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Russian minister calls for reversing dangerous trends which, he believes, preceded WWI

July 31, 2014, 19:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“We, the Europeans, should be on the one side of the barricades, in one fortress, to defend our common values, history and culture,” the Russian culture minister said
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Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky

Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky

© ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin

MOSCOW, July 31, 18:52 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has compared the policy of sanctions against Russia to the hysteria that had preceded the outbreak of World War One.

The minister who attended the “Great War, Lessons of History” public forum on Thursday said sanctions were not a liberal instrument. Medinsky who is a graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) told the forum that his University lecturers had taught him that “sanctions are an economic instrument which the ruling elites use to inflict direct economic damage, including on one’s own business and citizens, in pursuit of their political goals.”

“It is a Stalinist approach, I would say,” Medinsky stressed.

The culture minister drew some dangerous parallels between what’s happening now to the period before WWI.

“Hysteria, the inflation of national factor, appeals to battered national pride and a spy mania,” which filled newspapers in the pre-war years, can also be seen today, Medinsky said, calling for reversing these dangerous trends.

“We, the Europeans, should be on the one side of the barricades, in one fortress, to defend our common values, history and culture,” the Russian culture minister said.

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