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The Daily Vertical: Sergei's Good Old Days (Transcript)

  • Brian Whitmore

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

So it appears that Sergei Lavrov misses the Cold War.

The Russian foreign minister laments the loss of a world in which everyone knew their place.

In the good old days, he said in a widely publicized interview this week, "there were two empires," and "neither camp overstepped the boundaries of the permissible."

But today, he added, there are "no rules anymore."

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Well actually, Mr. Lavrov, in fact there are rules today.

There are rules against invading your neighbors, against annexing their territory, and against kidnapping their citizens.

There are rules against shooting down civilian airliners.

There are rules against money laundering.

And there are rules against cyberattacks.

It's just that -- well, you know -- it's just that Russia kinda keeps breaking these rules.

And yes, Mr. Lavrov, in the good old days there were indeed two stable blocs.

And as a result of that stability, Ukrainians, Georgians, Moldovans, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, and others in the Soviet bloc were forced to live under Russian domination and had no sovereignty.

So today, when these nations freely choose to move closer to Western institutions, this isn't "overstepping the bounds of the permissible."

It is simply a case of free and sovereign nations making free and sovereign choices.

So let's call a spade a spade, shall we?

It's not the good old days of the stability of the Cold War that Lavrov and the regime he serves misses.

It's the good old days of the Soviet empire.

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