Inferiority Complex? Why Do Some Russian Politicians Bend Over Backwards for Westerners?

— May I put in a phrase before your speech? Because in our programs you've repeatedly stated the idea Trump's implemented. It doesn't mean you prompted it. But Trump started saying... What is the point of the US interests according to Trump? To get the industry back into the US territory. To create jobs. To create the maximum employment of the population. To create the maximum growth in prosperity for the population. What Yakov is talking about. What you were constantly talking about. That we need to create jobs and get the industry back.

Sergey Mikheev, top political expert: Vladimir, let's say I pronounced this unconsciously. I was in а somnambulistic state. I dare say in this room a couple of kind words. Well, somebody should say to them. As a matter of fact, the preparation, as far as I understand, this visit of senators was in the frame of preparation to the meeting between Trump and Putin, the meeting, I hope it'll take place, is a positive thing. At least, it reduces tensions in common and it gives certain chances to both sides. But how will the chances be used? That is the question of the game and the question of being able to pursue the policy of observance of the national interests. Will we be able to make use of the hard lessons of history we discussed here or not? I hope we've learned something from the past.

Anyway, there's a state of some kind of the unconscious euphoria, you know, because Americans have come to us. Indeed, we can remember the period of the 1990s when any foreigner seemed to us a saint, an academician of all given sciences, and a professor, all at the same time. Is there such a risk? Yes, there is. To my mind, there are two main factors I've mentioned several times. But I consider it necessary to repeat them once more. Firstly, it's some kind of a serious internal mental dependence on some inferiority complex. Even the people who talk about patriotism a lot suffer from an inferiority complex on the inside, unfortunately. Indeed, as soon as they find an opportunity to have contact with the West — with Americans, with Europeans — their national identity isn't fully functioning, and they don't understand that this isn't for fun. This is for work. It's the duty of ensuring national interests. It's not a joyful feeling that you'll meet Americans. That was what Gorbachev bought who we talk about a lot. I think there were a lot of factors, but his vanity was one of them. He was just eager to become famous. He wanted to make history and he made it! In a negative way for us. He wanted the glory. He wanted the glory. He was bought with this. They calculated his patterns, including this one. And they got what they wanted. Unfortunately, this point is residually true for a lot of people in politics today.

Secondly, I think primitive economism continues to prevail in us. Yes, the economy is a serious and an important thing. And yes, Vladimir, as you've said... As you said as I've said…

— You said it yesterday at the program.

— The restoration of production, creating jobs, and prospects for people is one of the main tasks. Nevertheless, this and the primitive economism that turns everything into money... It goes in terms of market relations — a profit today is good, if tomorrow I get losses, it's bad. This primitive liberal-style economism keeps seriously affecting our policy-making. People convinced of the libertarian market approach are convinced of our discussion on national interests and sovereignty being nonsense. They're convinced that to make money we have to improve relations with the USA at any cost. They are firmly convinced of that. They're supporters of the globalist approach. To my own perception, they seriously influence our policy-making. Unfortunately, the history has shown to us that such an approach that took place in the 1990s, when we were offered to exchange everything for money, such an approach exists today as well. Such liberal "shock" reforms never did any good and always put the country to a point of crisis. If money takes the first place in your mind in the very primitive meaning, not as a means to achieve something but as an end in itself, you can forget about national interests. You don't have any. You aren't capable to reason using such notions if money is an end in itself but not the means for implementing certain tasks. To my mind, the influence of these ideas on policy-making is still huge.

I have to parry in a way. With all due respect to the points, "economic prosperity" is a term that needs to be explained. Firstly, it can differ; secondly, it can be achieved in different ways. It's not the same. For example, in the 90s under the slogan that we need the economic prosperity the USSR, the Warsaw Pact, and all the rest were broken up. Everyone remembers that. The point that we have to give up our interests and we'll get the economic prosperity was the key topic of the breakup ideology that eventually worked out. That's why I'm not against that, I support that. The point is the term "economic prosperity" needs to be elaborated and explained. Now, a lot of people from the liberal bloc can explain to you that the economic prosperity without improvement of relations with the USA at any cost is impossible. They explain that. They say we don't have low-cost loans which we can resell it here for a better price. Since we don't have that, let's make a deal with different countries at all cost and let's keep selling loans. That's why the economic prosperity is important. But I point it out once more — it's too little for ruling a country like Russia. It's not enough. Russia can't be ruled as a business project. Prosperity at any cost only leads to destruction. That's why I agree on that, but an explanation is needed here.

Some more kind words about the meeting. Even the preparation to it inspires awe in our adversaries at the entire perimeter. Let's take Ukraine, for example. I think they nervously watch how such meetings are prepared. Mr.Zhirinovsky said that at the personal meeting an agreement on Ukraine will be reached. I don't believe in that, but it'll be good if they do so. But the question needs an explanation here as well. What kind of an agreement? Agreements can differ. We should realize that Vladimir Putin's strong point is foreign policy. If there's an agreement that can be interpreted as our concession, I'll say an unpleasant thing, but it'll have a catastrophic aftermath for the domestic policy. It should be understood. If in the 90s it was being surrendered in bulk and you could say that "you know, a new era is coming, now you're going to get your dividends, cars, and houses, gather some vouchers and so on. A new life will come." Then this trick could go off. Now no one's going to buy this. And it'll never happen. Because the Americans have no offer for Russia's economic development that can be exchanged for the national interests. That's why from the domestic policy point of view, such things should be treated with utmost care.