7. Sept. 2014

Translation from Russian

In need of dialogue, or do we have plan B?

We can’t fail to agree that a dialogue should be the main method of solution to challenge. Only listening to the opponent and facing him with another opinion, it is possible to achieve some results. So for the international community the dialogue has to be «by default» a Plan A to resolve all the upcoming issues.

But in order to have a successful dialogue, it is necessary that all the parties involved in negotiations want the dialogue, recognize it as the best method for the resolution of conflicts in the modern world. Or do they, in the light of the Ukrainian crisis? I think not. Because Russia doesn’t live by the principles of the 21st century, does not accept current realities, doesn’t want any dialogue, in fact — Russia considers any compromise as a sign of weakness and, unfortunately, understands only brute force.

So, of course, the fact that the Chairman of the State Duma of Russia Sergey Naryshkin came to Paris for a conversation is positive. But it is also doubtless that this person is not an independent politician. A native of St. Petersburg, as Vladimir Putin, a former head of his administration, a member of a ruling party United Russia, a person who owes his chairmanship to the President of the Russian Federation — may Sergey Naryshkin, not by any stretch of the imagination, keep to his own opinion which is not a position of Vladimir Putin? In my opinion, it is a rhetorical question.

So, I think the Europeans should think, what is behind readiness for dialogue which we can see from the direction of some Russian politicians, including the Chairman of the State Duma of Russia. Isn’t it a foot-dragging? Isn’t a dialogue for Russia just a screen behind which a destructive imperial policy is continuing? While Russians are conducting with the Europeans a dialogue that lasts days, weeks, months, maybe even years, Russia will continue to behave in the occupied Crimea as if she owns the place, continue to support terrorism in Donbas, and Ukraine, having frozen conflicts in her East and South, will not be able to carry out the reforms and confirm the democracy.

So, yes, I am for the dialogue as Plan A which can lead to conflict de-escalation. But I call today for developing Plan B and keeping it ready in case Plan A fails. Because then it may be too late.

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