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Blair on Understanding Russian Pride

blair061708.jpgFrom Luke Harding’s latest dispatch about the British Council:

Today, Tony Blair – who was attending a private investors’ conference in Moscow – admitted relations between London and Moscow had been “difficult”, adding: “I’ve been out of office a year, but I still remember the diplomatic language.” Blair – who had dinner with Putin on Tuesday night – said the west was still coming to terms with Russia’s new economic might. “They have a pride in Russia today they didn’t have ten years ago,” he said. “We in countries like mine have to understand that change in psyche.”

A rather useless comment, no? Sounds remarkably similar to the Kremlin line, portraying the country as a mistreated victim deserving of exceptional treatment. Why do so many people continue to ask for more respect for Russia when they already have it?