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Mischief of blissful or Russias on the way to the international isolation

April 27, 2015 the Chairman of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin called on for to the exclusion of the RF Constitution the principle of priority of international law over national public interest for the umpteenth time. - Vector New experts analyze where it may lead

To the delight of the owners of the Kremlin as a result of a massive information attack on the minds of the Russians their mood has finally and long-awaited changed. It is confirmed by the results of a poll held be Levada Cente in March 2015. Thus, answering the question "What the historical path should Russia take", 55% of respondents were in favor of a "special way", 19% believe that it is necessary to return to the course, which moved the Soviet Union, and only 17% voted for the European civilization model. At the same time 68% of Russians believe that they live in a "Great State".

At the same time, the union of the increasing number of adepts of the idea of "special path" of Russia along with people with communist views over having more and more adherentds comparing with their traditional opponents - advocates of the Euro-Atlantic civilization - should not be taken as surprise. As we know, the search of unifying national idea and the way of development of Russia continues for a long time and is accompanied by a fierce ideological and political struggle between the Slavophiles and Westernists. First, insisting on the need to preserve the identity of Russia on the basis of Orthodoxy, autocracy, nationality, believe that Russia has its own special way, which is to follow, borrowing only the advanced technology from the West. Westernists on contrary believe that Russia is developing in the same historical laws as the Western countries, but lags far behind them. In their opinion, it is necessary to eliminate the historical backlog by the perception of spiritual values and achievements of the West preserving national identity. The most characteristic essence of the dispute between Westernists and Slavophiles can be seen in their relation to the history of Russia and the personality of the Russian Emperor Peter I. If, in the opinion of the Westernists, by "opening a window to Europe," Peter I updated his country, returned it to the western progressive path of development, created the conditions for organic combination of the interests of Russia and the developed European countries. On contrast, Slavophiles believe that Peter - is the embodiment of evil, as he knocked Russia from the original and organic way of development. They are convinced that if it were not for Peter's reforms, Russia has achieved better forms of historical development than in Europe.

It is interesting that Marx was looking for answers to questions that divided Russian liberal thinkers into two warring camps in 30-40 of XIX century. As it already turned out now, his attitude to Russia’s past and the role of Peter I was not clear. Thus, analysing the history of Russia in the Secret diplomacy XVIII Century (which, incidentally, is known under another name - Revelations XVIII century diplomatic history, which has never been published the USSR and was first published in Russian only in 1990) Marx stated that Russia is nothing but a rebirth Muscovy under the yoke of the Golden Horde, which has nothing to do with the ancient Rus': “cradle of Muscovy was bloody morass of Mongolian slavery, not harsh glory era of the Normans. A modern Russia is nothing more that transformed Muscovy... Muscovy was raised and grew up in a terrible and vile school of Mongolian slavery. It is only intensified by the fact that it has become virtuoso [LXXXVIII] in art of slavery. Even after its release, Muscovy continued to play its traditional role of a slave who has become a master. Later Peter the Great combined political art of Mongol slave with the proud aspirations of the Mongol ruler, whom Genghis Khan commanded that carry out his plan to conquer the world.”

The revolutionary and military upheavals of the twentieth century, nearly 70-year reign of communist ideology in theUSSR, brutal censorship and political repression among Russian philosophers, social scientists has reduced the sharpness of the debate between Westernists and Slavophiles, but did not reconcile the supporters of these views. In the context of the ideological vacuum created as a result of the collapse of the communist ideology in the Soviet Union, the fall of the Iron Curtain and the opening of borders, after which Russia has received more opportunities to adopt Western values, the controversy over the “special path” of development broke out with renewed vigour. Gorbachev’s companions, who tried to modernize the USSR with incarnation of Westernernist’s ideals to the idea of “perestroika”, met with the resistance of the orthodox Communists. Who in alliance with supporters of the LDPR Zhirinovsky and liberals of Chubais defended the “special path of Russia's development”. Despite the various ideological and theoretical platform, they all share imperial ambitions.

