It's too unwieldy to reform, Russia has nothing to gain by talking to it
Mikhail Khazin is an extremely popular intellectual in Russia, who speaks mostly on economic and geopolitical matters.
His ideas are important because they influence thinking in Russia, and interesting because they are original.
They are far different from both the ideas that hold sway in the West, and the ideas the West imagines are attractive to Russians.
Our contributor The Saker was able to secure a long Q&A session with Khazin that was translated by a team of his volunteers.
This material originally appeared at The Vineyard of the Saker
For the time being Russia has nothing to talk about with the European Union for various reasons.
The first one is rather obvious: trying to find a consensus whithin the framework of the European Union, the general position of this organization will always be strongly anti-Russian.
The second one is that Brussels doesn’t have an independant position; it pursues the Washington’s policy.
The third reason is that the current European Union has no future. We need to discuss this issue in detail.
If we place the current European Union on the USSR’s timescale, it can be compared with the period of 1989-1990. The problems are the same. Certain rules were adopted in the context of certain historical, financial and economic situation, and then later codified.
Today economic and historic conditions have changed, but it’s nearly impossible to amend legislative policies. Each specific issue might be settled, although it’s unclear when, but there are tens of thousands of those issues and the time is extremely limited.
The only chance to accomplish something is to abolish all them at once or, in other words, to dissolve the European Union. It can be assembled again, but the re-assembling will be done according to new regulations.
In particular, it can be said that Eastern Europe won’t be part of the European Union. That’s for sure. It has no industry and thus presents no value. There was a political need to “tear them off” from the USSR/Russia and then feed them (to smooth the negative effect from renouncing socialism).
Today’s youth doesn’t remember socialism, it means that it is okay to just dump those people and let them survive on their own. They are not of any interest. As we know from the European history of the nineteenth century, they will sink into extreme poverty. But, I repeat, those are their problems.
Coming back to the original question… It’s foolish to make arrangements with the European Union in such environment. That’s why it’s necessary to build our own system of labour division without taking into account the interests of the European Union.
If Russia has decided to start building import substitutions, it simply needs to introduce counter sanctions to a relevant commodity group, since the EU and the U.S., by pursuing sanctions policy, have burried all the norms of the World Trade Organization.
The situation in Ukraine has shown that the current EU leadership will not take Russia’s interests into consideration. Any attempt to discuss these interests causes a torrent of statements blaming Russia for “imperial politics”, “restoration of the USSR” and so on.
We can argue about Germany and France being outright blackmailed by the Baltic states and Poland, the role of Washington etc., but the fact is that in its current configuration the EU and Russia cannot be “friends” (in the broad sense of the word).