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An interview with a former mayor of Moscow, famous politician and educator Yuriy Michailovich Lugkov.
Yuri Mikhailovich, what could you say about the perspective of “Alliance of Civilizations” program in Russia? In what way could Russian experience be useful in its implementation?
The Alliance of Civilizations is an international organization established in 2001 with the UN General Assembly. The organization was created with the aim to increase the level of international stability. I think that now is the right time to launch this organization in Russia. Our relations with other countries are reaching a fundamentally new level, requiring unique strategies, integration and diplomacy.
In your opinion, whether Russia has unique potential for peacekeeping and in what way does is it express?
In this aspect Russia is quite unique indeed. The country, which had to endure numerous large-scale military conflicts, has gained the genetic memory that any war – is a huge grief, not a solution of problems between the countries, similarly, as well as military-forced actions within the state. In basis of Russia’s thinking – desire for peace, tranquility and development as a counter to opposition and hostility. Nation’s philosophy and way of thinking in country is based on experience of the past as well.
Russia stands in the leading position among the states, concerning area of the territory, which stretches from Europe to America. No doubt, it causes its geopolitical importance. Russia’s ability to protect its lands – is an additional factor, which is always taken into account at assessment of country’s strategic force potential, an arms power indicator. But in the same vein, military potential is focused on deterrence of those, who deem to use military force in their interests, rather than potential of possible offences.
Due to its positions in the world, Russia has an opportunity to almost completely provide and sustain itself, and isn’t interested in acquiring new territories or resources from neighboring states. Such country has objective reasons to seek for peaceful co-existence and interaction with neighboring states and also, according to it’s philosophy and principles, to aim for development of traditions of neighborliness in the interstate area, to implant an idea of inadmissibility of solving problems between the countries with military force.
In your opinion, how did holding the FIFA World Cup Championship in Russia contributed promoting and strengthening of cultural and social image of our country? Whether the sport in your opinion is the effective instrument of national diplomacy and alliance of civilizations today?
The structure of the Russian state strikingly differed from other empires. The primary target of the majority of imperialistic countries’ foreign policy – is expansion of own territory and receiving new resources, generally using compulsory methods, focusing attention on development of empire’s core center. Russia in this regard was rather “the empire on the contrary”: the state set as the priority the purpose of dependent countries’ development, which is in its territory. Supporting it’s outskirts and improvement of life quality at the expense of the mother country’s welfare – it was centuries-old practice of the Russian Empire. It is specific feature of our national mentality, which is based on traditions of patience and ability to firmly endure the hardships of life.
Russia is historically the multinational and multi-religious country, a peculiar embodiment of “alliance of civilizations”. How do you consider, what is the secret of neighborliness and international respect in the history of Russia?
Certainly! Just as in human nature the desire to show his best qualities is implemented, likewise each country – so how the world is arranged – seeks to show the other states its superiority. And now mankind, understanding hopelessness and grave perils of any wars, existing already for long time without the large scale military conflicts, expresses desire to show it’s advantages as occurs, for example, in culture reflecting beauty and appeal of this or that country.
One of the most multidimensional and various ways of demonstration of the advantages is sports success. The sport is a peculiar criterion of might of these or those states and nations, it won’t always be defining, but at this stage in peaceful time allows to show to other country that it is stronger, more powerful, more active and healthier thanks to sports!
What contribution would you like and could to bring in development of dialogue and cultural relationships between Russia and Germany?
Russia historically was always cooperating with Germany, and it was mutual, certainly, useful. We can tell that before World War I the main manufactures and the machine industries of Russia were to some extent created together with the German capitalists. Our country in many respects adopted of Germany’s best practices – in metallurgy and other industries.
It was tremendous mutually beneficial development: Russia received industrial output in exchange for food and natural resources. And today almost nothing changed: Germany is still interested in the Russian market of resources, and for Russia it is still important to gain equipment and technologies. Interaction in every respect is mutually important – in industry, medicine, and development of information, computer facilities, and robotics.
