In search of Europe: Russian political discourse and the outside world

Russian political discourse and the outside world

18 February 2004
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"Does Russia belong to Europe?" is one of the notoriously unanswerable questions for politicians and intelligentsia alike. Viatcheslav Morozow argues that the last three years have seen a shift in the Russian psyche, whereby its definition as part of the civilised, cultivated world has become much less problematic and Russia's worldview of a strict "us" versus "them" dichotomy is weakening.

Can Russia be considered an integral part of Europe? For centuries, this question has troubled the minds of the Russian intelligentsia. Of course, a “correct” answer to it will never be found, because there cannot possibly be such an answer. However, the efforts of the Westernisers and the Slavophiles as well as their spiritual heirs – Pan-Slavists, Eurasianists, Atlanticists and so forth, whatever labels may have been attached to them – have certainly not been spent in vain. Their verbal jousts, past and present, are most interesting to study. A thoughtful analysis of this material yields a much deeper understanding of what Russia is and how it defines itself in relation to the outside world, than does any attempt to stipulate “objective” criteria which would allow to classify our country as European, Eurasian, or belonging to any other “civilisation”.

The debate about Russia’s belonging to Europe vividly illustrates the paradoxical and contradictory self-definition of Russian society. The first paradox is immediately obvious: it consists in the fact that Russian politicians, academics and other public figures consider it necessary constantly to insist on Russia’s belonging to Europe as something self-evident. To cite just a few of the most characteristic examples from recent years: “We are Europeans”, says Mikhail Gorbachev in his programmatic book, laying the basis for his idea of a common European house1. Vladimir Kantor draws on Catherine the Great’s Nakaz (“Russia is a European power”) for a title to his book and, in the subtitle, stresses the country’s aspiration for entering the “civilised world”2. “Russia has been, is, and will be a European country,” declares the director of the Centre for International Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ United States and Canada Institute, Anatoly Utkin3. Russia’s European destiny is also one of foreign minister Igor Ivanov’s favourite topics. Here is just one quote – not the most recent, but very typical: “[…] Russia is an inalienable part of the European continent and its civilisation. There can be no Russia without Europe, just as there can be no Europe without Russia.”4Nor does President Putin shun such statements: during the festivities marking the Northern capital’s 300 anniversary, he insisted, among other things, that “it is here, in Petersburg, that one feels most distinctly that Russia is both historically and culturally an inalienable part of Europe.”5

Such statements are repeated so often that people have stopped paying attention to them. The paradox, however, is that by constantly stressing Russia’s belonging to Europe as something beyond doubt, these assertions demonstrate precisely that society and the political elites perceive this membership as being profoundly problematical. Indeed, the most stable social phenomena are those which do not provoke most people to reflection without special cause, such as the habit of greeting each other when meeting, or using money as a universal measure of value and means of payment. If a fact requires that its incontestability constantly be stressed, this immediately prompts us to doubt its incontestability.

Moreover, the language of everyday political talk constantly reveals the ambivalence of the Russians’ idea of their country and its place in Europe: beside the idea of Russia as a European country, Russian political discourse features a no less sharp opposition between Russia and Europe, or at least a perception of them as being two distinct worlds. In his above quoted address, president Putin reflected on the “interpenetration of the cultures of Russia and Europe’ – a somewhat strange assertion if one accepts that Russia is an inalienable part of Europe. Indeed, it would hardly occur to anyone to speak about the interpenetration of the cultures of Italy and Europe or, for example, Saint-Petersburg and Russia: the whole and one of its parts cannot “interpenetrate’.

This situation is not, of course, unique to Russia. In Britain, Norway and Sweden, for example, people often speak and write about events taking place “in Europe,” meaning continental Europe to the South of the English Channel and the Skagerak. Moreover, there is nothing impossible or unique in the existence of contradictory assertions within one political discourse: it only reflects the many-faceted nature of Russian national identity, the complexity of the ways in which Russian society identifies itself with respect to an Other as multifarious as Europe. Multifaceted-ness, however, comes in different kinds, and it may not be useless to try and examine how the idea of Europe functions in the process of discursive reproduction of a Russian identity.

