The first few paragraphs of the material below cover comments made by former Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi on Europe’s relationship with Russia. Valid points but not exactly radical thinking, however I was more interested in the material below that, added by an anonymous commenter because they reflect my own experience of working with Americans and Russians (I have spent periods of several months in the USA but only short times on business in Russia).
(the article below, not authored by me, is reproduced under Creative Commons licence)
Berlusconi accuses West of irresponsible attitude towards Russia
ROME, September 07, /ITAR-TASS/. Italys former Prime Minister and leader of the opposition party Forza Italia Silvio Berlusconi on Sunday accused NATO and Western leaders of irresponsible attitudes towards Russia.
We are strangled by a most profound economic crisis, the situation is only worsening and it the situation is being aggravated by the international situation and the decisions of European leaders, heads of Western countries, the United States and NATO, who were irresponsible and unthinking to make null and void of the enormous work done after the signing of the Pratica di Mare agreement [on the establishment of the Russia-NATO Council – ITAR-TASS) that ended the 50-year-long Cold War, he said.
He said that the recent development around the Ukrainian crisis, the United States and the European Unions policy of sanctions against Russia were an irresponsible decision of the world leaders.
Russia cannot but defend Ukrainian citizens of the Russian origin who are like brothers for Russians, he noted.
TAP – Ukrainians are fellow Europeans, as are Russians. I found Americans very different to us culturally, when I visited the USA and did business there over many years. The expectation from years of Hollywood was that we would be almost identical in outlook, but we aren’t.
In Russia and Ukraine, on the other hand, I felt almost at home, their culture and attitudes are so close to our own. That was not my expectation either after living with daily anti-Russian propaganda throughout The Cold War. They keep nations separated from each other with visa requirements for no real reason, other than to prevent peoples from knowing how friendly they are with each other. So wars can be orchestrated.
We also had many Ukrainians visiting us over many years in the UK, starting with choirs from the Llangollen Eisteddfod, but later on with children from Cernobyl area sent over by charities, and adults. The children didn’t cry but the adults did, seeing how we lived. They said that there was no middle class left in Ukraine after they were all wiped out by Stalin, and it broke their hearts to see a nice house with a happy family living in it, as it made them realise what they had lost.
Ukraine has been under attack a very long time. How come there was a US geostationary satellite placed overhead the day the power station blew. Now we are visiting yet further evil on these very nice and cultured people. I am ashamed of my country, and have nothing to say about the evil bastards who masquerade as civilised human beings in our media, while committing genocidal acts, and supporting mass murder of civilians. Don’t call them politicians, or the government. Make sure they carry the stigma that their actions deserve.