President Putin Is Open to Dialogue with Europe
The EU leaders’ statement is all the more regrettable as it came only three days after the German weekly Die Zeit published an article by President Putin on the 80th anniversary of the Nazi German attack against the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. In the article, the Russian President stressed that Russia is “open, despite the past”, for economic, cultural and political cooperation with the Europeans. He noted that at the end of the Cold War, Russia hoped that “Charles de Gaulle’s dream of a single continent –not even geographically ‘from the Atlantic to the Urals’, but culturally and civilizationally ‘from Lisbon to Vladivostok’– [would] become a reality”.
Instead, NATO has expanded eastwards for three decades now, and the west “actively supported the unconstitutional armed coup in Ukraine” in 2014. Nonetheless, Russia remains “in favour of restoring a comprehensive partnership with Europe”, around the “many topics of mutual interest” they share. (President Putin’s article is available in English at: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/65899).