First of all, let us note a fact that people are not always distinctly aware of even though it is nearly evident: “Europe,” for Russian intellectuals, is not at all the same as “the West,” moreover, it is not even part of the “West”. The most obvious difference between the uses of the terms “Europe’ and “the West” is that the former is hardly ever used to designate forces hostile to Russia: in the reasoning of Russia’s geopolitical prophets it is the West, but never Europe, which opposes Russia in the struggle for world dominance. On the other hand, Russia is part of Europe, but never of the West. In the above-quoted statements about Russia’s belonging to Europe, one could hardly replace “Europe” with “the West”. While assertions of Russia’s being part of European civilisation have become commonplace in the Russian debates, before the events of 11 September 2001, not a single more or less noted politician, journalist or researcher dared to declare that Russia belongs to the West. Even such self-proclaimed Westernisers as Yegor Gaidar or Andrei Kozyrev only spoke of the need to create a “system of civil society and civic rights institutions’ in Russia and to incorporate the country into the “pole of the contemporary world’s most developed and respected states’6. These are normative assertions, not statements of fact, and the term “West” is usually used very cautiously in this context.

This simple observation disproves the assumption that the concepts of “the West” and “Europe” are two sets the former of which entirely incorporates the latter. To reflect the discursive reality more accurately, we would have to adopt a model of two overlapping sets where “the West” includes only the Western part of Europe, while the countries of Central and Eastern Europe are part of the “Europe” set but not of the “West” set. Indeed, Russian discourse eagerly reproduces a view of Central and Eastern Europe which is itself the result of a social construction of spatial images and reflects the relations of domination and submission to be found in contemporary Europe7. However, though it accepts the West European definition of Central and Eastern Europe as countries striving to integrate fully into NATO and the European Union and thereby prove their “Europeanness,” Russian discourse does not stop at this. “Europe” and “the West” appear in it as independent concepts, each of them playing a role in the debates about Russia’s place in the contemporary world.

The juxtaposition of Europe and the West that is so characteristic of the Russian debate, where the West appears as a kind of destructive force which constantly strives to upset the European balance, often leads to the West being portrayed as an active factor, whereas Europe is a passive arena of diplomatic struggle and military rivalry. This was especially evident during the Kosovo crisis. Viktor Levashov, of the Moscow-based Institute of Social and Political Studies, describes military action against Yugoslavia as an attempt by the United States to “reshape Europe using NATO – a military alliance – as their instrument”8. Igor Ivanov describes the possible consequences of the Kosovo crisis in the following way: “NATO’s military action […] will go down in the history of late 20 century Europe as one of the most tragic pages […] Kosovo remains a bleeding wound on Europe’s body […] Does this really go unnoticed in the capitals of Western countries?”9In all these pronouncements, the West (or the USA and NATO) appear as subjects of action, whereas Europe is the object upon which this action is directed. In a textbook for students of the Ministry of Defence’s Moscow Academy by Valery Kudinov, this way of thinking culminates in the metaphor of the planned “seizure” of Europe by the United States with the help of “the dollar and NATO”10.

Of course, all these quotations remind one of the old tradition of juxtaposing the West as a male element and Russia as a female one, which goes back to Vladimir Soloviev and Nikolai Berdyaev and has more than once led thinkers to the idea of a fertile synthesis of the two. At the same time it is obvious that in Russian political discourse, the structure is somewhat different: here Russia and the West appear as two male elements competing for possession of Europe. Russia’s mission, then, is to save Europe from absorption by the West and protect its uniqueness. Thus, for example, deputy defence minister Yevgeny Gusarov, referring to Moschus’s Idylls, cites a little known detail of the myth about the rape of Europa – the story of the dream that Europa, daughter of Agenor, saw before she was abducted:

She saw how Asia and the continent separated from Asia by sea, fought for her in the guise of two women. Each of the women wanted to possess Europa. Asia was defeated and had to yield. Europa awoke in horror… Agenor’s young daughter began to pray meekly for the gods to divert the misfortune…
Then the wise Olympian gods saved Europa: Zeus himself turned into a golden bull, carried the beautiful girl away and hid her on Crete. Europa remained Europa11.

