7 Jan 2019 12:34

Russia's relations with West won't ever be same again - expert

MOSCOW. Jan 7 (Interfax) - Russia's relations with the Western world will never return to their state before the events of 2014, according to Fyodor Lukyanov, the chairman of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy.

"As for the 'before 2014', it has gone forever. The model of relations at the time was based the conceptual prerequisite that despite all difficulties and hiccups Russia will sooner or later join the united world-wide leader West. But neither Russia, which would seek that, nor the West, which expected to 'absorb' this large part of the world following the Cold War, exists anymore. In other worlds, there's nothing left of the previous model," Lukyanov said in an interview with Interfax.

According to expert, when we talk about Russia's relations with the outside world, "we subconsciously, instinctively think about the West." "But this approach is wrong, the world was not limited to the West before and it isn't now. The East is growing more important and influential," he said.

The damage done by the crisis of 2014 to relations with the West, "also has an impact on relations with the East," Lukyanov said.

"They are deprived of a necessary balance and the Russia's dialogue partners in the West are well aware about the forced unilateralism of the Russian policy and are, of course, ready to use that," he said.

When asked about whether Russia has like-minded parties now, he said he believes that "the world is not about like-mindedness now." "There is no sign of it, even among those who have traditionally been and remain allies. Situational alliances, temporary partnerships to address specific issues, non-exclusive relations which have a multi-vector nature are what the 21st century is like. It gives opportunities but no guarantees that they will be used," he said.

"A policy should be far more flexible, on-the-fly, strategical, and by no means dogmatic. You've asked about normalization, but the main issue is that the old norm is a thing of the past, while no new norm has emerged. And that is a universal problem," Lukyanov said.

In addition, Russia will not be able to prove it did not meddle in electoral processes in other countries, he said.

"That's impossible. The wave will pass, it is already inertial now. But the residue will remain. Precisely many countries' confidence that Russia did that and may do that at any moment will remain. And it can't be changed now," the expert said.

"It would be great to learn the truth someday what did really happen and what did not at the time, what proportion of accusations was legitimate and what was based on sheer paranoia. But we will never learn truth, I'm afraid," he said.