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Stereotypes About 'Russian Threats': Will Western Russophobia Cease?

© Sputnik / Natalia Seliverstova / Go to the photo bankThe Moscow Kremlin. Vodovzvodnaya Tower, foreground. Background, right: the Grand Kremlin Palace, Ivan the Great Bell Tower and Cathedral of the Archangel.
The Moscow Kremlin. Vodovzvodnaya Tower, foreground. Background, right: the Grand Kremlin Palace, Ivan the Great Bell Tower and Cathedral of the Archangel. - Sputnik International
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Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Western countries to stop inventing "mythical threats" coming from Russia in an interview with Le Figaro newspaper. Commenting on Putin's statement, political scientist Igor Shatrov said that it is very difficult for Western political elites to abandon their stereotypes about Russia.

According to the expert, there is a kind of "inertia" that is present in the Western political community.

"In the West, they got used to the image of Russia as an 'enemy.' The image was formed by the former US administration and ‘successfully' persisted for a long time. It is very difficult for the West to abandon this practice. New stories, new threats have been invented, and as result we have this threat of alleged Russian hackers," Shatrov told Radio Sputnik.

At the same time, the expert believes that sooner or later the situation will change.

"I think that this foam will gradually come down, the analyst said, adding that the Western community should sooner or later unite against terrorism and confront this threat together. "Otherwise, the wave of terrorist attacks in Western countries would continue," the analyst said.

Konstantin Kosachev, Chairman of the Federation Councils' Foreign Affairs Committee. (File) - Sputnik International
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Earlier, in an interview with the Le Figaro newspaper, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the Western countries to "stop inventing mythical threats," allegedly coming from Russia and engage in cooperation on international security issues and the fight against terrorism.

"Stop inventing mythical Russian threats, some hybrid wars, etc. You invented them, and then frightened yourself and on this basis you formulate the prospects of your politics," Putin said.

Regarding the alleged "Russian interference" in the 2016 presidential election in the United States, Putin noted that Russia had never tried to influence the democratic processes in any country.

"Russia has never done this, we don't need it, it doesn't make any sense for us to do something like that," Putin said.

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In July 2016, the WikiLeaks whistleblowing website published data from the DNC's email servers, compromising former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and thus indirectly influencing the subsequent victory of Republican candidate Donald Trump. The US accused the Russian government of masterminding the theft of data. The Russian government has denied the allegations, while the platform's founder Julian Assange also denied Russia's involvement in the materials publication.

In October 2016, Washington claimed that Moscow allegedly used cyberattacks to influence the US presidential elections. In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a direct denial of allegations that his country influenced the 2016 US vote. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also reiterated Moscow's assertion that the US' claims of Russian interference in the election were completely unfounded.

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