December 19th, 2010
Having won the rights to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the
Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin seems to have
actively embarked of re-defining and resetting diplomatic
relations with as many states as are responsive to his
Recently, he brought to Russia, a respectable group of
American actors, artists and well-known American
personalities. He played the piano and sang a Fats Domino
classical, the “The Moon stood still on Blueberry Hill”.
In 2007, TIME Magazine named Putin the “MAN OF THE YEAR” for
bringing Russia back to international reckoning. Ever since,
Putin has demonstrated his ability to a create a new image
for Russia. He has drawn the attention of the world to some
of his person abilities like driving a fast car, riding a
horse, swimming and recently playing a piano and singing
During the Soviet era, Russia was associated with every vice
and not a single virtue by the massive propaganda machine
that was mounted for misinformation and disinformation, by
the West, which were very effective world-wide.
Some of the slogans were “The hand of Moscow” “From Russia
with Love” and other formidable smears.
After supporting the international socialist movement to the
detriment of the Russian Republic, Mikhail Gorbachov
introduced austere political policies that led to the
dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Perestroika and glasnost liberated Russia from herself
imposed world revolutionary policies and freed East European
nations from Russian domination.
Economic collaboration with China, India and ASEAN states,
the Russian economy has been on the match. Under Putin and
Medveev, reforms based on liberal thinking have pushed the
level of the good life beyond expectations in Russia. Both
the US and Russia are under economic stress and so, cannot
continue with wasteful production of nuclear weapons.
It would seem as if Putin re-read Bentham, David Richardo’s
“Principles of Political Economy (1817), Adam Smith, Quesnay
and the physiocrats in framing Russia’s new economic
policies. In order to frame his synthesis outside Marx and
Putin is perhaps, the re-incarnation of Peter the Great and
also has adopted the political traits of Ataturk of Turkey.
He has whittled down the huge bureaucratic machine the
Communists put in place. He is firm with those oligarchs,
who wanted to mix their business success with politics.
Russia has a unique opportunity to open Russia to the world,
now that Cold War rhetoric, no longer cut the ice.
Putin sees political and economic institutions as interlaced
and so, the Russian state can interfere with the operations
of a “Russian Free Market.”
The quality of Putin’s liberalism is that business people
are free, if they do not clash with ethical conception of a
liberal society. So, there is no room for” zadvo u
Political and legislative policies cannot compromise action
against people, who suddenly became extremely rich and
intended to sell Russia to the highest bidder.
Putin seems to seek a balance between individual freedom and
the interest of the community and the relation of society to
This is where the West seems to exaggerate their concept of
human rights and run commentaries that are not justified,
when tagged with Russian logic.
Issues concerning the dialectics of social revolution are no
longer highlighted in order not to alienate the West. Yet,
socialist consciousness die-hard.
The Russian government may wish to appoint liaison
institutions world-wide to enable her publicity to be
effective. Travel restrictions should be minimized
I know Russia and I speak the language. A new attitude seems
to have crystallized towards Africans. The Nigerian
footballer Odemigwe had to leave playing football in Russia
as a result of racist harassment. He now plays good football
in England and he is doing very well.
Between now and 2018, one seriously hopes that the Russian
Government would have put its policies of anti-racist
strategy into good use. It will be a tragedy for the FIFA
games if as a result of reckless behaviour by some
fans with indefinable characters of hooliganism, African
players walk off the field, if and when taunted.
I have been wondering why Africa/Russian diplomatic
relations seem to be very scanty. Maybe some people in
Moscow are still of the “King Gong “and “Tarzan “mind-set.
Things have changed a lot, “TAVARISI”!
Perhaps, the Colonial policies of Britain and France which
prohibited Africans from travelling to the East European
states during the Cold War and colonialism as well as Soviet
Communist travel prohibitions of East European citizens,
including Russians from overseas travel has created the
impasse. This must change!
The Russian Prime Minister has, himself not shown much
enthusiasm for Russian/African relations. We would like to
see a change of attitude, in due course.
There are millions of Russian- speaking Africans, who are
eternally grateful for the Nikita Khrushchev’s positive
policy of extending educational opportunities to Africans
Latin American and Asian students.
The processes of hosting a successful FIFA Football
Completion in 2018 must include improved Africa/Russian
diplomatic relations and personal relations.
It is a shame that some “white people” are still obsessed
with being white, while deriding people with real earth
colour. This is a 21st century anachronism. I believe that a
black skin is better than a dark heart in a “white” person.
The Trinity has not changed its conviction that the black
race and other races must co-exist before that universal
brotherhood will become a reality.
Professor Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai, a Writer and Academic is
the President of the proposed Afemai University, Fugar, Edo