What do the liberals and Mr. Limonov's followers have in common today?
It happened that a call "to turn Russia into a liberal empire", made so unexpectedly by western-oriented democrat Anatoliy Chubais, was immediately followed by a speech of Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov that had revealed an explicit desire of Russian generals to assign Moscow a role if not of policeman but at least a role of "big brother" in the entire CIS region.
Those were not simply shameful statements but rather a pattern. For example, by having heard that Russia may resort to military force against this or that partner in the CIS, one shouldn't, as happened before, look for Liberal-Democrats party leader or Mr. Limonov's followers. Today, calls for aggressive actions against closest neighbors are made not only at the meetings of the national-bolsheviks but in the Russian State Duma too, and they are published by quite liberal newspapers.
It was not long ago that director of Moscow's print "Justice-EM" Edward Maksimowskiy issued a press-release, in which he said that based on his report to Russian Attorney-General Vladimir Ustinov two district public prosecutions of the Russian capital conducted investigation into a number of publications in the federal newspapers to find out if there were any signs of public calls for unleashing an aggressive war in the articles on Turkmenistan.
As Edward Maksimowskiy pointed out, "first of all, these publications were anti-Russian and their purpose was to make Russians living in the CIS hostages of a frantic drive to power of well-known Russian political adventurers".
Clearly, the election-campaign rhetoric has its peculiarities. The good thing is that in this case the Russian Attorney-General's office did not negate the editor-lawyer and did not referred to a "specific nature of the moment". Our recent common past contains many examples of tragedies that began with irresponsible and provocative articles in press and statements on radio and TV. So, what is good to repeat those mistakes?
Alas, sometimes achieving political goals is worth any means. There we have a clear contradiction in Anatoliy Chubais's words when he says that, on the one hand, any "liberal empire in its actions in neighbor countries cannot break recognized norms of international law" and, on the other hand, declares Russian interests in "maintaining, developing and, if need be, defending basic democracy institutions, rights and liberties of citizens in neighbor countries". Interestingly, did he include such neighbors as China or Turkey in the notion of "neighbor states"? And how do such intentions to defend rights of neighbor countries' citizens correspond to a policy of non-interference in the affairs of other sovereign states, to the UN charter at last?
These are rhetoric questions. The world has changed. Russia was demonstrated HOW one can defend "basic democracy institutions". And someone seemed to have believed that we "can do the same", that we have enough missiles and should follow a new fashion in politics.
Director of the CIS Institute Vladimir Zharikhin was quite straightforward when he stated to RBC-daily newspaper that Ivanov's threat (preemptive action - note of Turkmenistan.ru) could have an effect on nearby neighbors in principle. "It is a gentle but at the same time a clear reminder of how one should behave, otherwise no uncle from the US would come to help. Moreover, we are friends now and together we put the world in order, Zharikhin says. It concerns everybody who treated Russians inappropriately".
One can hardly disagree with the last phrase of the Institute's representative, which is destined to ensure strengthening of friendly relations between the Commonwealth states. Indeed, "everybody has something to be blamed for as regards treatment of Russians" and not only in those neighbor states. Obviously, every government that has been in power in Russia over the last 12 years can be blamed for bad treatment of the Russian population either.
Therefore, we have similar problems and we need to solve them without threats and blackmail, without threatening with nuclear stick. We need to untangle the knots of disagreements only through a dialog and compromises. There is no other option. Otherwise, the uncle will come for real together with which someone is "putting the world in order".