You shouldn’t forget that when at the end of the 20th century Russia passed to a new economic system – capitalism, Germany became the first country, which helped us to ease this process and make it more effective.
Being the Mayor of Moscow, Bavaria became and was one of our most powerful and important partners. Back then I was closely interacted with the Prime-Minister of Bavaria Edmund Stoiber and the Minister of traffic and economy Dr. Otto Wiesheu. We were actively cooperating in the field of small and medium business, maintaining bilateral business and cultural relations, within experience exchange and development of business contacts regularly accepted delegations of Bavarian businessmen and political figures. Moreover, for many years we were perfectly cooperating with the Union of the German economy in Russia. I’d like to note special respect which I have for former Chairman of the board of the German economy in Russia Union, and now – to the honorary president of the Union – Andrea von Knoop.
Even today, being a farmer, I try to support such business and cultural dialogue. By the way, recently in Kaliningrad the Russian-German forum “Made by Germans in Russia” was held, with a purpose similar to what we did in Moscow years backit’s a remarkable initiative – to hold similar events. Forum’s delegates visited our agricultural complex in the district of Ozyorsk, for them we have conducted a tour across the territory of big economy and the ancient horse power plant “Veedern” restored by us.
Dear YuryMikhaylovich, being the Mayor of Moscow you in every possible way promoted revival of spiritual image of our capital; under your management beautiful temples were reconstructed and built anew. According to Constitution, Russia is a secular state. And nevertheless, tell us, in your opinion, are the modern policy and its representatives capable to a spiritualizing whether the believing politician is personally more effective, more responsible for you?
We recognize that the religion and the authorities are divided, and according to some representatives of society – are even incompatible. But it’s much more complicated. Firstly, when we speak about religion, we have to recognize such absolutely obvious fact that for many people the religion recently became more relevant, than it was earlier, especially in Soviet period when it was “strangled” by the only state ideology.
The authorities have to pay attention to the need of society for expression of religious feelings and creation of corresponding comfortable conditions. It isn’t about “vamping” to confessions or their leaders – I talk about creation of corresponding environment, infrastructure. For example, in due time in Moscow we restored and built Orthodox and Catholic churches, synagogues, mosques, setting as the purpose to give the possibility for people of various faiths to resolve issues of spiritual communication in convenient conditions.
In essence, following the precepts, undoubtedly, does the person, professing these universal values, which are present in all main world religions, more spiritualized in terms of realization of the vital purposes. In our country the situation is complicated by the fact that atheists purposefully and aggressively cultivated several generations of people. And following religious rules and traditions is an important part of spiritual work, which, unfortunately, isn’t always a guarantor of mercy and decency in everyday life. And for the politician it’s correct in the same degree, as for normal person. Sometimes this following to precepts is limited only to “formality”, for example: to visit the temple by the light of spotlights of TV video cameras, getting to their lenses near the state’s top authorities.
What foreign policy and geopolitical forecasts can you give for the next 3-5 years? How will the world change and where can we find in it isles of humanity?
Even in current difficult political and economic situation I don’t see serious prerequisites for a major international conflict to emerge. Although in conditions of instability even insignificant factors, including banal offense or bravado, can lead to bad consequences.
Today all over the world the most difficult situation is when small states, which earlier desired to unite with large and strong ones to ensure protection, try – and will continue to do it – to provide their independence by acquisition of sovereignty. This natural change of power balance, which is caused by new philosophy of life, when small nations may not be afraid for their existence and at the same vein, desire to be independent and be on their own path.
Nowadays it’s very important to restore balance. Russia has to create and maintain the equilibrium in relations with China, USA and Europe. Thus, our country, having restored it’s importance on the international arena, will be able to promote ensuring stability and balance of political and socioeconomic situation in the world, nullifying the negative trends, having the considerable potential for development in this world.
