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Russia and bogey 
of foreign meddling

Moscow should play a more pro-active role in 
a world that’s witnessing tremendous changes

Gulf News

There is much that is expected from a global power such as Russia, especially given the developments that have been taking place on the world platform. The international community is in need today for a pro-active role from key players in lieu of numerous issues that can only be addressed through cooperation. Hence, Russia is expected to play a positive role in this context.

President Vladimir Putin recently warned against any foreign meddling in the political affairs of Russia. The statement came in his first speech as he started his new six-year term as president last May. Putin had always held the position that foreign governments have been meddling in local affairs and have spent money in order to influence results. “Direct or indirect meddling in our internal political process is unacceptable,” Putin said, highlighting the theme of patriotism.

Yet it is obvious that Putin is using rhetoric to win over the loyalty and support of the Russian people. In addition, his comments follow serious internal objections raised by various opposition groups with regards to his one-man rule of everything relating to the country’s affairs.

But Putin should not criticise foreign activity when his own government has been integrally involved in the internal affairs of other nations. The example of Syria is indicative of the double standards of the Russian authorities wherein the government has allowed itself to be entangled in the conflict. Yet at the same time, it has been issuing warnings against what it labels as foreign interference.

Having said that, Russia should take on a role that is more pro-active in a world that is witnessing tremendous changes. It should also recognise the fact that blaming the problems of a country on outsiders will not be a convincing tactic all the time. It is, therefore, necessary today for Russia to change its policies on a number of important issues.