More Mutual Respect, Less (whatever it is we’re doing now)

“What’s Right About France’s Overtures Toward Russia?”

There is much to like about this article from Dominique Moisi and, in general I approve.
It is true for example that “the international strategic context has changed dramatically” in recent years, making foolish the nonsense of pursuing the same paths and alliances that have persisted from the previous into the current century.  Doing so has clearly been the cause of the general mess in which the world now struggles to maintain any form of structural balance.

Why can we not perceive all nations and all political systems and all peoples as ‘family’, and not as the drivers of antagonism and conflict?  Why cannot the sovereignty and dignity of all nations and peoples be honoured and their rights be upheld?

Some would give as reply to that, the presence of ‘terrorism’.  But that is a mainly manufactured phenomenon brought about by yesterdays adventurism and imperialism.  It would quickly die away if every nation minded its own business and ceased its interference in the affairs of others (I will not permit myself to become diverted here to expand on that last remark, since I have other things to say).

The world needs to accept, and much of it already does as a result of the tireless work of the Russian President and his team, that “Russia is back”, and that Russia is not an enemy but another rightful member of the international community.  I think that Russia, over the past 30 years or so, and especially since President Putin has been directing things, has made remarkable inroads towards friendship with a great many other countries.  Western nations need to observe and acknowledge that.

It seems to me that President of France, Emmanuel Macron, can see that, and is acting accordingly – sometimes.  I say ‘sometimes’ because he often externally presents mixed messages, rendering him not entirely trustworthy, which Russia should – and I am sure does – note.

Two things I query in this article.  The first is the multiple use of the term “Russia persists in the behaviors that caused its relations with Europe to deteriorate”.  That statement does not help and is in fact only true when viewing the inferred events from a purely Western, defensive, ‘old thinking’, perspective.  In fact Russia has done nothing that could be charged as being outside the conventions of international law – accommodations to which, Russia’s main accusers themselves set aside when inconvenient to their policy agendas. Russia has in fact behaved admirably as a global citizen, preventing many emerging humanitarian catastrophes caused by others from deepening into something worse.

The second issue to which I need to draw attention is the final paragraph:”France has made a bold first move to reset relations with Russia. The ball is now in Putin’s court.”  Not a lot of thought was put into that statement.  Russia, through President Putin, I believe wants to see a Europe that spreads from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and continually makes overtures of friendship and cooperation to the European nations, rarely reciprocated.

Finally, the global view of China,  mentioned also by Moisi, could have immense benefits to all if viewed through the same lens as discussed here.    

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