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WRE Special

The Zhirinovsky Interview - Andreas Umland .3

Eastern Europe

The Illusion of Security - Leszek lesien 6

NATO: "A Promise to Marry" - An Interview with Dr. Jamie P. Shea - Pilar Ortuno-Anaya and Peter Richthofen 8

A Thousand Little Nizhnys - Gareth Williams 10

Western Europe

Overcoming Germany's Past - Matthew Beard 12

Greece's Balancing Act - Gazmen Xhudo 13

Croatian Refugees: A European Dilemma - Peter Belmont Alderman 15

Middle East

Fundamental Misconceptions: Islam and the Media - lens Hansen and Matt Heavens 18

Kurdish Self-Rule: A Fragile Experiment - Khaled Salih .20

A Vietnam-Style Imbroglio: Turkey's Kurdish Problem - Eric Sean Goldstein .21

Turkey: The Quest for a Civil Society - Celia Kerslake 23

Lebanon: Past and Future - Rana Hanna .24

North America

JFK Deconstructed - Ray Takeyh .26

The Canadian State: Destined to be a ''House Divided"? - Tim A. Mau .28

Medical Malpractice: Tort Reform and the Clinton Health Security Act - Douglas Holden Wigdor .30

Latin America

Luis Donaldo Colosio: Next Mexican President? - Monika Liitke-Entrup .33

Mexico: Bridge or Rampart? NAFT A and Investment in Latin America - E. V.K. Fitzgerald .36

Cuba 35 Years After: Some Reflections on Castro's Revolution - Alison Stone .38


What is ''Ethnic''? Etymological Reflections - Dr. Saul Dubow .40

Tribalisation of Africa - Retribalisation of Europe - Professor Terence Ranger .42

The New East-West Divide: A Response to Professor Ranger - Suke Wolton .46


One Southeast Asia - Kavi Chongkittavorn .48

Japan: The End of Post-War Pacifism? - Hitoshi Ohnishi .50

The End of a Dream: Is India Falling Apart? - Michael Schied ....................................................•...................................... .51

Tired of Making History: The Student Movement in Post-War Korea - Lew Seok-Choon .52

Arts, Reviews, Ideas

''Dubai or Not to Buy" - The Rise of the Islamic Art Market - Mark Gibson Moran .54

Global Public Opinion? - Timothy R. Clark 55

Defining Women - The Politics of Linguistic Imperialism - Giuliana Lund 57

Who Will Cast the First Stone? - David Keen 59

Front Cover: Campaign Literature - Courtesy of Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Artwork and design by Matt Heavens and Peter Richthofen.



Vladimir Zhirinovsky

"The West Will Pay For Us"

While conducting research in Moscow last August, Andreas Umland had the opportunity to interview Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia.



WRE: Why have you called your party "liberal democratic"? It seems that you stand for rather different values, such as the restoration of the Russian state. You supported the Emergency Committee [the organizers of the aborted coup) in August 1991. You are on good terms with Dr. Frey [leader of the extreme-right German People's Union], who is not regarded exactly as a liberal democrat in Germany ....

Zhirinovsky: A pure liberal democracy is not possible in our country. Look: the attempts of [Yegor] Gaidar [the economic reformer who resigned from the Russian government in January 1994] to introduce here a liberal economy led to a total breakdown. The country is on the brink of ruin, on the brink of a military coup. Therefore all of this should have been done step-by-step. Then we would have moved more quickly towards the liberal model. Time is needed for this, a lot of time. This [the liberal model] is, so to say, the direction of our development. That does not mean that this is the aim that we will translate into reality tomorrow.

WRE: However, good relations with, for example, Iraq would seem to be contradictory to the principles of Western liberalism.... [Zhirinovsky has been a strong supporter of Saddam Hussein, whom he met on a visit to Baghdad. The LDPR sent volunteers to Iraq at the time of the Gulf War.]

Zhirinovsky: Agreed! However, our attitude to Iraq is based on the fact that it is a strategic ally as concerns our foreign policy and not on the basis of its domestic regime .... Iraq has the same enemies as us - Turkey and Iran.... If Saddam Hussein was in New Zealand or in Ethiopia, in Somalia or in Chile, I would have no connections with him. [Our relations] are founded on military-strategic considerations, on geopolitical grounds, concerning the security of our [southern] borders.

WRE: Shortly after the creation of your party, you had some contacts with liberal democrats in Western Europe.

