[ Le Grand Prince Alexandre Nevsky et un émissaire de la Horde d’Or, dans Alexandre Nevsky d’Eisenstein]
Sergey Lavrov, ministre des Affaires étrangères de la Russie, présente dans Russia in Global Affairs, en anglais, une mise en perspective historique de la politique extérieure russe, dont il est aujourd’hui en charge. Ce que l’on appelle une vision.
« Historical facts do not bear out the widespread belief that Russia has always been on the margins of Europe as a political outsider. Let me recall that the baptism of Rus in 988—as a matter of fact, the 1025th anniversary of this event was also celebrated not so long ago—gave a powerful boost to the development of state institutions, social relations and culture, and made Kievan Rus a full member of the European community. At that time, dynastic marriages were the best indicator of a country’s role in the system of international relations. It is a telling fact that three daughters of Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise became the queens of Norway and Denmark, Hungary, and France; his sister married the king of Poland; and his daughter got married to the German emperor.
It would be appropriate to recall here the tragic, and largely pivotal, period of the Mongol invasion. Alexander Pushkin wrote: “The barbarians did not dare to leave an enslaved Rus behind their lines and returned to their Eastern steppes. Christian enlightenment was saved by a ravaged and dying Russia.” There is also an alternative view expressed by Lev Gumilyov, who wrote that the Mongol invasion had facilitated the emergence of a new Russian ethnos and that the Great Steppe had given extra momentum to our development.
One way or another, One way or another, it is clear that that period was extremely important for asserting the independent role of the Russian state in Eurasia. We can recall the policy pursued by Grand Prince Alexander Nevsky who agreed to temporarily submit to the Golden Horde rulers, who were generally tolerant of other religions, in order to defend the right of the Russian people to have their own faith and decide their own destiny despite the European West’s attempts to subjugate Russian lands and deprive them of their own identity. I am convinced that this wise and far-sighted policy is in our genes.
The end of the Cold War and the uncompromising ideological confrontation it engendered opened up unique opportunities for overhauling the European system on the basis of indivisible and equal security and broad cooperation without dividing lines.
There emerged a real chance to finally overcome the division of Europe and realize the dream about a common European home advocated by many European thinkers and politicians, including French President Charles de Gaulle. Our country had fully embraced this chance and put forth numerous proposals and initiatives. It would be logical to lay a new foundation for European security by strengthening the military-political component of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. In his recent interview with the German newspaper Bild, Vladimir Putin quoted German politician Egon Bahr who has similar views.
Unfortunately, our Western partners chose a different path to follow by expanding NATO eastward and moving the geopolitical space under their control closer to Russia’s border. This is the root cause of the systemic problems that afflict Russia’s relations with the United States and Europe. Interestingly, George Kennan, who is considered to be one of the authors of the American policy of containment towards the Soviet Union, at the end of his life described NATO’s enlargement as a tragic mistake ».