Russia can find correct position in world

Opinion:By Zhong Sheng (People's Daily)

The West believes, "Russia has never made certain its correct position in the world" and has therefore always been concerned about the future choices of Russia. After Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is expected to become Russia's next president, proposed to bring ex-Soviet states into a "Eurasian Union," Western media said that it is a "challenge to the West" and believed that "a new battle for hearts and minds begins in the former Soviet Union - and it runs the risk of losing the West."

The responses of the West are full of stereotypical ideologies. The ironies are apparently aimed at Putin and virtually at Russia's political system. Some Westerners assert that Putin should not have the opportunity to become the president again. Otherwise, Russia will face the "restoration of the Soviet empire." Such groundless judgments are very common in the West.

It is unrealistic to require the West to go beyond its own limitations to view non-Western political systems in a calmer manner. The West will not give up its own paranoiac criteria and embrace rational and fair criteria.

Calm observations will help people to have a better understanding of the West's complicated mindsets: Under the leadership of Putin as a strong politician, Russia is unlikely to initiate the reforms that the West expects.

The West is certainly unwilling to deal with an antagonistic Russia. If Russia cannot accept the arrangements made by the West, the "polar bear"
had better stay aside or even enter into a state of "hibernation for the winter."

However, instead of going into hibernation, Russia is becoming more active on the international stage. It has developed its own plans for establishing a new international political and economic order and setting up a geopolitical chessboard in the region of the former Soviet Union and has recently vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution.

Russia, which has made major mistakes in choosing its development path, should carry out reforms according to its own conditions. The country will neither take the old path of the Soviet Union nor advance in a way as the Western world expects. Western countries’ worries reflect their unwillingness to see a multi-polar world.
In order to achieve national rejuvenation, Russia has to solve many tough problems, such as the weak economy, excessive dependence on energy, negative population growth and low administrative efficiency. To solve these problems, the country must first create a stable social climate for major reforms.

Russians are somewhat conservative and tend to view the outside world with great skepticism. In order to eliminate the negative effects of these ideological traditions, Russia should keep pace with the times in fostering its cultural development, and more actively participate in the economic globalization process and the transformation of the global economic governance system.

A major power cannot just rely on energy to maintain its status. Russia is facing some historic choices, such as whether or not to join the World Trade Organization and participate in Asia-Pacific regional integration.

Russia's effective participation and open attitude will be crucial to resolving global issues and building a more balanced world order. A major power is bound to place itself in a right position, and Russia is bound to continue to play a unique and significant role on the world stage.

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