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High Times for Russophobia

medved030108.jpgAn interesting article recently appeared in the French magazine Marianne – below is our exclusive translation. The original version can be downloaded here. Russophobia is doing well There are people for whom Russia is always wrong regardless of what it is saying or doing. The last example? The reaction to the first foreign policy speech of the new Russian president Dmitri Medvedev in Berlin. On this occasion Putin’s successor explained that “Atlanticism has exhausted itself” and that is not very rational to think that Russia still poses a threat to Europe. Dmitri Medvedev proposed considering a new pact of security in order to address the impasse surrounding Nato enlargement to Eastern European countries. That shows Russia is open for a discussion without preconceived ideas.

The spokesman for the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs Martin Jager followed up on Medvedev’s remarks saying that “on these grounds the discussion could be possible”.And in France? Nothing. No official commentaries referring to Medvedev’s speech. The press, with rare exceptions, has written off the speech as if nothing new and positive could be expected from Russia. AFP went as far as to quote a certain Pavel Felgenhauer, described as a specialist in defense issues, stating that ” Brezhnev could have delivered such a speech”. In short he implies that Medvedev and Brezhnev are like matryoshkas, the famous Russian dolls, that can be pulled apart to reveal another figure of the same sort inside. This type of analysis is to Russia what elementary anti-Americanism is to the United States. Interestingly those who perceive the shadow of Anti-American obsession behind the slightest criticism of Bushism, revel in portraying Russia as a copy of the USSR. Who will end the Manichaeism?