It is interesting to note that these implicit comparisons between Russia and Zeus abducting Europa bear a direct analogy to the way in which the annexation of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia by the Soviet Union in 1940 is interpreted in those countries12. It will be clear that in the latter case the metaphor is supposed to have only negative connotations, whereas the Russian deputy minister uses it as a positive image. E.P. Gusarov strives to stress Europe’s vulnerability in the face of American expansion, which threatens to deprive Europe of its identity and turn it into something that it is not, and to substantiate Russia’s claim for an historical mission, which stands up to defend Europe’s unique culture and ensure that “Europe remains Europe”.

The rapprochement with the United States after 11 September 2001 changed somewhat the correlation of the concepts, and even made possible such categorical statements as that “our country’s place is in the West”13. However, a more attentive analysis of the position of its author, a former First Deputy Foreign Minister, shows that for him, the USA do after all play the role of the Other, in opposition to which a rapprochement should take place between Russia and Europe. Citing the example of France and Britain who, like Russia, lost their empires, but managed to “remain themselves,” i.e. preserved their identity, A.L. Adamishin goes on to formulate a possible new/old identity for Russia in the following way: “The defence of civilisational variety and wealth, especially under the conditions of American dominance, is a highly urgent mission in the contemporary world. In many ways, Russia could take it upon itself.” This and similar reasoning, which abounds in Russian public debate, is usually based on a premise commonly held evident: that “high” European culture is superior to American “mass” culture. The absurdity of this assumption, if taken in the absolute, becomes especially obvious whenever an attempt is made to prove it empirically: authors then inevitably go as far as to assert that the unrefined Americans eat too many hamburgers, while the enlightened Europeans prefer “the prestigious consumption of unique goods and products”14.

Thus, in Russian political discourse, the concepts of “the West” and “Europe” may be contrasted, or made to supplement each other as overlapping sets. But at the same time the idea of Europe that is used in the debate about Russia’s role in European and world affairs cannot be reduced to any simple, clear-cut definition. Once more, this is not a unique Russian peculiarity. As the Danish scholar Ole Wæver writes, commenting upon the European self-definition of the Nordic countries, “[i]t is a crucial part of any foreign policy vision […] to imagine a Europe compatible with a vision of the nation/state in question”15. This thesis is fully applicable to Russia. As an analysis of Russian discourse shows, “imagining Europe” may also yield more complex constructions that go beyond binary oppositions between Russia and the West, or Russia and Europe. One of these constructions is the opposition between the “true” and the “false” Europe, which was first described by Iver Neumann16. It is probably fair to assert that, for a number of historical reasons, the sense of detachment from Europe and the desire to preserve one’s originality are stronger in Russian society than in most other European cultures, but for all that, there is an all the more palpable fear of isolation, an anxiety not to be “left behind in Europe’s backyard”17, in the position of an outcast of European civilisation. For centuries, this fear has been compensated by construing a “true Europe”, representing a kind of projection of Russian values and priorities onto the entire continent, while the Europe that is “hostile” to Russia is described as being not quite European, having forsaken true European values, living in a way that is contrary to its self-declared rules. It is this construct that Neumann labels “the false Europe”.

