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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

“Ivan Blo: Many French people admire Putin”

“My countrymen are very surprised when I show figures that the wealth of Russians has quadrupled since 2000,” he stressed in an interview with the newspaper OPINION of the famous sociologist and writer, Advisor to Nicolas Sarkozy . He presented his new book “’s Russia”.

Tuesday in the Paris library “Thiers” at the Institute of France will be held presentation of the book by the French politician, publicist, and sociologist Ivan Blo “Putin’s Russia”, published thanks to the efforts of the international expert center for Rethinking Russia and the publishing house Bernard Giovanangeli Editeur.

“The Russians were our allies in fighting Hitler, so my father gave me a Russian name Ivan”

The author is a former member of the European Parliament and the National Assembly of France, former Deputy Minister and now adviser to the leader of the opposition party “the Republicans” Nicolas Sarkozy. Active in relevant policy Ivan Block combines with research and teaching and writing theoretical works, such as “Direct democracy is the only chance for humanity” (by the way, has recently become the subject of discussion at the seminar of the Russian popular front).

Expert, for many years devoted to the study of Russia, is a strong proponent of close strategic cooperation between Paris and Moscow. According to Bloch, the essence of what is happening in the country processes and phenomena can be opened via “through the achievements and results of the work of the President of Russia”.

Vzglyad talked with Ivan Blo about what the French see our country and perceptions of its leader, as well as the possibility of “rethinking Russia.”

OPINION: Mr. Bloch, in the Preface to your book you write: “Putin’s Russia” – is one example of an objective view of modern Russia. There is a preconceived notion about modern Russia? Can you give specific examples?

Ivan Blo: not familiar with modern Russia. Often it is interpreted as a continuation of the USSR and as a tradition of political authoritarianism. Also it is often considered economically underdeveloped. She is suspected of aggressive foreign policy.

Thus, Russia is accused of assault on Ukraine, while the Kiev is killing its Russian-speaking compatriots in the South-East, instead of giving them autonomy within a federated state. My book struggles with these myths: no! Russia is not a dictatorship, it’s democracy! Russia is not some backward country! She is not threatened with demographic extinction! Russia is not an aggressive imperialist power. It is not an enemy for Europe and France.

OPINION: Tell us about yourself. Why are the French so interested in Russia? What is your connection with Russia?

I. B.: My family is a family of rebels. My father was a naval officer and a member of the resistance group “komba”. The Russians were our allies in fighting Hitler, so my father gave me a Russian name Ivan. When I was elected member of the European Parliament from 1989 to 1999, I was doing a report on cooperation between Russia and Europe in the field of safety of nuclear power plants. Then I visited Russia and began to discover this country.


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