Lucky Lee and his empire of Peace
Look around. Attentively. What do you see? Our world is burning and blazing, our planet is bleeding profusely and pines under weight of adversities which she suffers and hardly carries. And today there was only one person who decided to oppose at against all odds, to turn evil into good, and darkness into light. It is – Lucky Lee. The peacekeeper, esthete, great admirer and advocate of modern art combined with true Female Beauty and Charm. The person, who remembers “Cold War” and the times when everyone every second was waiting for global nuclear apocalypse. Gradually this threat was decreasing and became almost illusive. Millions of people were released from fear, and the feeling of internal freedom emerged.
In recent years there is a news flow from which heart clenches from burdensome guesses. Infinite so-called “sanctions” which are thrown up from an Euro-Atlantic bloody “horn of plenty” doesn’t reflect political reality, expresses only cold, deprived of nuances aggression, the aspiration to burn bridges between Russia, Europe and the USA, and also to discredit the president Trump and other leaders of the West who sincerely tried and try to establish this fragile relation. World’s elites don’t wish dialogue with Russia – with the power which is designed to connect the East and the West, to become the greatest Eurasian conductor between civilizations. All Lucky Lee’s destiny, soul and even appearance speak well for this idea. When the USA openly speaks about a possibility of war when opposition of the West and East reached it’s fatal boundary, when the American scientists draw Doomsday clock for 30 seconds ahead and the world stiffened only in 2 minutes from nuclear catastrophe – Russia is deleted from civilizations’ dialogue! The geography and history appointed us to be intermediaries for the solution of world questions.
The last four years in the conditions of global geopolitical conflicts tension in the world is restored. There is a complete feeling that “Cold War” has been restarted. For this reason Lucky Lee created social movement Vote4Peace, and organized a round-the-world travel with a series of peacekeeping projects. Nobody in common sense will prepare to preparehis family for military stance and therefore considers that the issue of peace – the arch-important in our life.
Both in personal, in public, and in political life each individual, collective, country and nation have to be guided by these three principles: own advantage, zeal to help people around and idea of pacifism as peaceful co-existence of all and all. Can you say,is there an advantage of Russia’s isolation in the worldfor somebody? Whether attempts to publicly humiliate us will help someone? And whether allsteps will be fatal when the prospect of power resolution of conflict is terrifyingly real? We hope that history will answer on all these questionsnegatively.
The conflicts, wars, aggression – all these influences the subsequent generations and doesn’t leave them the choice to be happy. We are only who collected 100 thousand votes in support of peace between Russia and USA. Mass-media boycott the subject of peace and don’t carry out educational mission which is charged to them since they are not intended for this purpose. With his projects Lucky Lee wants to pay attention is creation of favorable environment without aggression and wars.
In recent years he steered up his public activities to reconcile the countries and to bring harmony in society. His program theory can be expressed by the simple motto: “Advantage, Assistance, Peace!”.
Being a person of show business, Lucky Lee not once was speaking about this danger in language of erotic art and pop culture. So “The Calendar of the Apocalypse” where beautiful girls perish in flames of nuclear explosions in the capitals of the world was born. So there was a musical of “Beast & the Beauties” played by the Russian troupe and presented in the New York Webster Hall.
And here we have street protests in Washington and New York which inspired Americans to vote for peace as well.
Realizing that the conflict between Russia and USA can be the most dangerous in mankind’s history, Lucky Lee with enthusiasm apprehended Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s meeting in Helsinki. It was the first major step of Cold War’s termination attemptedat the highest political level.
Now Lucky Leegoes forward. As the President of the Russian Striptease clubs association, the representative of Russia on annual Gentlemen’s Club EXPO – the largest congress of night clubs owners in USA, he presented to American side “The memorandum of cooperation”. Signing of this memorandum by official heads of the American Association of the managing clubs will become a peculiar development of political arrangements of Trump and Putin, now already on cultural area. This document will rally Russia and USA in fight against rejection, prejudices and discrimination against employees of the club industry, will help to realize community of our purposes and values and will rally our nations in their common desire for peace and happiness.
For Home! For PEACE!