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PUTIN ON BLUEBERRY HILL: GIVING RUSSIA NEW IMAGE

By: Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai
 Published 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 invitation.

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 melodiously.

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.

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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 Lenin’s postulations.

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 bezcovesvo”

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 the state.

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 State, Nigeria.




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