Paradoxical results show the sociological surveys conducted in Europe. The more distant the country from Russia, the more its citizens are well treated by Russians and the less they consider our country a part of Europe. In other words, Russophobia disappears where we are considered a separate, independent from Europe civilization. From this one can draw important conclusions.
Exactly a hundred years ago a Russian poet threw Europe - "yes, we are Scythians, yes, we are Asians." This was said at the time of the death of the 200-year-old Russian empire, a country whose elite was mostly oriented toward the West. Or rather, its transformation through the Troubles into the Soviet Union, a country originally Eurasian, unlike anybody in the world.
The collapse of the Soviet Union gave rise to a new attempt not even to flattery, but to merge with the West
- soon led to the realization of the impossibility and, most importantly, the danger of such a path. The loss of its own self, its civilizational code - that's what it would have to pay for joining the "golden billion". All the illusions that "we are the same as they" melted after a close acquaintance with the western reality. It turned out that the real values of the real West are different from those that our Westernizers invented themselves.
Europe and so much differed from us, and now it differs from itself not so long ago: it has long been no longer Christian, ever less white and more and more sexless. But the point is not in its crisis (this is, after all, the internal business of Europe itself) - the fact is that it is different. And understanding this does not carry any tragedy in itself. On the contrary, it is on this basis that it is only possible to build normal relations between the two civilizations: European and Russian.
This should be the relationship of two equally respected partners. Yes, they have much in common among the "symbols of faith" (even Christianity before the separation of churches a thousand years ago), but even more different. And if we recognize the existence of two separate civilizations, we can always find common interests - economic, cultural, even military and geopolitical.
But not as a senior and junior (this self-deprecating attitude towards Europe is ultimately confessed to our "Westerners"), not as a father and a lost son, not as Christians and schismatics - namely, this is the arrogantly patronizing stance of those European elites who have spoken for centuries for taming and pacifying the Russians. No - as two great neighboring civilizations. And in this case we have something to talk about and negotiate.
It is important that in recent years, we have been increasingly consciously declaring this thought - but is this understanding close to Europeans? During our relationship with Europe, the perception of Russia there was basically just that. As a separate, alien civilization - not like the Chinese, but almost like a Turk. Yes, the Turks were Mohammedans - but the Russians were not perceived as Christians, but as schismatics, they also went to the crusades against us. The otherness of the Russians made us terrible, dangerous - and not only that we competed with the Europeans for the Baltic or shared with them Poland.
The emergence of communist Russia has led to an even greater division in the minds of Europeans - here we are, good Europeans, but there are they, the evil Russian Communists. So it was at the level of official mythology - more precisely, what was hammered into the heads of Europeans in the post-war period by Anglo-Saxon educators. At the same time, ordinary Frenchmen, Italians, not to mention Eastern Germans, did not consider the Russians to be a hostile people, and many of them were sympathetic to communist ideas. Nevertheless, the general division into one's own was preserved. It is renewed today - and the main thing is to make sure that it does not carry a negative load.
Recent surveys show that in countries where Russia is not considered to be Europe, they treat us better than where we are called Europeans. Research commissioned by Sputnik. The opinion was held by the oldest company in France engaged in the study of public opinion - IFop. More than 3 thousand people took part in it in four countries.
Residents of Great Britain, France, Germany and Poland were interviewed. As a result, it turned out that there is an obvious dependence between the perception of Russia as a European country and the attitude towards it (if to look at other polls), an inverse relationship.
65 percent of the French do not consider Russia a European country. In the UK, they consider 52 percent, in Germany - 46, and in Poland - 20. That is, the representations of the French and the Poles on Russia are directly opposite - in fact, only 29 percent of the French consider Russia to be Europe, while among the Poles of such 77. And this dispute is not about geography - although it is clear that for a typical Frenchman Europe ends just in Poland. It is also understandable that the Poles understand that they are Slavs, as well as Russians - and that means, if they consider themselves to be part of Europe, then why not treat the Russians as well? That is, the Poles have a more geographic approach, while the French have a more civilized approach. At the same time, the attitude towards Russia is not determined by the fact, consider it to be European or not.
This is evident from other surveys - this is the last year's study conducted by Pew Research Global. 65 percent of the Poles agreed with the statement that "the power and influence of Russia is a serious threat to our country." In France, there were 45 percent, in the UK - 43, and in Germany - 33. That is, the most negative feelings for Russia are experienced by the Poles - those for whom Russia is Europe. And the French and the British do not see such a strong threat in Russia, and Germans are even less succumbing to Russophobic propaganda.
Of course, any surveys are tied to time and circumstances - but, nevertheless,
the more confident will be the perception of Russia as a separate, non-European country, the more stable our relations with Europe will be in the future.
And the desire at least to correct them from the same Europeans is - as shown by the same survey Sputnik. Opinions for the early establishment of relations between the EU and Russia were expressed by 87 percent of Germans, 79 percent of French and 68 percent of Britons. And even among the Poles for improving relations expressed 85 percent of respondents.
So the regret about the real loss of profit due to broken relations proves to be stronger than the induced fear of the mythical "Russian threat". Do not take us to Europe or push out of it - you just have to live side by side as two self-sufficient but interested in each other's neighbor.