Landsbergis: “Russia is an Empire”
Professor Vytautas Landsbergis, a member of the European Parliament and former Speaker of the Lithuanian Supreme Council, gave an interview to the Japanese newspaper “The Sankei Shimbun (産経新聞),” where he described Russia as an empire and criticized the invasion of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.
The newspaper’s correspondent, Endo Ryosuke asked, “Now that the Soviet Union no longer exists, how do you think today’s Russia poses a threat to Lithuania or the Baltic states?” Landsbergis responded to his question by saying, “Some say that the Soviet Union no longer exists; yes, politically and geographically it is no longer exists, however, the political culture and the central government in Moscow as affected by the Soviet Union, is still there and wants to continue its reign, maybe not very bluntly, but it is in another form.”
Another question from the Japanese journalist was, “Do you think that the word ‘empire’ is for the current Russia, the current Russia is whether an empire or not?” Without demur, Prof Landsbergis said that Russia is an empire in his opinion. “Russia lost some of its colonies. The postcolonial period in the Western empires was painful, and sometimes aggressive and tortured. Neither Britain nor France have colonies in Africa or India anymore. Russia had suffered this as well. On the map, maybe they are not an empire, but what has happened in the Caucasus, where Chechnya wanted to have its own country and create friendship with Russia? Not only did they not allow it, but they also destroyed hundreds of thousands of people in ruined cities and showed that the one who has power is the one who is right. This is a very medieval attitude,” said Vytautas Landsbergis.
*Text was translated by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco