Tuesday, 14 February 2017

LN: EU is great success compared to post-Soviet integration

ČTK |
9 December 2016

Prague, Dec 8 (CTK) - Many bad words are said about the EU now, but compared to the post-Soviet integration, it is a great success, Zbynek Petracek writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) on Thursday, the 25th anniversary of the end of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the Community of Independent States (SNS).

Petracek writes that Russia is still talked about as an empire, also because it has never striven for spontaneous integration, because it has never wanted to have allies but only vassals.

The SNS still formally exists, but only specialists will remember that on December 8, 1991, the leaders of the major Soviet republics signed a document establishing the grouping, Petracek writes.

He writes that after the end of the Cold War, this made sense. It seemed logical that not only Russia, but an open association of republics, which will join it of their own will, will be a successor to the Soviet Union.

It was to be integration on another basis than communism or the imperial tradition of Russia. It was to be integration that could compete with the European Union in performance, diversity as well as its own attractiveness for others. But it has not been so, Petracek writes.

In Hospodarske noviny (HN), Teodor Marjanovic writes that the "empire of evil," as former U.S. president Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union, continues in Russia in the form of "retro-bolshevik nationalism" thanks to President Vladimir Putin who has enforced it adroitly and harshly on the inhabitants of the whole of present-day Russia.

However, Putin is not the cause, but the consequence of the Russians remaining the same because their spirit is obsessed with the desire for life to be hard, Marjanovic writes.

It is a consequence of the fact that all those who during the existence of the Soviet Union found sense in their own suffering and hardship, which they shared with all others, which lent the poverty a moral dimension and which they saw as bringing them all together, have not changed, Marjanovic writes.

It is a consequence of the fact that all those, who found a peculiar perverse solace in their joint being brought into line through the fear of gulags, injustice or death in the cells of the KGB secret service, have not changed, Marjanovic writes.

This may look complicated, incomprehensible, but this is what Putin slowly, but with increasing intensity gives them and they love him for this, however much self-destructive this may seem to other Europeans, Marjanovic writes.

Twenty-five years after the biggest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century, as Putin called the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) pithily from the point of view of Russians, it can be said that Russia is like the Soviet Union more than ever, Marjanovic writes.

He writes that the Russians want it like this, and that is why they have found their own ruler.

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