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Lavrov: History shows Russia’s special role on European and global arena

March 03, 2016, 11:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian Foreign Minister believes country’s contribution to the results of major wars, as well as resolution of other important issues of European and global policy shows its special role in history

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© Stanislav KrasilnikovITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. Russia’s contribution to the results of World and Napoleonic wars, as well as its resolution of other important issues of European and global policy, serves as evidence of its special role in history, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov wrote in the article "Historical perspective of Russia’s foreign policy" published in the "Russia in Global Affairs" magazine on Thursday.

"There are those - both inside the country and abroad - who tends to think that Russia is almost doomed to forever lag behind or try ‘catch up’, has to always adjust to the game rules made by others and thus cannot declare its role in global affairs out loud," Lavrov said. "Last year we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory, the year before than - remembered the start of the First World War 100 years ago. In 2012 we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Borodino and 400th anniversary of freeing Moscow from Polish invaders. If you think about it, these landmarks clearly demonstrate Russia’s special role in European and global history," he added.

Kievan Rus and Russian Empire

Lavrov reminded that in Kievan Rus, three daughters of Yaroslav the Wise became queens of respectively Norway and Denmark, Hungary, France, his sister - the wife of the Polish king, and his granddaughter married the German emperor. "Multiple scientific researches note high - often higher than in West European states at that time - cultural and spiritual level of development of Rus," he added.

Russia later "played a role of powerful balancing factor in European political combinations, including the famous Thirty Years’ War, after which a Westphalian system of international relations developed in Europe," the foreign minister went on adding that Russia also played a key role in the pan-European conflict of the 18th century - the Seven Years’ War.

The top diplomat particularly noted Russia’s role in the times of Napoleonic wars, "after which it was Russia that came out as a savior of the system of international relations based on the balance of powers and mutual consideration of national interests and excluding total dominance of one country on the European continent." Lavrov also reminded about the initiatives of Nicholas II of Russia on holding the Hague peace conferences in 1899 and 1907 which represented the first attempts to agree on reversing the arms race and preparing for a disastrous war.

Preservation of cultural code

"At the same time, Russian people, who have their own cultural matrix, their own spirituality, never blended with the West," the foreign minister said. "The energetically developing country cannot not try to leap forward relaying on modern technologies, but this does not mean refusal from its ‘cultural code’," he added. "We know multiple examples of modernization of eastern societies that were not accompanied by radical demolition of traditions. This is even more true in case with Russia which represents one of the branches of European civilization in its depth," he concluded.

Accusations of revisionism

The attempts to accuse Russia of "revisionism" stem from the approach that only Washington can play a decisive role in world affairs, which is unfounded, writes Lavrov.

"It is now common practice in the Western propaganda to accuse Russia of ‘revisionism’, of our alleged desire to destroy the existing international system, as if it were we who bombed Yugoslavia in 1999 in violation of the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act," the article says. "As if it were Russia that ignored international law by invading Iraq in 2003 and distorted the UN Security Council resolutions, overthrowing by force the regime of Muammar Gaddafi's in Libya in 2011".

According to the Russian foreign minister, "the arguments of ‘revisionism’ hold no water and are based in essence on the simple, next to primitive logic suggesting that only Washington today can ‘set the tone’ of world affairs." "So it turns out with this approach that the once formulated by George Orwell principle according to which all are equal, but some are more equal than others, has moved to the international level," he added.


According to the minister, the world of today is undergoing serious changes. "The main token of the current stage is the rapid change in all aspects of international life ..," he writes. "In fact, the second stage of globalization (its previous wave occurred before World War I) has led to the dispersal of global economic power and, consequently, political influence, to the emergence of new major centers of power, especially in the Asia-Pacific region."

"Against this background the multiplicity of models, eliminating the dull monotony within the single - Western - coordinate system, should be accepted as a given," Lavrov writes.

The Russian foreign minister stated in conclusion that Russia does not seek confrontation either with the United States or the European Union or NATO. "We still believe that the best way to secure the interests of peoples living on the European continent would be the formation of a common economic and humanitarian space, extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, so that the newly formed Eurasian Economic Union could be an integrating link between Europe and the Asia-Pacific region".

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