But the West is not the only one unprepared for a post-Putin world, he continues. The Russian “opposition” isn’t either – and the reason is simple: it doesn’t exist. “When we look at any other European country we see a situation when there are serious political parties with people prepared to take responsibility for political administration.”
These parties and politicians hold meetings and come up with plans and programs. They are ready to respond if the chief of state does something. But in Russia there is nothing like that, there are no programs and no real politicians at least in the Western sense of the word. And without them, Putinism will survive long after Putin.
This “in fact” is a very large problem “because if the window of opportunities opens, it will be filled by today’s Putinoids who are very much in solidarity with each other. They may be stupid or inadequate but they support one another and have the desire to steal the country blind. And that keeps them together.
In contrast, he continues, “the democrats have not single idea. This could be the European idea or something else. But it must be a clearly expressed one.” Just saying that “everything will be fine and that we will have democratic elections and an independent judiciary” isn’t going to inspire anyone.
“No one in Ukraine came out to the Maidan for independent courts,” Inozemtsev says. “They came out instead for immediate elections, but in Russia, there isn’t a single individual who could compete with Medvedev and win 49 to 48 percent. Medvedev would defeat Navalny 85 percent to 10 percent even in a perfectly open election.”
“In Russia, there isn’t anyone who could put forward the idea ‘let’s go to Europe’ and say that the Europeans will support us.” Europe and the West generally must change so that they can, Inozemtsev argues. Russians want to live in a normal civilized country: they must be certain that if they take certain steps, they will be received as such.
“There is no obligation to shout about democracy; instead, people must speak about a system where there is competition and small business gets support. We are Europeans. We want to live in a European way and we know that there are people in Europe who are prepared to support us” – that must be the message of the Russian opposition.
Otherwise, Inozemtsev says, he doesn’t see any prospects for positive change.