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Chris Patten urges stronger line against Tsar Putin

The former EU foreign affairs commissioner and former Tory Chairman was reacting to Russia's apparent attempts to punish Ukraine's Orange Revolutionaries for rejecting its preferred presidential candidate.

The man who has been Chairman, Governor, Commissioner and is now Chancellor and Lord argued that the EU (and the west in general) had been too soft on Russia for too long. The EU has attempted to bring Russia into the family of western democracies by treating it with kid gloves, inducements and membership of the G8 (even though its economy doesn't warrant it). Rather than accepting these encouragements to become more democratic Mr Putin has become increasingly authoritarian and, says Patten, bullied its neighbours. As an illustration of policy pusillanimity we have recently witnessed Gerhard Schroeder behave in an ethically dubious way by taking a €1m pa job from Russia's Gazprom for involvement in a project he rushed through in the dying days of his Chancellorship of Germany.

Lord Patten recommended tougher treatment of Russia. He said that it was "extraordinary" that Putin had been allowed to assume the chairmanship of the G8 even though it was going "backwards on democracy". He urged the other G8 leaders to tell Russia - privately or otherwise - that its recent behaviour was unacceptable. He also urged the EU to be warmer to Ukraine's aspiration to Union membership.

Chris Patten said that the west had done nothing about Russian misbehaviour in Moldova and Georgia because it was afraid of upsetting a major supplier of its energy needs. The west should remember, he said, that Russia's narrow economy hugely depended upon Europe's custom and it needed to be more assertive. (Conservativehome)

Lord Patten har utvilsomt et poeng, president Putin oppfører seg mer og mer som en tsar. Vesten bør starte å være tøff mot president Putin og Europas siste diktator, president Lukasjenko i Hviterussland.


Hr. Redaktør,

Jeg skal la selve saken ligge. Jeg vil bare knytte noen kommentarer til den tendensiøse bruken av ordet 'tsar.' Dette ordet er blitt brukt som en negativ betegnelse på ledere i Sovjet/Russland i tiden efter 1917 frem til idag.

Selvom tsarveldet ikke var eksemplarisk, og det er en god del man kan sette fingeren på når det gjelder tsarenes fremferd, er det svært liten tvil om at betegnelsen 'tsar' på Sovjetstatens ledere er en fornærmelse mot de egentlige tsarer. Å kall Putin for en tsar er nok også en fornærmelse mot de egentlige tsarer, dog neppe like stor.

J.K. Baltzersen

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