On December 8, 1991, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine took a joint decision to partly do away with the Soviet Union. The disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was perceived across the world as a collapse of communism. The fact, however, is that neither the communist alliance nor the Cold War truly came to an end. Although East-West policies became increasingly moderate and relations changed for the better, the world is still divided along old ideological lines.
There are various players that are still torn between this bipolar world: One is Ukraine. As many people have seen, people in Ukraine took to the streets in the days following President Viktor Yanukovich’ refusal to join the European Union after a meeting in Vilnius.
Yanukovich wanted to keep his distance from Russia, but also does not prefer to lose Russia’s support because of pressure and Ukraine’s economic situation. There was always the threat of Russia implementing the customs prohibitions it had promised.
This was described as essentially a threat of Russian embargo on Ukraine and was regarded as very dangerous.
Understandably, Russia’s objective is anchored on its ambition of uniting the former Soviet countries under the Customs Union. But should this upheaval in Ukraine really be a cause for concern for Russia?
Let us leave behind the bloody and terrifying history of the USSR, its rules, its crimes and its perverse ideologies, and look at the present. The world is currently wrestling with polarization and the difficulties that comes with it and, therefore, cannot tolerate the continuing Cold War that is covertly going on. These difficulties are driving different countries to seek alliance upon which they can act together. Many countries have realized that divisions are making things more difficult for them and, for which reason, alliance is essential.
The Soviet perspective of the Second World War blinded Russia from seeing Ukraine’s need to join the European Union. It is deeply suspicions of the unrest in Ukraine, although Ukraine’s desire to become part of the European Union should not be a problem for Russia.
It has, therefore, become important for Ukraine to give Russia the guarantee that it will not break away from the former Soviet alliance and that it is still a Russian ally.
It has to do some balancing act and the best way would be to strengthen trade ties with Russia, despite Ukraine’s EU membership had Ukraine’s president decided to join the EU.
This may be an unfamiliar recipe for some. Yet bearing in mind that Turkey is a member of the European Union and, at the same time, enjoys significant commercial relations with Russia, Iran and China, there is no reason why any former Soviet republic should not do this.
This model, starting with Ukraine and discarding the old communist concept of alliance, can be a step toward East-West integration.
The Russian and Ukrainian peoples are very loving, enjoy a healthy sense of self-worth as well as values and are modern. One important fact that needs to be borne in mind is that neither the Russians nor the people in other former Iron Curtain countries want to see a cold, mafia-like, anti-democratic and ruthless face of communism. That is why they cannot even bear to see the statue of Lenin and want to get rid of it.
The peoples of these countries have, to a greater or lesser extent, abandoned the communist thinking and are becoming increasingly religious.
They are not pleased to find the reflections of the communist mindset in buildings and in art or in its conception of love. They look with alarm at the apparatus of fear that symbolizes the sinister mafia-like organizations in former Soviet Turkic states. They no longer want them. They want to rid themselves of the old, decrepit spirit of communism.
Against this backdrop, we must understand the desire of the Ukraine people to draw closer to Europe, where they could not see the traces of communism. However, it would be a grave error for Ukraine to abandon Russia. In extending its hand to Europe, Ukraine must remain a reliable friend and trading partner of Russia, and must follow a line that does not alarm Moscow. In this way, Ukraine can serve as a bridge between the world’s two poles.
Now is the time to eliminate the old, bipolar world. The world needs a strong and rational alliance, instead of artificial polarization. This must bring with it the East-West alliance that the world has desired for so long.
The world will grow better together, regenerate together and build peace together. In searching for a solution, we can best obtain results by concentrating on “unity” instead of taking sides. That is why it is always unity that Allah wants from us.
Adnan Oktar's piece on Saudi Gazette: