Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Can Russia have Allies? Yes and No, Moscow Commentator Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 17 – Stung by American suggestions that Russia has no friends or allies in the world at present, Russian commentators have responded angrily but with comments that underscore rather than challenge those suggestions, perhaps no surprise from representatives of a country whose leaders often say Russia has “only two allies, its army and its fleet.”

            Among the most instructive of these Russian responses is one by Vzglyad writer Pyotr Akopov who asks rhetorically “Can Russia have allies?” and answers “both yes and no.”  Now, he says, “if one speaks about historical time and not simply about 2018, our interests objectively correspond with the interests of the overwhelming majority of humanity.”
            That amounts to billions of people even if this is not reflected in the voting of the governments of these countries at the United Nations, a product of the fact, Akopov continues, that Russia is on ‘the right side of history,’ if one uses the terminology of these same Anglo-Saxons” (

                “Our goal,” the Russian commentator continues, “a multi-polar, multi-civilizational world, corresponds with the goal which all major centers of power in the world have. Not just China, India, and Iran but also those formally pro-Western countries like Japan and Turkey, Brazil and Saudi Arabia. “Does Turkey have allies? Japan? Germany? Iran? Of course not, they have either partners or bosses.”

            “For example, Germany is simultaneously a dependent country and a spokesman of he European Union. It has a hegemon, the US, from which it wants to free itself but still doesn’t have enough strength to do so.” It has “situational partners” and it has countries in the EU and NATO which are “formally called allies but in essence are vassals.”

            According to Akopov, “Russia can be an ally with countries equal in strength to itself – with China, India or with those like Turkey and Iran who are equal to us in geopolitical will and strength. In some theoretical situation in the future, it could be with Germany and Japan if they acquire real independence.”

            In that event, they would be allies with Russia “not in the sense of ‘against someone else,’ but allies based on striving for common or similar goals,” geopolitical, regional, ideological, economic, and so on.  “Not one great power wants to become dependent on another; each wants to answer only for itself.”

            “Russia,” Akpokov says, “which combines in itself a unique historical experience of creating the most powerful Eurasian state with enormous natural resources and a passionate people, who has the will and spirit for creation and does not have the hypocrisy, racism and greed of western colonizers, already is a center of attraction for the most varied forces in the world.”

            But nonetheless, “our chief and unique ally is ourselves.” The more independent and self-sufficient Russia is, “the easier it will be for us in this multi-faceted world” and the more supporters it will attract among those who “value our main quality: a desire and ability to secure for each people life according to its own values and ideas.”

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