This debate gained a new level when Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle have put it into action. Especially “convincing” sounded their arguments through the use of military force against Georgia and Ukraine in response to the desire of these countries to get out from under the protectorate of Russia and become full members of NATO and the European Union. After recovering from the surprisingly harsh reaction of the UN, EU, NATO and other international organizations on military aggression against Ukraine Kremlin propaganda machine ran at full capacity. Abstracts of the cunning of the West, the NATO offensive on the Russian border, bloody Bandera, Kiev’s junta started to be consistently introduced into mass consciousness. By creating a virtual reality, the Russian government is trying to justify itself in front of citizens for the introduction of the restrictive sanctions by the West that actually led to the international isolation of Russia and increased the distance and so the obvious its lag from the civilized world.

It is logical that in the forefront of the strugglers for the President Vladimir Putin are the deputies of the State Duma of his party United Russia. However, even in this monolith obedient mass there are individuals who, through their initiatives have questioned the ability of the Russian political elite objectively perceive reality and adequately respond to modern challenges and threats. A typical representative of this group is a graduate of one of the Soviet military schools born in Leningrad (St. Petersbourg), the deputy of the State Duma for four convocations, a member of the political party of United Russia E.Fedorov. This is the politician who attracted the attention in 2014 with resonant statements that the lyrics and music for songs of popular in the years of perestroika rock musician V. Tsoi were written by CIA. He was one of the first to claim on Russian TV channels that Revolution of dignity was an American project, he intimidated the US expansion to the Russian border, blaming Kiev junta in an attempt to rehabilitate fascism and etc. E.Fedorov called everyone to fight against criminals and liars in the Russian media In order to save Russia from the effects of Maidan, a powerful fifth column of the Media, including RBC, Snob, Echo of Moscow, the TV channel Rain, Slon, Newsru.com and also accused the musician Andrei Makarevich for collaboration with the Nazis.

Judging by the bellicose rhetoric, E.Fedorov shares the belief of the representatives of the military-industrial complex of Russia, who convinced President Vladimir Putin that the most worthy Russia's response to US and EU imposed sanctions must become more aggressive and offensive action. Thus objective indicators of the real socio-economic situation in Russia and the amount of the losses inflicted to his own people – is not taken into account. For example, in December 2014, E.Fedorov t with co-party member A.Romanov and a deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party S.Kasatonovyi submitted a draft of Federal Law of the Russian Federation "On the introduction of measures to protect the economy of the Russian Federation and the restrictions on the activities of legal entities and citizens of the countries -aggressors in the Russian Federation" to the State Duma. The law has passed all stages of negotiation, and despite the negative terminal of the RF Government it was passed in the State Duma in the first reading. Experts note its main innovation attempts is to give a new, different from the conventional definition of the term aggressor State. The authors in "special" Russian version propose to consider an aggressor State as a "foreign state (union of states), which takes measures to restrict the (sanctions) against the Russian Federation, Russian citizens and Russian legal entities". This definition is clearly contrary to universally recognized principles and norms of international law, confirmed by resolution 3314 (XXIX) of the General Assembly of December 14, 1974, according to which aggression is recognized as "the use of armed forces of a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or by any other manner inconsistent with the UN Charter". So, the introduction of political and economic sanctions, even the most severe, can not be considered as grounds for declaring the country an aggressor state, the fact of the use of weapons is the must. There is no doubt that the authors of the bill, while working on its text, got acquainted with the generally accepted definition of the term. They understand, why Russian President Vladimir Putin before the results of pseudoreferendum in the Crimea, had to take into account international law and blatantly lie without acknowledging the participation of Russian troops in the annexation of the Ukrainian territory. For the same reason, he denies their presence in the Donbas. As in the case of recognition of the use of force, Russia's actions clearly fall under the definition of aggressor state with all the political and international legal consequences. However E.Fedorov colleagues seek once again to advertise themselves ardent patriots of Russia and try, at least at the national level, to legalize the status of Russia as a state - innocent victim of NATO. At the same time enrich the legal terminology such questionable to say the least, synonymous to the term state as the union of foreign states.

