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MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. The European Union of today can be compared to the Soviet Union in its late years, said Pyotr Tolstoy, Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) Deputy Speaker, who is currently on a visit to Serbia’s capital of Belgrade.
The Russian lawmaker, who is taking part in the events honoring the victims of NATO bombings against Yugoslavia, added that the policies pursued by the EU had no future.
"Today, the European Union is reminiscent of the Soviet Union nearing its collapse, when not a single decision could be made without consulting with the supreme authorities, while the bureaucratic machine did not take into account any national interests. We all know what it led to," Tolstoy said.
"Of course, we do not wish our European neighbors to suffer such fate but we should not expect them to offer the fulfillment of dreams to other peoples," the State Duma deputy speaker noted. According to him, "until now, they have not offered the world anything but the consumer society and the protection for the LGBT community."
At the same time, in Tolstoy’s words, Russia became "the enemy of the West" because it offers an alternative to the western civilization as well as a different value system. "We do that with all respect for international law. But it annoys them. They are particularly sensitive to what is happening in Syria and Ukraine," the Russian lawmaker added.
"However, Russia is returning to the global stage and they will have to live with it," Tolstoy stressed. Moreover, the West will have to review its attitude towards Russia, he said. "Even the statements made by (US President Donald) Trump that every country has the right to act based on its interests rather than be led by others, mark a major change in the globalist way of thinking common among the Clintons, Obama and the like," Tolstoy concluded.
March 24 marked eighteen years since NATO began its Allied Force military operation against Yugoslavia. The main reason for the operation was the presumable prevention of what NATO described as the genocide of Kosovo’s Albanian population.
During the 78-day operation, NATO aircraft conducted as many as 38,000 combat flights, including more than 10,000 bombing raids. Defense experts say that NATO forces launched more than 3,000 cruise missiles and dropped about 80,000 tonnes of bombs, including cluster bombs and bombs containing depleted uranium. About a thousand aircraft, some of them reconnaissance ones, were involved in the operation.
Serbian sources put the number of victims from the bombings at 3,500 to 4,000. Another 10,000 people were wounded with civilians making up two-thirds of that number. The damage inflicted on the country amounted to $100 billion.