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Russian expert comments on USSR collapse

June 06, 2017, 8:55 UTC+3 BELGRADE

Russian and Serbian experts have discussed the future of parliamentary systems in times of crisis

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© Alexei Pavlishak/TASS, archive

BELGRADE, June 5. /TASS/. On Monday, Russian and Serbian political scientists discussed the future of parliamentary systems in times of crisis. The two-hour debate took place on the sidelines of a lecture delivered by Alexei Chadayev, Director of the Russian Institute for Development of Parliamentarism, who is also an adviser to the State Duma (lower house of parliament) Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin. The lecture, dubbed the "Architecture and Design of Large Supranational States," addressed the similarities in the parliamentary systems of the USSR and Yugoslavia, as well as the negative effect a weak parliamentary system inflicts on state institutions in times of crisis.

"What brings us together is that we have witnessed the collapse of supranational states, while parliamentary bodies played a key role in the process, although they had not been considered that important," Chadayev said.

EU doomed to collapse

After covering the mechanism of collapse, Chadayev turned to comparing the USSR and Yugoslavia with the European Union, where national parliamentary systems have been degrading, while the supranational parliament is growing strong.

According to the expert, this may be convenient in peaceful times but when crisis breaks out it leads to serious tensions. In this connection, Chadayev touched upon the possibility of the EU’s collapse in case these trends remained.

"Hyping the image of a ‘bad guy’ is usually aimed to strengthen weakening unions," he said. "Everyone unites in order to fight the artificially created common enemy, ‘the bad guy,’ instead of uniting around old principles, as they do not work anymore," the Russian expert pointed out. "Today, Russia is the global ‘bad guy,’ we are accused of interfering in elections and carrying out cyber attacks. However, the West is fighting not the real (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, who has been actually trying to solve the Syrian issue, but the media image of Putin," Chadayev explained.

NATO as economic union

According to the expert, NATO is currently more an economic union than a military block as its member states can only purchase weapons from other members.

In this regard, NATO’s expansion is aimed at gaining access to new arms markets. Countries with strong defense industries, such as Russia and Ukraine, are considered as rivals. "This is why advisers to (US President Bill) Clinton panicked back in 2000 when Putin suggested that Russia should join NATO," Chadayev said. "This is the reason why Ukraine has not been granted membership yet, though it may be - as soon as its last defense factory turns to ruins," the expert added.

Parliamentarism and large systems

According to the director of the Russian Institute for Development of Parliamentarism, the death of ideology is what destroys large political systems, as such systems are reminiscent of a headless chicken. "It can run around for some time after its head has been cut off, even new membership applications are received," Chadayev said. However, in his words, such systems are doomed. That does not mean though that the European Union and NATO will surely collapse, he noted. In his view, members of parliament are capable of solving a large number of common issues.

"But we see that today platforms such as PACE (the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) have ceased to function and are only used for spreading propaganda and politicizing things. Until there is no balance between the institutions of representative democracy and integration processes, large systems will continue to collapse because a strong parliamentary system is as important for defense as a strong army," Chadayev said. "Both our countries have a unique experience that could help us find a balance and ways to preserve such systems," he added addressing Serbian experts.

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