Here we no longer have a dualistic model, but a triad: notwithstanding Yury Lotman’s thesis about the “fundamental polarity” of Russian culture, expressed “in the dual nature of its structure”18, we can observe the process of discursive construction not only of a hostile Other (the West or the “false” Europe), but also of a friendly Other – the “true” Europe which is presented either like an idealised Russia or, on the contrary, a model for emulation, the ideal society that Russia ought to become at the end of history. This is all the more important to stress since the construction of dualistic models and, even more, their absolutisation serve not only to describe but also to reproduce oppositions and justify their existence through such concepts as “cultural memory”19and ultimately doom us to a constant “reversal”20of the antithetical relationship between “Russia” and “the West,” jumping from irrepressible admiration for the West to a repudiation of Western values that is just as radical.

Since Yury Lotman thought that it is precisely this fundamental duality that allows us to “speak of the unity of Russian culture at different stages of its history”21, it will not be superfluous to note that, over many centuries, Russian culture has also exhibited a triadic model. Thus, already the doctrine of the “Third Rome,” which included a distinct opposition between Russia and Europe, and between Orthodoxy and Catholicism, simultaneously asserted Moscow’s role as the true keeper of Christian (i.e. European) values and as the leader of the truly Christian world, a role it inherited after the fall of Rome and Byzantium. Of course, the doctrine of the “Third Rome” could be filled with different political content, but it is obvious that it did not insist on an essential opposition between Russia and the West as two separate, self-sufficient “civilisations” – on the contrary, it claimed that there was a fundamental commonality of origin and that Moscow was faithful to the “true” European tradition.

Peter the Great’s vigorous foreign policy, and above all the breakthrough to the Baltic Sea and the creation of a new capital, a kind of ideal European city, shows clearly that the reformist Tsar was no foreigner to the idea of asserting Russia as the centre of the “true Europe”. Another characteristic example of the efforts that the Russian state made to construct a “true Europe” around Russia was the creation, in 1815, of the Holy Alliance, whose aim was to protect the “truly European” monarchist values from the “false” revolutionary Europe.

If conservative discourse, based on the interests of the state, interpreted the “false” revolutionary ideas as a threat to truly European monarchist values, opposition (both revolutionary-democratic and nationalist), on the contrary, denounced the falseness of existing Europe and saw the true European ideal in the future. The opposition between “true” and “false” Europe is obvious in the works of the Slavophiles and their followers, especially those of them who assimilated the ideas of social Darwinism as applied to the historical development of peoples and to their interaction.

This opposition survived also in the Soviet ideology, in which the “true Europe,” embodied in the USSR, stood against the capitalist “false Europe”. According to Iver Neumann, it was only during Stalinist repressions in the 1930s that the Soviet discourse reached a level of binarisation that allowed it to describe the entire external world as a “hostile environment,” making the category of “false” Europe superfluous. By the end of the 1940s, not least due to the appearance of the “socialist camp,” the topic of “true” and “false” Europe reappears in official discourse22. The European communities, the precursors of today’s European Union, are one of the most characteristic incarnations of “false” Europe in the texts of Soviet propagandists and academic experts in international relations in the 1950s. They are portrayed as a realisation of the anti-popular idea of capitalist integration, which cannot but be directed against the workers.

However, the main avatar of the “false” Europe in Russian discourse has of course been NATO, the principal instrument of US influence on the European continent. As early as in the 1950s, in order to demonstrate the anti-Soviet nature of any undertaking (such as European economic integration), it sufficed to point to its bonds with NATO, which was perceived as representing, one may say, absolute evil. In the post-Soviet period, opposition to plans for an eastward expansion of the alliance became the leitmotif of Russian foreign policy. Typically, most of Russia’s foreign policy elite would concede that there was no serious military threat on the part of the alliance. However, this did not prevent experts like Sergei Karaganov from declaring that “NATO expansion contradicts Russia’s national interests’ because it might create a “feeling of military and political isolation of Russia’ and a revival of “anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in the public mind”23. This eclectic combination of a “realist” understanding of objective national interest and “politico-psychological” explanations generated a circular and, on its own terms, irrefutable argument: if NATO expansion represents a threat, this threat needs to be opposed, but since this opposition does not take place in a vacuum, it will inevitably reinforce the sense of threat prevalent in society. A defence against the threat, therefore, serves only to intensify the threat and creates an unlimited field for the experts engaged in developing the means for combating the threat.

