Just in case you didn’t think that our boy Vladimir had designs for the world…
Well, apparently he does.
I’d like to know if he thinks that it’s really possible, and then I’d like to know whether he thinks that he’s the man to do it.
Is he for real?
Or, is he just a maniac?
I’m not sure. But, over the next few years, I think that we’re going to find out.
Here’s what many will not find the “feel good” story of the day:
In an article published just before Russia’s upcoming election, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin calls on eurozone leaders to consider the idea of creating what he calls a “Union of Europe.”
“That’s right,” writes Business Insider’s Adam Taylor, “a Union of Europe, not a European Union — a free trade zone (and perhaps more) stretching from ‘Lisbon to Vladivostok.’”
As Taylor notes, there’s a certain element of “schadenfreude” in Putin’s article, especially when he writes:
Russia is actively participating in the international effort to support the ailing European economies, and is consistently working with its partners to formulate collective decisions under the auspices of the IMF. Russia is not opposed in principle to direct financial assistance in some cases.
The Russian PM, “with a tone of a distant if kindly uncle,” as the New York Times put it, outlines his plans for both Russia and the EU [emphasis added]:
Russia is part of the greater world whether we are talking about the economy, the spread of information or the development of culture. We do not wish to and cannot isolate ourselves…
However, we intend to be consistent in proceeding from our own interests and goals rather than decisions dictated by someone else. Russia is only respected and has its interests considered when the country is strong and stands firmly on its own feet. Russia has generally enjoyed the privilege of conducting an independent foreign policy…I am convinced that global security can only be achieved through cooperation with Russia rather than by attempts to push it into the background, weaken its geopolitical position or compromise its defenses.
I do not doubt that we will continue on our constructive course to enhance global security, renounce confrontation, and counter challenges like the proliferation of nuclear weapons, regional conflict and crises…We will do everything we can to see that Russia enjoys the latest achievements in scientific and technical progress and to assist our entrepreneurs in occupying their rightful place in the world market.
We will strive to ensure a new world order, one that meets current geopolitical realities, and one that develops smoothly and without unnecessary upheaval.
Wait, what? We’re now striving for a “new world order”? That’s… well… that’s disconcerting.