West fears recreation of Soviet Union, despite nobody planning one – Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin during an interview with Rossiya 1 TV anchor Vladimir Solovyov © Aleksey Nikolskyi
The West’s actions in post-Soviet space can be explained by a fear of the recreation of the USSR, despite nobody in the region even considering this, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a documentary, premiered on the Rossiya 1 channel on Sunday.

“Even the hypothetical possibility of joining efforts” by former Soviet states within the modern integration processes “deprives [many in the West] of good and deep sleep,” Putin told Vladimir Soloviev, prominent Russian TV journalist and author of the ‘Miroporyadok’ (World Order) film.

“It’s no secret that everything was done in order to prevent the creation of a common economic space between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus – the Customs Union. Until recently, they didn’t want to talk to the Eurasian Economic Union (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia) as a full-fledged participant in international affairs,” he said.

However, the West has now begun to realize the “destructiveness” of this approach, the president stressed.

The meddling of the US and its allies in Ukraine can be explained by a fear of the USSR’s resurrection, rather than care for the Ukrainian people, as is being stated, he added.

For the West, “it was easy to take advantage” of the corruption, weak law enforcement, and bureaucratic “swagger” that arose in Ukraine after it became an independent state in 1991, Putin said.

However, according to the president, one can hardly say that the situation in Ukraine has improved since the Western-backed Maidan coup of 2013-2014.

“The power remains in the hands of the oligarchs. The country has been put under external administration, with all key managers brought from neighboring countries or overseas. The living standards are drastically falling. The country’s GDP has decreased by an order. The deindustrialization of Ukraine is in full swing,” he said.

According to Putin, “it’s a very bad sign” that the West refused to give financial guarantees for Kiev’s $3 billion debt to Moscow, as it means that the US and EU have no faith in the solvency and stability of the Ukrainian economy.

In return for their troubles, the Ukrainians may be getting visa-free travel to Europe, but “is this a worthy fate and future for this beautiful country and its wonderful people?” he wondered.

The president stressed that despite the fall of Soviet Union more than two decades ago, Western international policies are still dominated by a Cold War mentality.

“The bipolar system collapsed. And our partners should have thought about how to become moral leaders of the newly emerging global relations. But they continued to act and think in the old ways, using Cold War clichés,” he said.

‘Europe fails to implement independent foreign policy’

Europe has given up on independent foreign policy, handing a large part of its sovereignty over to the US-led NATO block, Putin said in the film.

“The problem of Europe is that it doesn’t carry out any independent foreign policy at all,” he stressed.

“In principle, it’s a usual practice when part of the sovereignty of the members of a military-political bloc is transferred to supranational bodies,” the president said.

However, he stressed that, in Europe’s case, the sovereignty has been transferred not to NATO as a whole, but to the block’s leader – the US.

“We don’t expect our partners in Europe to abandon their Euro-Atlantic orientation. But I think it would be right if our partners in Europe – without abandoning this orientation – would nonetheless take part in decision making, and not just nod in agreement every time instructions are given from somewhere on the other side of the Atlantic,” Putin said.

The head of state said that, in his opinion, the true interests of the European nations currently lie in uniting efforts in the economic and political spheres, and in fighting terrorism and solving ecological problems.

“Join up with Russia right now,” he urged Russia’s European partners. “We’re ready for cooperation; we’re open and we’re not going to pout over the sanctions.”

‘New generations of Germans shouldn’t answer for what Hitler did’

Putin again stressed that no major international decision should be made without a full consensus in the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, UN, the US), calling it “the key thing in the whole system of international law.”

However, he added that the current world order was established after World Word II, but since then “the balance of power has visibly shifted and, of course, we must take that into account.”

For example, the role that modern Germany “can and should play on the international arena” should be acknowledged, the president said.

“All generations of Germans can’t feel limited in their rights because of what the Nazis did,” as there were many in the country who fought against Hitler, he stressed.

“I believe that I have the right to say so. Not only as president – the head of the Russian state – but also as a member of a family in which many died and suffered [during World War II],” Putin added.

As a whole, international relations should be steered “in a direction making them more stable,” he said.

‘Russia doesn’t want to curb relations with Turkish people’

Putin also commented on the recent cooling in relations with Turkey following Ankara’s shooting down of a Russian Su-24 near the Syrian border on November 24.

“We consider the Turkish people a friendly people and don’t want our relations with the Turkish people curtailed,” he stressed.

As for the current Turkish government under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “the morning sun never lasts a day,” Putin noted. 

The ‘Miroporyadok’ documentary was filmed over several months, as the crew visited many countries to conduct dozens of interviews.

Serbian film director Emir Kusturica, former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange all appear in the film.

However, according to author, Vladimir Soloviev, it is the interviews with Putin that are “a crucially important” part of the documentary.

The president talked to the crew of the ‘Miroporyadok’ documentary just after his annual press conference on Thursday.

The ‘Miroporyadok’ documentary focuses on “the new world order, where the world is heading, what awaits us all, and in what future our children will find themselves in,” Soloviev said.

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The ‘Miroporyadok’ documentary focuses on “the new world order, where the world is heading, what awaits us all, and in what future our children will find themselves in,” Soloviev said.