On the other hand, any forces resisting NATO were perceived in Russia as allies. Thus, in my opinion, the sympathies that many Russians still retain for former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic are rooted not so much in a feeling of “Slavic brotherhood”, but in the fact that Milosevic protected Serbia’s “sovereignty and independence” in the face of “NATOcolonialism”.

The Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – were another embodiment of the “false” Europe in Russian political discourse at the turn of the century. They were assigned the role of “false” Europe as early as the beginning of the 1990s, but this construct was most intensively used in 1998-2000, in a period of intense aggravation of bilateral relations. In view of regular marches by Waffen-SS veterans in Riga, as well as the trials of veterans of the Soviet military and secret police in Latvia and Lithuania, Russian diplomats, politicians and journalists systematically accused the authorities of the Baltic states of pro-fascist sentiments. The fact that some political forces in the Baltic states uncompromisingly supported Chechen independence, was interpreted by the Russian press simultaneously as proof of anti-Russian sentiment in the Baltics and as yet another argument against Chechen independence – thus, the two arguments were mutually reinforcing. The same can be said about the perspective of the Baltic states joining NATO. The desire of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to join the alliance was interpreted as yet another testimony to their anti-Russian attitude, and vice versa, every declaration on the part of the NATO member states that they are prepared to welcome the Baltic republics in the alliance was taken as a new proof of “NATO expansionism,” conducive to a “destabilisation of the situation in the Baltic region”24.

As late as the beginning of 2002, one could find arguments in the Russian press which were laid out in full accordance with the logic of contrasting “true” and “false” Europe and led their authors to make claims such as the following: “as long as the Russian population is being oppressed in the Baltic countries, Russia will not cease to remind European organisations and blocs just whom they are preparing to embrace in their ranks.”25Today, however, the situation is clearly changing. Firstly, the significance of the Baltic states as a “false” Europe, against whose background Russia can more conveniently stress its European identity, has considerably decreased in comparison with 1998-2000. The results of NATO’s Prague summit (November 2002), which decided that seven countries, including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, would join the alliance, did not provoke any distinct negative reaction even in such “pro-statist” papers as Nezavisimaya gazeta. Secondly, there are signs that the Baltic states are beginning to be considered part of the “true” Europe. In this respect, it is very important to note not only the calm and business-like tone in which the Baltic states’ preparations for membership in NATO are being discussed, but also the fact that simultaneously, the question of the state and perspectives of military co-operation between the Baltic states and Russia is being raised26. When the web site “Kavkaz-Center” was shut down by an Estonian provider (following a Lithuanian refusal to continue keeping the site’s files on its territory) and Ichkerian [Chechen separatist – translator’s note] representatives qualified the actions of the Estonian authorities as “bandit,” the Russian press reported on this so as to leave no doubt that for the Russian journalists, Estonia and Lithuania are part of the civilised world, whereas the bandits are on the other side of the conflict27. Even more interesting is the appearance, at least in Saint-Petersburg, of a tendency to interpret the experience of the Baltic neighbours, and especially Estonia, as a model to be imitated. Expert Severo-Zapad magazine writes enthusiastically about the Estonian reform of housing and communal services28, and in the Saint-Petersburg underground, one could see a poster advertising a brand of paint “produced using Estonian technology”29.

This tendency suggests that today, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia (probably in this order) are more and more perceived as part of “true” Europe, which Russia would be foolish not to learn from and which, in any case, one needs to be friends with. Even Europe’s split into “old” and “new” has not been able to halt this transformation; rather, the desire of the political elites in the former “brother” socialist countries to support the USA in the Iraqi conflict at any cost has been interpreted genially as an expression of the “new” Europe’s immaturity rather than its hostility. This is perfectly expressed by a picture that appeared in Expert Severo-Zapad to illustrate an article about the development of stock markets in the Baltic countries: it shows three boys launching in a puddle a little boat with the euro symbol on its sail30. Although the article as such had nothing to do with the conflict over Iraq and had been published before Europe split over diverging attitudes towards President Bush Jr.’s policies, the illustration anticipated the interpretation of the topic of the “new” Europe in Russian political discourse as a Europe in the making, a young Europe – and youth, as we all know, is prone to error31.

