Putin still sees USSR break-up as catastrophe – spokesman

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(RIA Novosti – December 21, 2016)

Russian President Vladimir Putin still believes that the break-up of the Soviet Union was a catastrophe, his press secretary has said. Dmitry Peskov said while the break-up could not be reversed there was no alternative to “new integration” in post-Soviet space.

“Putin still thinks that it was a catastrophe for all the peoples that lived in one union state. It was a catastrophe that drove us back considerably in our development,” Peskov said in an interview to Mir television channel, as quoted by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti on 21 December.

“Therefore, we all, including Russia, have had to make up for a lot. Putin’s attitude has not changed. But you can see for yourselves that one cannot, of course, speak about some sort of reverse processes, this is impossible,” Peskov said.

“Logic dictates the need for new integration in the space of the former Soviet Union,” Peskov said.

“And we view the CIS [the Commonwealth of Independent States] in this context. Yes, it is a very difficult integration process, it is a very unwieldy integration process, but it has no alternative for us all. We can see that more dynamic, closer interaction formats are emerging from the CIS, such as the Eurasian Economic Union. Therefore, the logic of this new integration dominates. And this is positive,” he said.

In 2005, Putin famously described the collapse of the Soviet Union as the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century.