However, we can’t consider E.Fedorov to be ignoring and reduce the above-mentioned reasons of the bill development only to the incompetence of the author. He has Ph.D. in Economic science, has extensive experience in legislative activity, is the head of the Committee on Economic Policy and Entrepreneurship of the State Duma. The true reasons for the development of this bill lie in a completely different thing and they are only partially related to the morbid form of Ukrainophobia of an author. It turns out that behind Euroatlantism of E.Fedorova lies entirely pragmatic lobbying of Russian business interests. Thus, according to the Ministry of Finance 70% of the Russian market of consulting and audit services, the volume of which in 2013 amounted to 90 billion rubles, belongs to foreign companies, especially those that are Big Four members (PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Ernst &Young, Deloitte & Touche). The share of their profits from the audit in 2013 increased by 22.4%, while 46 major Russian audit companies - only 4.5%. Since the access of foreign audit firms to the majority of strategic enterprises in Russia threatens the strategic interests of the Russian Federation, accordind to Fedorov’s logic, all foreigners companies need to be expelled from the Russian market of consulting services by administrative means urgently under holy for Russia the pretext of "ensuring national security of the Russian Federation". According Fedorov "the realisation of the Act does not require additional expenditures from the state budget of Russia". From a formal point of view perhaps it is true. However, you we only guess what the reaction of foreign businessmen interested in the restoration of favourable investment climate in Russia to the vote in the State Duma on the bill will be. Definitely, they will not be thrilled with the ban on cooperation with the auditing company of Big Four. However Fedorov is a little worried about it, how he is not confused by the recognition of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev that "losses from imposed sanctions are significant". According to some experts, Russia has suffered damage totaling about 25 billion euros and it is 1 5% of GDP, while in 2015 this sum may increase several times. But it is likely that those loyal "soldiers of the Party "as Fedorov are going to be blunt and strongly supports Putin, ready to" go to the end" in defence of Russian interests. 

Fedorov has a staunch reputation of the classic "hawk" among Russian politicians, who calls for uncompromising "struggle for the liberation of Russia from the colonial dependence on the United States, which emerged as a result of the defeat of the Soviet Union in the Cold War". It appears that he successfully combines long-term MP status in the State Duma, membership in the pro-presidential party United Russia with the duties of the head of the Central Headquarters of a National liberation movement. This public organization has defined the purpose of its activities as the restoration of sovereignty lost in 1991 as a result of the defeat of the USSR in the 40-year war with the United States. Fedorov is convinced that one of the main tasks in this way it "to expel the norms of the Constitution of the Russian Federation which ban on state ideology, as well as to remov of legal field of the Russian Federation, the so-called generally recognized principles and norms of international law". Fedorov plans to achieve this goal through national referendum, he has collected signatures of a number of deputies of the State Duma from the Liberal Democratic Party and the Communist Party in support of the bill.

It would be possible to take all of these initiatives as a mischief of blissful, hoping for common sense of the Russian leadership, which must be aware of the negative effects of domination ideology of "Russian world" in the multi-ethnic and multi-religious Russia. Of course, we could laugh at Russian lawmakers  who in the case of denial of the priority of international law will be forced to give up also on the theoretical achievements of Romance and Germanic (continental) or Anglo-Saxon (island) systems of law and to begin legislative activity, based on primary sources such as the Novgorod Judicial Charter, Pskov Judicial Charter, the Moscow Law in 1497, Law of Ivan the Terrible in 1550. But as it is said in the poem Alexandra Smirnova Osipovna (1840) by  Lermontov: "All this would be funny if it was not so sad". 

Especially that "obvious" in modern Russia looks like "incredible". In particular, on April 27, 2015 Chairman of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin once again publicly called for the elimination from the RF Constitution the principle of priority of international law over national law. This is not an empty political chatter, but the official statement of political heavyweight. Especially as people talk about his particularly close relationship with Putin, which developed during their studies in the same group of students at the law faculty of Leningrad State University, where A.Bastrykin was a prefect. This probably means that Putin and his inner circle in the Kremlin are seriously concerned about their own security and are looking for suitable variants of its maintenance. There is no doubt that once the danger becomes real, "Putin majority" in the Federal Assembly of Russia, which is more like a collection of aggressive imperial reactionaries of empire age race, who will give their votes for amending the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Abolishing the rule of decisions of international courts over the decisions of the courts of the Russian Federation, despite its membership in many international organizations, so that Russia could withdraw from its obligations to implement them. For Ukraine, this means that already dubious prospect of taking Russia to the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court or the European Court of Human Rights (the annexation of the Crimea, military aggression against Ukraine, as well as war crimes in the Donbass)  for its decisions will become more elusive ...

At the same time, the introduction of these changes in the Constitution once and for all to secure for Russia the status of a rogue state, paving the way for its exclusion from the authoritative international organizations, similar to the expulsion of the USSR from the League of Nations in 1939 for the war against Finland.

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