Eduard Rubénovich Malayán doesn’t put much stock in the allegations by Washington intelligence agencies that Russia tried to intervene in the November U.S. presidential elections.
In fact, the Russian Ambassador to Mexico finds the accusations both offensive and ridiculous.
“There is not one shred of evidence to back up these preposterous and unfounded charges,” he told a group of Mexican journalists during a breakfast at his embassy earlier this month.
“If there were such evidence, why hasn’t anyone presented it?”
Malayán went on to say that Russia is not only innocent of trying to mold U.S. political thought and intervene in internal policymaking, but is not even interested in doing so.
He added that the brouhaha of unsupported allegations by U.S. agencies against his government is only serving to drive a wedge between the two countries.
Within the current international geopolitical landscape, he noted, there are basically two fundamental movements in global foreign policies: the trend to concentrate on what benefits a nation’s unique strategic interests, and the trend to try to export and impose ideological values.
“Russia’s current foreign policy is solidly based on the mutual respect between sovereign nations and defense of our own national interests, not the exportation of ideology or political values,” Malayán said.
“We tried exporting values and revolution during the Soviet era, and that didn’t work out very well for us. We have learned our lesson and now focus on our national interests.”
Meanwhile, Malayán said that the United States and Western Europe are still concentrating on trying to export values, which, he said, has led to social disorder and political unrest in many parts of the developing world.
He made specific reference to the so-called Arab Spring that took root in North Africa and the Middle East, creating a turbulent surge of regional violence and social upheaval that eventually led to the unprecedented flood of political and economic refugees into Europe.
Malayán added that the West should learn the lessons of Russia’s failed value-exporting policies in order to prevent further tragic consequences that could have negative repercussions for the entire global community.
The export of revolutions — whether they be communist or ideological in nature (such as the West’s exportation of democracy) — will inevitably lead to disrupture in the recipient country because the imposed values have been custom made for the would-be donor societies and do not mold easily to different cultural and ideological settings, he said.
The reason the Arab Spring never bore fruits, or at least not the cornucopia of democracy and civil rights that is was expected to produce, was that too many of its architects tried to borrow from a Western model of democracy that had been tweaked and perfected over centuries and adapted to a Judeo-Christian template.
And while there is obvious evidence that the vast majority of the people in the Middle East and North Africa want to vote for their leaders and to have a voice in decision-making on issues that affect their daily lives and social identities, they also clearly want that to happen in the context of an explicitly Islamic framework, not in an entirely secular, liberal and imposed context that is divorced from their fundamental identities and beliefs.
Which is why trying to export democracy to other nations without their direct solicitation and involvement ultimately leads to failure.
Malayán rightly pointed out that in the case of Western intervention in the Arab World, the erroneous efforts to implement reforms and impose democratic ideologies instead resulted in the wanton destruction of national institutions and social values.
Consequently, rather than its intended goal of equalitarianism and respect for human rights, the foreign-sponsored Arab Spring produced a social mayhem of violence, poverty and social division.
Malayán said that rather than fixating its foreign policy on exporting values or creating mistrust and tensions through baseless allegations, both Russia and the West should concentrate on confronting the global threats of terrorism, environmental degradation, security and sustainable development that are the concerns of all sides.
The time for exporting theologies and picking bones over spurious innuendos belongs to the 20th century, not the 21th, Malayán said.
“We have more important challenges to face today,” he said, “and we can’t get down to the serious business of confronting them until we get past these petty notions of the past.”
Thérèse Margolis can be reached at email@example.com.