Generally, Russia’s view of Europe and of its place in it is changing. The need to contrast a “true” and a “false” Europe is evidently less urgent now than it was in 1998-2001. One can surmise that this transformation reflects a general change in people’s attitude to the idea of Europe and to Russia’s place in European and world affairs. At the end of the past century and at the very beginning of the new one Russian foreign policy went through a crisis: the Kosovo conflict, universal condemnation of the second Chechen campaign, NATO expansion and the perspective of former Soviet republics joining the alliance provoked not only a fear of isolation, but also anxieties about Russia’s fate. On the one hand, there was a near-universal fear of “Westernisation,” of a loss of Russia’s uniqueness. On the other hand, uncertainty about Russia’s membership of Europe and, more broadly, of the “civilised world,” generated a greater sensitivity to criticism and an aspiration to show that “we are not worse than the others”. The foreign policy crisis was an expression of a more general crisis of identity: most people were in the predicament of trying to find an appropriate answer to the question “What is Russia?”32.
One of the most significant successes of Putin’s team is that it has managed to create a positive image of the new Russia among the Russians themselves – an image which, its ambiguity and internal contradictions notwithstanding, does relieve existential anxieties about Russia’s future and eliminate the sharpest uncertainties in questions of identity. This is still a Russia that has “hatched out of the USSR”33and, not having shed off its shell properly, is looking for an identity in great-powerness, singing its new old anthem. But this Russia is also capable of peaceful dialogue and even of settling conflicts with its partners, both stronger and weaker ones. The settlement on the Kaliningrad visa question in the course of complicated talks with the European Union and Lithuania may serve as a confirmation, as can the far from catastrophic consequences of the Iraqi crisis for the relations with both the US and the “new” Europe. Today, defining Russia as part of the “civilised world,” as a European state with its own unique culture is far less problematic than it was three years ago, and this opens up space for compromise, without which neither dialogue nor a solution to problems are possible. Today the need to make concessions is no longer perceived as a sign of weakness, it doesn’t lead to an immediate restructuring of Russians’ worldview in terms of dualistic “us versusthem” oppositions.

All this, let me stress again, is a grandiose success for Putin’s team. It is an altogether different question whether to consider this a success for all citizens of Russia, and to reply to this question we need to consider the price that has been paid for a consolidation of the nation around the president. This price includes the continuing “anti-terrorist operation” in Chechnya, an unclear future for freedom of expression, lost opportunities for economic reform, as well as the global “anti-terrorist consensus”, the consequences of which for peaceful coexistence between the “West” and the rest of humanity are unclear, to put it mildly. Ultimately, the question is whether restoration in domestic policy is a conditio sine qua non for the state to behave stably and predictably on the international arena. Are we capable of assessing the country’s past and present it in a sober and critical manner without losing self-confidence and without having to look for an external enemy to blame for our problems? Of course, not only Russian citizens need to ask themselves this question, but that doesn’t make it a less pressing question for us.

