Why West refuses to accept Duma election?

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/9/19 0:08:39

The Russians went to polls on Sunday to elect their lower house of parliament, the Duma. The United Russia that supports President Vladimir Putin is expected to get more than 40 percent of the votes, continuing to be the dominant party in the federal parliament. The election is viewed by some as a rehearsal of Putin's re-election in two years.

Mainstream Western media have derided the election, with the New York Times running an article headlined, "Kremlin says it wants a spotless election, but locally it is marred."

Russia has made a great leap forward from a traditional socialist system during the Soviet era to the current Western-style electoral system. During this period, the Soviet Union collapsed, Moscow lost all of its Eastern European allies, and experienced economic shocks and social crises.

However, Russia is still seen as an authoritarian country and is now under harsh sanctions imposed by the US and Europe. The relationship between Moscow and the West has reached its lowest point in history. No matter what Moscow does, it will not be welcomed by the West.

In the eyes of the West, its democracy is fake, and its international role is aggressive. It is also seen as an unethical country, as its track-and-field and weight-lifting athletes were banned from participating in the Rio Olympics and all of its athletes were banned from the Paralympics.

The West did not like Moscow from the Cold War era, but the Soviet Union was powerful enough to give a counterpunch. After the US took the lead to boycott the Moscow Olympic Games in 1980, the Soviet Union, together with its allies, boycotted the Los Angeles Olympics four years later. Moscow also called for its Eastern allies to advocate the West's decline and decay in response to Western propaganda.

Today's Moscow can hardly be as influential as in the past. The West has always castigated Russia, which was not expected by those who celebrated the country's "democratic victory." Russia is in a helpless situation.

International politics is ruthless. The West would not remember what efforts Moscow has made and what price it has paid to come to the current stage, but only cares about how Moscow should act to serve their interests and how to pressure Moscow to make a compromise.

The relations between the West and Moscow are dominated by geopolitics. Putin's hardline approach toward Washington turns him into the enemy of the entire West. Any democratic format, as long as it leads to the re-election of Putin, will be deemed as evil.

Russia shows us that the West's attitude toward a non-Western country has little value for the country to evaluate itself. We will get nowhere if we simply cater to Western opinion, especially that of Washington. We need to persist with our path according to our own interests and needs.

Posted in: Editorial

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