Munich conference again. Here it all started, when in 2007 Putin put forward new vision of the reformatted Russia of her role in the world. He declared the end of one-polar world and the right of Russia for an independent foreign policy in accordance with the national interests.
By that Putin, who is always OK with the trends in people’s minds, expressed the current state of the attitude of Russians towards the world and towards their own country.
It seems that the West has missed that switch of minds of Russians. At least the political establishment of the West , who still consider Russians as a kind of easy-manipulated dullards, who are still (as in 80-s and 90-s) extremely rapturous with the West and eager by all the means to be a part of the West.
The point is that we DO respect the West, but we expect respect in return. We are trying to realize and articulate our national interests and we are trying to keep our traditional values.
Do we take the West as enemies? Well … if you would ask me 3-4 years ago, I would have told you that for sure not. But during that time the West has been so much actively saying that Russia is one of the main enemies, that it almost managed to convince Russians. So at the moment the general attitude is “as the West see us as enemies we are prepared to be enemies, but prefer to be friends”.
One of the features of the Russian character is that we are not vindictive. We feel much more comfortable in a state of friendship, than in a state of war. Thus it is absolutely clear that the moment the West stops to call us enemies, we are ready to be friends the very same moment.
In any case all the above relates to political feelings only. On day-to-day basis Russians are very hospitable people and are always glad to meet guests of any nation, always eager to help. Also during my travelling around many western countries I have never met any hostility from anybody.
Maybe politicians should take lessons of communication from ordinary people?