  1. M.S. Gorbachev, Perestrojka i novoe myshlenie dlja nashej strany i dlja vsego mira [Perestroika: New thinking for Russia and the world]. Moscow: Politizdat, 1987, p. 200.
  2. V.K. Kantor, "...Est' evropejskaja derzhava". Rossija: trudnyj put' k civilizacii. Istoriosofskie ocherki ["...Is a European state". Russia: The thorny path to civilisation. Historiosophical essays]. Moscow: ROSSPEN, 1997.
  3. I.S. Ivanov, "Za bol'shuyu Evropu bez razdelitel'nykh linij" (k 50-letiyu Soveta Evropy) [For a Greater Europe without dividing lines (On the occasion of the Council of Europe's 50th anniversary)], in: Mezhdunarodnaja zhizn" No. 5/1999, p. 4.
  4. I.S. Ivanov, "Za bol'shuyu Evropu bez razdelitel'nykh linij" (k 50-letiyu Soveta Evropy) [For a Greater Europe without dividing lines (On the occasion of the Council of Europe's 50th anniversary)], in: Mezhdunarodnaja zhizn No. 5/1999, p. 4.
  5. V.V. Putin, Vystuplenie pri poseschenii rukovoditeljami gosudarstv s suprugami Ekaterininskogo dvorca. Pushkin, 31 May 2003 [Address on theoccasion of a visit to Catherine's Palace by several heads of state and their spouses]. http://president.kremlin.ru/text/appears/2003/05/46459.shtml
  6. Egor Gajdar ob otnoshenijakh Rossii s Zapadom [Yegor Gaidar on Russia's relations with the West], in: Pered zerkalom [In front of the mirror], on RTR TV, 12 December 1999 www.pravdelo.ru/sps5_30.htm ; A.V. Kozyrev, Bessmyslica "mnogopoljusnogo mira" [The absurdity of the "multipolar world"], in: Moskovskie novosti, No. 7, 22-28 February 2000, p. 5.
  7. The creation of the image of Eastern Europe in the age of Enlightenment is studied in Larry Wolff's classic book: L. Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994. Central Europe, according to a commonly held opinion, was invented in 1984 by Milan Kundera in his famous essay: M. Kundera, The Tragedy of Central Europe, in: The New York Review of Books, 26 April 1984. The term "Central and Eastern Europe" is thus a compromise in the battle for a "full-fledgedness
  8. Quoted in: F. Weir, "Russia's uneasy place in Europe", in: Christian Science Monitor, Vol. 91, No. 115, 11 May 1999, p. 6. Here and in all following quotations the emphasis is mine.
  9. I.S. Ivanov, Kosovskij krizis: god spustja [The Kosovo crisis: a year later], in: Dipkur'er NG, No. 5, 23 March 2000, p. 5(13).
  10. V.P. Kudinov, Vneshnjaja politika RF (1991-1999 gg.). Uchebnoe posobie [The foreign policy of the Russian Federation in 1991-1999. A course book], Moscow: MA MVD Rossii, 1999, p. 51.
  11. E.P. Gusarov, Rossiya v Evrope XXI veka. Vystuplenie zamestitelya ministra inostrannykh del Rossii E.P. Gusarova na konferencii "Evropa v global'nom mire - vyzovy XXI veka" (Grecija, 11 ijulja 2001 goda) [Russia in 21st century Europe. Deputy foreign minister E.P. Gusarov's speech at the conference on "Europe in a global world - challenges of the 21st Century" (Greece, 11 July 2001)], www.mid.ru . The fact that in this myth Asia and America appear as women is hardly more significant than the purely male role they are reported to play in their struggle for possession of the young beauty.
  12. See especially: P. Vares, O. Osipova, Pokhischenie Evropy, ili Baltijskij vopros v mezhdunarodnykh otnoshenijakh XX veka [The rape of Europa, or the Baltic question in 20th century international relations.] Tallinn: Izdatel'stvo Estonskoj Enciklopedii, 1992.
  13. A.L. Adamishin, "Zachem nam nuzhna prozapadnaja vneshnjaja politika" [Why we need a pro-Western foreign policy], in: Nezavisimaja gazeta, 16 March 2002. Quoted from the web version.
