saying things as they are, tailored to the truth without frills nor exaggerations.
I am also glad that this comrade, who is a permanent member of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, reaffirms the social and political achievements of the former USSR doing justice to a time of the History of Russia and the world which, although had its shadows, also had many lights and to which we owe, as Comrade Sergey Viktorovich points out, all social achievements we have enjoyed till now ( and we lose galloping way since the Anglozionist Empire feels unchallenged ) in Europe and which rancid monarchies and oligarchies granted reluctantly to the momentum and the growing popularity of socialist ideas which like a hurricane were blowing from the East. Therefore, on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, I do not expect anything else from the Kremlin officialdom but righteousness, neither more nor less.
As for those who complain that Comrade Sergey Viktorovich is still pointing and appealing to the undisputed membership of Russia to the European space, this is not ask or beg for anything, but claim an historical place that Russia has always had and will have as part of Europe and most of the time, as well as a lighthouse of Europe.
Since the current European leaders behave like spoiled children and cowards, joining the class bully, today, more than ever, the European area is in need of a bit of “batyushka” that back it on track. It will this way or will not be and Europe will disintegrate as a house of cards, this time perhaps forever.
Nor say that Russia does not seek confrontation with anyone but cooperation between “equal and different”, respecting cultural peculiarities and national interests of each to achieve an area of peace, prosperity and sustainable development in the world, means in any way claudication but a statement of principles and intentions to make, once again, clear that these are the only goals who have the Russian Federation. As easy and simple as that.
I once had a boyfriend who made me many tricks and I spent the time crying over the corners. A good friend told me then that love never has to be so difficult or something so painful, but somewhat easier, based on respect and trust.
In the end, in life, all is a matter of love.
One of the best of this generation. We have here in the West the likes of Kerry and Clinton. The former dodges taxes and the latter dodges phony bullets.
I don’t agree with Lavrov about everything. But it’s refreshing to see a top diplomat who is clearly not just intelligent but an intellectual, with some depth of knowledge, who is committed to the idea of solving the world’s problems through diplomacy. When was the last time we saw an American “diplomat” like that?
Mr. Lavrov, like President Putin, are two of the most intelligent, sane voices in the world today. Their patience with Washington is award worthy! How they keep their calm is beyond my personal capabilities, it’s truly remarkable. Having said that, my only hope is that they don’t turn their backs on the neocons for a second, or underestimate the lengths these psychopaths will go to to accomplish their hegemonic dreams. I’m certain that they’re aware of this.
Saker, keep your truth coming. We need you!
In the 11th century, three daughters of Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise became the queens of Norway and Denmark, Hungary and France. Yaroslav’s sister married the Polish king and granddaughter the German emperor.
So Charlemagne placed you in silver mines, changed your names to slavs & after being forced into christianity you also gave your women to them?
That’s not a sign of power, if that many women of european monarchies were in the russian court it would be powerful.
Anglos don’t even consider you or latins really white.
Anglo Germanic may have enslaved 400k out of 65 million black africans however 600k out of 1.4mil Irish celts were.
They display a genocidal hatred towards you, and you display ‘love’
Actually, many more women from western European royal courts became wifes of Russian kings.
The name of slovianic people is not slavs, it is sloviani (Russians and people of Belarus pronounce every “o” which is not accentuated as “a”, but all other slovianic people pronounce it as”o”. It comes from “slovo” = speech, people who can speak and understand each other, all others were called “nemci” =mute.
@That’s not a sign of power, if that many women of european monarchies were in the russian court it would be powerful.
How’s about Catherine The Great??
Born Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg.
I also like Catherine I, wife of Peter the Great.
Marta Helena Skowrońska [ˈmarta xɛˈlɛna skɔˈvrɔɲska], Latvian: Marta Elena Skavronska, later Marfa Samuilovna Skavronskaya . Polish servant girl.
Per Suzanne Massie, writing in Land of the Firebird (wonderful, very enjoyable book), it was a custom and traditiion for rulers to make a point of marrying OUT of the aristocracy and outside other dynastic families.
Katherine the Lesser
That is a great book. I remember recommending it to someone here a while back. Its one of the best for a laymen’s guide to pre-Revolutionary Russia,and its culture.Another famous Russian rulers ,would also be Catherine the 1st’s daughter Elizabeth. Who is known for the “Elizabethan” Baroque of so many of Russia’s palaces and churches of that period.
I hear that talk about Irish slaves. And certainly there were some, but most all ethnic groups suffered slavery of some,at one time or another. You may recall that St Patrick among others was a British slave in Ireland. The Irish chieftains raided the British coasts for slaves in those days. Just as later the Vikings took Gaelic slaves.The ancient World was built along side slavery. But in the modern eras (from the 15th century onward),no slavery has been as great, and certainly in numbers,as overwhelming as African slavery. The numbers of others,Slavs,Irish,etc,pales in comparison (we can’t compare personal suffering. As slavery in itself is suffering.).
You know, reading the “history review” portion of Lavrov’s statement reminds me, what would it be if the USA, “America” spoke of “American history” as beginning not around 1776 but starting with King Alfred the Great in England and that England was really “America” in bygone times, etc.—Absurd, correct?—The “Russian history” begins at the earliest with the Vladimir-Suzdal principalities, but really more like with the tiny princedom of Moscow in the 1200’s, which then grew and grew and overwhelmed all the other often much older cities and systems.
And what standing does Lavrov have to invoke “international law”? When the Russian regime, based on a sense of high paranoia (plus outright old Roman-style imperialist appetite) started moving against the internationally recognized territorial integrity of an essentially disarmed Ukraine [which gave up not only possession, if not true control, over nuclear arsenal, but also all the strategic bombers, the cruise missiles, just about all significant weaponry and military force] in reliance on “international law” the Budapest Memorandum,—that was the end of “international law” as far as Russia was concerned. True, they like to invoke the violations by the USA and NATO regarding Yugoslavia and other instances, but when you join the club of violators, you really lose any moral high ground to pontificate about any “international law”.
The “multipolar world system” championed by the Russian regime today, it sounds fine, if it is really to be the representatives of the several “poles” sitting down peacefully like some traditional council of tribal elders and rationally discussing and resolving problems. But if it means rekindling of arms races and warlike posturing and endless proxy warfare, then it becomes just another system of endless chaos and endless warfare.
Agree, except for “moving aginst disarmed Ukraine”.
Excuse me, but Russian history, like history of country, started in the middle of VIII century. And OK, Rus (the first name) didn’t appeared from the air. So, can you talk about something that you know, please? I am not going to talk about Ukraine, because, well, all of us know what would happened.
I love Lavrov, he’s very intelligent and he has sense of humor
A superb exposition; scholarly, gentlemanly, with insight and integrity. A pleasure to read in addition to being instructive. What a superb addition to his team Putin has chosen in this man. Thankyou for bringing this to the site, Saker et al.