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Monday, November 20, 2017

Rome and the Pope need Putin


Two days after the summit “the seven” on which Barack Obama talked about Russia’s isolation, Vladimir Putin travels to Italy. The Americans have called the visit a new attempt to split the West, although the Italians are invited Putin – and it would be strange if Moscow does not use their desire to maintain relations with Russia despite US pressure.

Over the past year and a half Putin travels to Italy for the third time – and this is the second trip after the beginning of the conflict with the West over Ukraine and attempts to isolate Russia from the EU by the United States. The fact that Italy became a thin place in the Western United front, it is not surprising – this country has long been is our third most important partner in Europe after Germany and France.

“The fact that Italy became a thin place in the Western United front, it is not surprising”

For 15 years, Putin was in Italy for 10 times (most in Germany), trade grew rapidly, an increase on the order of President before the trip talked about fifty billion dollars. The war of sanctions, of course, led to his downfall – and for Italy’s trade with Russia far more than Germany and France. Of course, the Germans and the French do not want to break with Russia for the sake of Atlantic solidarity, but the Italians do not understand why the US desire to steal from Russia to Ukraine should affect their economies and plans to work with Moscow.

In contrast to the German elites still tightly screwed by Washington and also consider themselves unifiers of Europe, and the French, torn between the desire to restore the special relationship with Russia, the unwillingness to quarrel with the USA and finding their place in an increasingly “German” Europe, the Italian elite a more down-to-earth. Besides the political mosaic that is more difficult than the Germans with the French, and inter-regional contradictions have been reinforced by the unity of the country is not guaranteed.

Need Russia Italy and as a good partner (both in bilateral and multilateral projects, for example, Italians were among the founders of the “South stream”), and as a way to counterbalance the influence of Germany, Rome will always be seen as a historical rival. So the “blockade” named Obama the Italians hope to survive – although I understand that attitude Atlanticist more than serious, and no one will give them peace to do business with Russia.

Funny that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has put the view that in the course of the Bavarian summit “the seven” he was the only one who never said a word about the Russian aggression. And who wrote this “new York times” attributed the silence, Renzi is not even public statements, and to the discussions at the summit, that is, to what was happening behind closed doors.

I don’t know if Renzi were silent, listening to Obama and Merkel, but the question of the press about what he intends to say to President Putin during their upcoming meeting in Milan about the situation in Ukraine, Italian Prime Minister snapped: “I have nothing to explain to the President of Russia. He knows everything himself.” In this case, talking about the meeting of “seven”, Renzi said specifically that the summit discussed the large role that Russia must play in resolving the most important and the most acute problems of modern international relations.

For Italy one of the most important international problems are refugees from Africa, the flow of which increased after Rome, along with Paris, Washington and London overthrew Gaddafi and destroyed Libya. Italy wants to bring Russia to restore order in the Mediterranean, however, Moscow prefers to strengthen its presence in the region through joint military exercises with China, military cooperation with Egypt and the support of Syria.

But Renzi does not expect Russian troops in Tripoli – it is important to maintain and develop economic relations with Russia. For Putin, the young Italian Prime Minister is already the seventh Chapter of the government with which he deals. Of the six former Prime Ministers, the longest was in power, Berlusconi – and with it, Putin had managed to build trustworthy relations, which, however, does not prevent him to maintain good relations with the informal Patriarch of left-wing Romano Prodi. Putin himself explained this by the fact that all of his Italian colleagues were guided by the interests of Italy – and I must say that neither Berlusconi was accused of corruption (he’s a typical tycoon, Italy’s richest man), in relations with Russia, he really proceeded from national interests of their country, and not of Atlantic solidarity (although, of course, and tried to reconcile one with the other).

Renzi, being formally the opposite of don Silvio, trying nonetheless a lot to learn from him – including, it seems, and the establishment of relations with Russia. From Matteo Renzi, the reputation of a reliable Atlanticist, a supporter of European integration, Anglo – Saxon recipe- but it is at the beginning of his career, and it is not clear what would happen if the fee for the continuation of European integration will be the independence of the Veneto region or even the entire North of Italy.

After visiting the exhibition “EXPO 2015” in Milan, Putin will travel to Rome to meet with Renzi and the new Italian President Sergio Mattarella. See it with Berlusconi. But for world media the main event is his conversation with Pope Francis – even the very fact has caused discontent of the Americans: indeed, “the vicar of Christ blesses the horrible totalitarian dictator and aggressor, presenting the main threat to peace”.

Corriere della Sera wrote that American diplomacy recommended that the Vatican does not trust Putin – “the United States, worried about possible Kremlin propaganda, would recommend Vatican to fear Putin.” But despite pressure from the United States, the governments of Kiev and Europe, the Vatican still refuses to act against Russia on the Ukrainian issue, the Italian newspaper. Indeed, the Vatican has not named Russia as the aggressor, and the conflict in Ukraine Pope Francis has described as a “fratricidal violence.”

“Once again we will present your appeal to the international community to resume dialogue, the only path to peace and harmony in this troubled land,” – said the Pope in February of this year, indicating that “victory” and “defeat” are incorrect for determining the end of the war in Ukraine: “This is a war between Christians. On both sides you have received the same baptism. And now you are fighting against the Christians. Think about this nonsense.”

It turns out that the Pope actually supported the position of Russia that Ukraine is a civil war – while the position of the Anglo-Saxons is based on the assumption that poor Ukraine has become a victim of Russian aggression. The attitude of the Vatican to the conflict in Ukraine has already caused displeasure of the Ukrainian Uniates (Greek Catholics recognize the supremacy of the Pope), he hoped to persuade the Pope to condemn Putin. But the Jesuit Pope Francis knows the history – including relations between Catholics and Orthodox, the papacy and Russia.

The main obstacle to the meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow and used to be Ukraine, through the land which historically laid the path for the Catholic expansion in Russia (both military and religious) – and the more complicated relationship of the current attempt of the West to be westernized, that is to absorb Ukraine.

It’s not so much that Francis does not want deepening divisions between Catholics and Orthodox – just as the Pope he best knows, and more deliberate attempts to deprive Russia of part of its territory (including and inspired by the Roman Church) ended for the West a failure. Now the Vatican is interested in cooperation with Russia – not only in the middle East where the Christian population is decreasing due to wars, Western aggression and counter the growth of Islamism, but also in Europe itself. And it is how about keeping at least in some form elements of Catholic Europe and the Catholic view of the European elites about the future of their continent – the Vatican is a kind of representative of the interests of the old European Catholic aristocracy, of which many where unhappy with the total occurrence of the Atlantic Anglo-Saxon to the postmodern project.

Catholics in the Old world are not just a minority – but worse defending the minority, more and more forced to retreat under the pressure of totalitarian global project. And Putin in recent time is perceived in Europe by many as a defender of traditional values, Christian morals – that is, the ally of the Catholic minority.

Such was the case in the history of relations of Russia and the Catholicism in the late 18th century after the French revolution with its fierce secularism, in Russia, found refuge, two of the major Catholic order, the Jesuits and Maltese. The onset of the current Anglo-Saxon globalizers the Roman Church has not yet reached the scale of the Jacobin terror – but the Vatican understands that the process of falling away of the West from the God just does not stop. And see that anti-Catholic the wind blows is obviously not from Russia.

So traditionalists, even as different as Putin and Pope Francis, there to discuss the current geopolitical agenda, and global perspectives.

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