  14. D.L. Inozemcev, E.S. Kuznecova, V poiskakh identichnosti: evropejskaja sociokul'turnaja paradigma [In search of identity: The European socio-cultural paradigm], in: Mirovaja ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnoshenija, No. 6/2002, p. 11.
  15. O. Wæver, "Identity, communities and foreign policy", in: L. Hansen, O. Wæver (eds.), Identity, communities and foreign policy. London: Routledge, 2001, p. 25.
  16. I. Neumann, Russia and the Idea of Europe. A study in identity and international relations. London; New York: Routledge, 1996.
  17. S.M. Rogov, "Nasha strana mozhet okazat'sya na zadvorkakh Evropy" [Our country may find itself left behind in Europe's backyard], in: Nezavisimaja gazeta, 16 June 1999, p. 3.
  18. Yu.M. Lotman, "Rol' dual'nykh modelej v dinamike russkoj kul'tury" (do konca XVIII veka) [The role of dualistic models in the dynamics of Russian culture (Until the end of the 18th century], in : Yu.M. Lotman, Istorija i tipologija russkoj kul'tury [The history and typology of Russian culture]. Saint-Petersburg: Iskusstvo-SPb, 2002, p. 89.
  19. Ibid., p. 116.
  20. Ibid., p. 90.
  21. Ibidem
  22. I.B. Neumann, op. cit., p. 124-130.
  23. "Rossija i NATO. Koordinator rabochej gruppy Sergej Karaganov" [Russia and NATO. A working group co-ordinated by Sergei Karaganov]. Moscow: Sovet po vneshnej i oboronnoj politike. Point 1.3.3. http://www.svop.ru/yuka/729.shtml .
  24. V. Sokolov, "Moskva i Riga nikak ne pomirjatsya" [Moscow and Riga don't manage to make up], in: Nezavisimaja gazeta, 31 March 2000. Quoted from the web version.
  25. M. Vinogradov, "Bez prav i objazannostej" [Without rights or obligations], in: Izvestija, 23 January 2002. Quoted from the web version.
  26. See e.g. I. Jur'jev, Riga ne iskljuchaet razvertyvanija ob"ektov NATO [Riga does not exclude the deployment of NATO units] // Nezavisimoe voennoe obozrenie, 6 December 2002. Quoted from the web version.
  27. See e.g. Boris Volokhonskij, Vladimir Vodo, Chechenskie separatisty obvinili Estoniju v banditizme [Chechen separatists have accused Estonia of banditry], in: Kommersant, 5 May 2003, p. 7.
  28. Vjacheslav Ivanov, Obretenie smysla [The acquisition of meaning], in: Ekspert Severo-Zapad, No. 3 (112), 5 May 2003, p. 10-12.
  29. Advertisement for "Korall" paint in the Saint-Petersburg underground, May-June 2003. Here, "Estonian technology" appears as something exemplary (why else mention it in an advertisement?), which reminds one of the peculiar word "yevroremont" (euro-renovation), denoting the renovation of an apartment not just according to the highest standards, but, most importantly, of higher quality than is common in Russia.
  30. Marina Krasil'nikova. Illustration to: Vyacheslav Ivanov, Evgenija Krjuchkova, Perspektivnaja model" [A Promising Model], in: Ekspert Severo-Zapad, No. 6(115)/2003, 17 February, p. 20-21.
  31. Irina Khakamada, on the contrary, explains Central and East European countries' support for the USA by cold calculation, though in her interpretation, the "new" Europe's readiness to play the USA's junior partner comes to the fore. See I. Khakamada, "Vozljubi blizhnego svoego" [Love your neighbour], in: Nezavisimaja gazeta, 26 May 2003. Quoted from the web version.
  32. For a detailed discussion see V. Morozov, Resisting entropy, discarding human rights. Romantic realism and securitization of identity in Russia, in: Cooperation and Conflict, Vol. 37, No. 4, 2002, p. 409-430.
  33. G.O. Pavlovskij, Proschaj, Belovezh'je! [Good-bye Belovezh'e!], in: Nezavisimaja gazeta, 9 December 2000. Quoted from the web version.

Published 18 February 2004

Original in Russian
Translation by Mischa Gabowitsch
First published in

Contributed by Neprikosnovennij Zapas (NZ)
© Eurozine Eurozine

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