Irina Khakamada: Russia bristled… (Radio Praha, Czech Republic)

LIBOR Kukal, October 30, 2006If to humiliate the former Empire, if to keep her and show her her place, then she will take revengeIrina Khakamada, discussing on the Prague Forum 2000 conference problems of Russian democracy, acted with skill, but without much enthusiasm. The theme seemed to be somewhat boring and pointless. Supposedly the season of democracy in Russia was over and a new one will come who knows when. But why the issues of democracy and freedom of speech very few people in Russia care about?This is because the reduction of freedom occurred simultaneously with the improvement of life. So while most satisfied lives better.It turns out that the only chance for democracy is the deterioration of the economic situation?The only chance for democracy in Russia is, of course, not the deterioration of the economic situation, although it plays a role. If improvement has occurred at other times, this rule wouldn't work. If under Yeltsin, and then, when I was in government, we would have 70 dollars per barrel of oil, probably of default would not exist. No luck. Not that the government got the money. The improvement of democracy in Russia is associated with future problems with management, because the authoritarian power is not effective, and someday she will make some mistake.Will Europe be able to do something for the development of democracy in Russia?The priority of Western countries towards Russia - stability. The main thing is that Russia was not a dangerous country. What happens inside the country, but nobody cares. The main thing that I was secure. The Baltic countries all the time complain about Russia, but when we, the Democrats, raising the question of Russia joining NATO, first Baltic countries say no, Russia cannot be included in NATO.It would be better if the West practiced a tougher stance towards Russia?On the contrary. When in power were honest romantic Democrats (although with errors), the West was quite indifferent. Gorbachev and Yeltsin were romantics, they believed the West. The West, the IMF only gave recommendations that ruined the economy. Did nothing else. But West himself has created all conditions: combined Germany, ensured peace on its borders, took the Baltic countries, has expanded EU and NATO to Russia's border. Their problems they solved, the problem of Russia itself solve did not want. The result is a difficult transition period ended authoritarian regime. This responsibility not only of the Russian elite. In this wine and democratic elites in Europe and America.It's past mistakes of the West. What should the West do now?It needs to give an honest diagnosis of the regime, which is in Russia. The West does not. The West calls this mode of democratic transition. I don't think that a democratic regime. Based on this diagnosis, the West should stipulate the conditions under which Russia could be integrated into the EU, in other Euro-Atlantic organizations, including NATO. Now let Russia do not even want, no matter. Should be shown for the purpose of the next generations. The West needs to declare that it is ready, continue to set the standards, to write a road map to the next generation saw the agenda. While the West has a vague position: In the European Union? Yes, never, well, ever. . . And so on.Former Czech President Havel recently expressed the idea that the EU should continue to expand, to accept Ukraine and Belarus, and to stop there. As the prospect of the Democrats?Democrats like the idea that the EU was extended. Another thing is that it is unclear how to extend the EU, including Belarus. Havel, of course, romantic. Well, maybe it will. . . For example, I said that if after the orange revolution in Ukraine, the West will not put all of their efforts to integrate Ukraine and will do as before with Russia, and say that they are unworthy, they should gradually solve their problems and then ever. . ., they will lose Ukraine. In any country the government of Democrats are very weak. Elite not ready for this power. The EU should fulfill its mission. For me it is very important that the enlargement of the EU was not in the antagonistic attitude to Russia. That is, to expand the EU to isolate Russia. It is very dangerous.

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