09:34 GMT +327 March 2017
    Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) arrives to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016.

    Putin's Foreign Policy Approach Resonates With Many in Europe

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    President Vladimir Putin's Valdai speech, recently published by the Italian newspaper La Stampa, resonated with Europeans concerned about tensions simmering between Russia and the EU, Italian journalist Marcello Foa noted, adding that Trump's win may potentially change the situation.

    On Monday, La Stampa, one of the oldest Italian newspapers, published excerpts from Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech delivered at the 13th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club held in Sochi this October.

    "Putin: It's time to trust Russia, a common front against terror" the newspaper's headline says.

    Addressing the Valdai conference Putin highlighted the importance of concentrating on the real problems facing humanity today, and making the system of international relations fairer and more equal.

    However, instead of dealing with real world problems, some powers "continue to churn out… imaginary and mythical threats such as the 'Russian military threat,'" the Russian President pointed out.

    "The only thing is that Russia has no intention of attacking anyone. This is all quite absurd," he stressed.

    "In our mind, real leadership lies in seeing real problems rather than attempting to invent mythical threats and use them to steamroll others. This is exactly how Russia understands its role in global affairs today," Putin emphasized.

    Commenting on La Stampa's publication, prominent Italian journalist Marcello Foa, head of a media group which includes Corriere del Ticino and Corriere del Popolo newspapers, said that Vladimir Putin's arguments resonated with many in Europe.

    "Putin elaborated very clearly what some Italian analysts have always known, but what was unclear to their audience. By the way, it has also been unclear to the La Stampa newspaper, which used to maintain a very critical attitude toward Vladimir Putin," Foa told Sputnik, adding that Putin's Valdai address was very efficient.

    The Italian journalist emphasized that looking at Putin's foreign policy course adopted by the Russian leader since the early 2000s, there are no traces of what can be called "imperialism" or "expansionism." Under Putin Russia has never sought to expand its sphere of influence, the journalist noted. 

    Foa called attention to the fact that the crises which erupted during this period of time, including the Georgian-Ossetian conflict in 2008, the Ukrainian turmoil in 2014, the Crimean issue and the situation in Syria, were not caused by the actions of Russia.

    They were prompted by either third countries or more complex combinations, the journalist noted.

    "Russia just reacted to these actions. This is an important point, in my opinion," Foa said.  

    U.S. Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, offering cookies and (behind the scenes) political advice to Ukraine's Maidan activists and their leaders.
    © AP Photo/ Andrew Kravchenko, Pool
    U.S. Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, offering cookies and (behind the scenes) political advice to Ukraine's Maidan activists and their leaders.

    Citing Putin, the Italian journalist noted that the idea of the looming "Russian threat" is groundless.

    "It is unthinkable, foolish and completely unrealistic," Putin told the Valdai meeting, "Europe alone has 300 million people. All of the NATO members together with the USA have a total population of 600 million, probably. But Russia has only 146 million. It is simply absurd to even conceive such thoughts."

    "The West and NATO accuse Putin of harboring plans to occupy Eastern Europe," Foa continued, "I find these accusations ridiculous and devoid of any foundation."

    "Why does the West continue to make an enemy out of Russia?" the journalist asks.

    "The answer is simple. Today Europe is playing a passive role. It is Washington who defines the policy toward Russia," the Italian journalist underscored, referring to US Vice President Biden's remark made back in October 2014 at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at Harvard University's Institute of Politics.

    "It was America's leadership and the president of the United States insisting, oft times almost having to embarrass Europe to stand up and take economic hits to impose costs," Biden claimed.

    According to Foa, Biden's "slip of the tongue" says a lot about the US-EU relationship.

    "I believe that America has long been trying to implement the strategic concept of [Zbigniew] Brzezinski, which says that the one who controls Eurasia controls the world. It is obvious that the US does not need an independent Russia… Putin has demonstrated independence of mind and the desire to protect Russia's national interests, and that caused tensions [in the West] which we are now observing," the Italian journalist told Sputnik, suggesting that Trump's win will change the situation.

    Foa also shared his views on the highly controversial resolution adopted recently by the European Parliament against Russia's media outlets.

    "While providing information [to their readers] Sputnik and RT adhere to the position that is different from that of the majority of the Western media. Therefore I believe that they [Sputnik and RT] are absolutely legitimate and very interesting sources of information. If we take a closer look at cooperation between the US largest media outlets and Hillary Clinton, during her term as US Secretary of state, very unpleasant thoughts about the Western media will come to mind," Foa noted, adding that what is branded as "Russian propaganda" in the West is in fact a look from a different angle.


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    "Russian threat", anti-Russian sentiment, anti-Russian propaganda, European Parliament, Valdai Discussion Club, European Union, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Italy, Europe, United States, Russia
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    • choticastile
      Only thing is-- whether it was Biden, or for that matter-- any other US leader or official-- their every word recounted by their puppet western media -- was never a slip of the tongue, but cold calculated statements, followed by hostile actions--- all to undermine Russia at every turn.

      One can only say-- Thank God that Russia and the World has a man of Vladimir Putin's calibre on the world stage today-- In my humble opinion it is Putin, backed by his sterling team-- every single one committed to global peace and cooperation, which has kept the World from going up in the flames of a WW3.

      God bless and keep President Putin for his ceaseless efforts to guard global peace!

      May leaders throughout the world come to their senses-- come to comprehend and understand that Russia is not the enemy-- but to the contrary-- the most loyal and reliable Partner, any country on the planet could ever wish to have.
    • avatar
      only the rational ones. :)
    • avatar
      Darrell R
      The world has many complicated and serious issues to deal with. It is crucial that the great nations of the world are able to work together. If the US insist on demonizing Russia and having a new Cold War, nothing good will come of it. It is crucial to the long term stability and prosperity of our world that the US and Russia have a positive and productive relationship.

      The US needs not be so distrustful of Russia. Russia has plenty to be distrustful about with the US, but they are still willing to give it a try. Yet it is the US media and Washington that dogs any offer of peace Russia offers.

      Now they want to go after the Russian media in the name of stopping fake news and propaganda. How ironic? Notice how Russian media goes to great lengths to point out exactly where they get their facts and reports from. That way you can reacearch it yourself. This is something the US media can take lessons from.

      Less hope the new administration does prove to be more flexible with Russia and bring in an era of mutual respect.
    • choticastile
      Better listen up Europe! -- Putin receives endorsements from a myriad of well-placed and highly respected western writers, political intelligentsia and the finest of journalists globally.
      Here is a link to one, which truly reflects the clear thinking minds supporting President Putin and Russia for being the World's sane and visionary voice of the world.


      Should open a few eyes that desperately need it!
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