In 20 years of power, Vladimir Poutine has given Russia back a place at the heart of the global geopolitical chessboard by using contested methods. Strategy of disorder or legitimate sovereignty? Update with Pierre Tolstoï, vice-president of the Duma, and Isabelle Mandraud, journalist at Le Monde.
The great-great-grandson of the famous writer, Pierre Tosltoï stopped his journalistic career in 2016 to join the Duma, the Russian Parliament, of which he is currently the vice-president. He also sits as Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The politician is thus well placed to evoke the stormy relations between his country and the European Union, which for him are the consequence of European sanctions. “Since 2014, the European Union has been waging an economic war against my country. It has committed many serious mistakes in its relations with Russia. The European Union imagines that Russia will give in to economic sanctions, which will never happen “, he regrets in the program Tout un Monde.
“Today, relations between Europe and Russia are more or less at the level of the Cold War before the fall of the USSR, and it is not our fault, but that of the EU which manipulates the countries of the continent. But with the largest country in Europe, it will not be like that. “
European hypocrisy denounced
When with the annexation of Crimea, at the origin of the European sanctions, Pierre Tolstoï condemns the term. For Russia, it is above all a question of fixing a historical error. “It was necessary not only to bring back Crimea, but the whole of Ukraine. The term annexation is still quite insulting, and it shows the double standards of Europeans. When it comes to Kosovo or the annexed Falkland Islands by Great Britain, so no, of course, you can’t compare. This gap shows hypocrisy and double standard. So obviously after that you can’t talk about trust anymore. “
We will perhaps wait for the fall of the European Union and then we will discuss again with the countries individually.
Today we are far from the project of a Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok which was mentioned following the fall of the Berlin Wall. “In my opinion, this opportunity was missed, especially when the NATO countries decided to include the Eastern countries after the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Germany. You cannot build unity in current circumstances. “
Russia would prefer to forge new links with European countries directly, without an intermediary from Brussels, which it no longer trusts. “We will perhaps wait for the fall of the European Union, which looks more and more like the Soviet Union in the 1980s, and then we will discuss again with countries like France and Germany, to create new relations on the European continent. “
I don’t know why the West sees Navalny as a politician, an opposition leader.
Relations between Moscow and the EU have been damaged by the poisoning and then the arrest of the opponent Alexeï Navalny. “For me, he’s a guy who was doing corruption investigations, sometimes very interesting. I don’t know why the West considers him a politician, an opposition leader. I think there are a lot of clichés around this file. But you have to understand that Russia has its own legal system and that it will never change, even if all the countries of Europe demand it. “
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But does Russia have the means to oppose the West in the long term? “Of course, look at the map of Europe. All the countries in the European Union and the rest of Europe that are trying to wage an economic war against us are just a small piece compared to Russia. don’t worry, we have enough power, we can wait, so there is no problem. “
“But I personally don’t want a confrontation with the West. You have to understand that Russia is a separate civilization. Stop giving lessons, stop coming up with ultimatums. This is not the language we use. use with my country. “
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Vladimir Putin’s strategy
On the strategy of Vladimir Putin, Pierre Tolstoy refutes the analysis of journalists on his ambitions for greatness. “The major objective of Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy is to serve the interests of his country. If Putin had wanted to restore a great country, today the borders would extend to Poland. But this is not the case. goal. The goal is to overcome the total degradation that took place during the time of Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin. We have good results in economics and other areas. “
It is not for Europeans to accuse Russia of violating international law.
When to those who accuse the Russian president of calling into question the international order via destabilization, interference and blockages at the UN, the vice-president of the Duma returns the ball: “Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, they are the United States and Europe who discredited the international order. It was they who organized the NATO aggression against Serbia, who installed “democracy” in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq. we can clearly see the results of these actions which were carried out against the international order, without the permission of the UN Permanent Council. It is therefore not for Europeans to accuse Russia of violating international law. “
Peter Tolstoy defends Russian interventions in several conflicts: “Russia went to Syria after the request of Bashar al-Assad, who is the only legitimate leader today. It was the Russians who eliminated the Islamic State group. And then look at the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. What did Europe and the Council of Europe do? All these organizations created to stop the wars did nothing. It was Russia that stopped the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. “
Patrick Chaboudez / Mouna Hussain
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