Zhirinovsky: Yes, exactly. But they did not want [contacts]. I wanted to have relations with them. It is their fault.

I wanted us to be admitted into the Liberal International [an international grouping of liberal parties].

WRE: Is this the reason you established contacts with European right-wing movements?

Zhirinovsky: I established contacts with those who agreed to have contacts with us, in order to have people in those countries with whom we could cooperate.

WRE: The German People's Union is not a very influential party in Germany ....

Zhirinovsky: Still, we proceed from the assumption that at least we have something, some contacts after an .... A certain closeness already exists. He [Dr. Frey] has invited me. Ihave invited him. Yes, they are not very influential. Yet, what can one do? If the German liberals do not pay us the necessary attention.... I cannot simply leave it at that. After all, I can exercise a certain influence in Germany through the German People's Union, through Munich, Bavaria .... The same with France: I would like to have more contacts with the Union of French Democracy of Giscard d'Estaing, with the Gaullists. Yet, they do not give in, and Le Pen agreed to meet [with me]. Therefore these steps [relations with European right-wing movements) are forced on me, not because my or my party's viewpoints correspond with the philosophy [of those groups]. These are actions we are forced to take in order to establish contacts with these countries.

WRE: The reluctance of liberal democrats in the West to establish any contacts with you can be explained by, among other things, the fact that you are proposing the resurrection of the Russian Empire within its 1914 borders, including Poland and Finland.

Zhirinovsky: Because they do not know us well enough. It is necessary for us to meet more often, to talk with each other and to know our positions. Therefore, I am against any empires. Empires are unnecessary. However, one can also not destroy Russia as such. Russia has its own geopolitical space. We do not need anything from outside. Finland should stay Finland, and Poland [should stay Poland] too.

WRE: You include the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] countries in your definition of Russia. However, if you want to annex the former Soviet republics to Russia,



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they will probably struggle against it. How do you propose to reincorporate these states into Russia?

Zhirinovsky: The creation of the CIS was illegal!

WRE: Nevertheless, the former Soviet republics are independent states today. How would you bring about the creation of the Russian province "Dushanbe", for example, in place of the current state of Tadjikistan?

Zhirinovsky: They already agree in Tadjikistan that there will be a Dushanbe province! This is all because of the war. In the south, all this came to pass on account of war. In Central Asia and the Caucasus they will fight among themselves for a while. And then, they will want to be incorporated into Russia as provinces. The Baltic countries will return to Russia because of economic measures ....

WRE: Which is doubtful.. ..

Zhirinovsky: Who will supply energy to Estonia? Timber, metals - who will supply these things?

WRE: Russia - on the basis of mutual.. ..

Zhirinovsky: But we will not give anything! We will supply nothing!

WRE: Still, these countries would hardly agree to become parts of Russia again.

Zhirinovsky: We shall see. They will have to decide. When they understand that they cannot manage without Russia, without its economy .... The Russian population there comprises half a million, even more. And they will not accept the status of second-class citizens for long. This will be the situation, when they come back to Russia.

WRE: Your scenario would be economic blockade and ...

Zhirinovsky: ... the agreement to develop the economy within the framework of a single state. If not, we will trade with Finland and Turkey, with China and India, but not with Estonia. Let the Germans and the Swedes supply Estonia!

WRE: One more question on foreign policy: at the last congress of the National Salvation Front [the umbrella group which encompasses the extreme opposition parties in Russia], there was a proposal for Russia to leave the United Nations, on the grounds that it has allegedly become nothing more than an extension of the United States. What are your thoughts on international organizations like the UN or the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank?

Zhirinovsky: If we have in these organisations a position Russia deserves ....

WRE: What do you mean by "a position Russia deserves"?

Zhirinovsky: That we are not counted as lower quality than we [actually] are.

WRE: After all, Russia already has a defined position as a member of the Security Council.

Zhirinovsky: Yes. In principle the UN should follow a neutral line. If it carries out a pro-American policy, this will be not profitable to us.

WRE: Would you then propose to leave the UN?

Zhirinovsky: Under such circumstances we would leave the UN. If it plays the role of an international mediator and if it is an objective and independent organisation, we will support it. We are opposed to anyone's hegemony and we do not aspire to such a role ourselves.

WRE: And what is your opinion about the global financial organisations?

Zhirinovsky: The same. If these organisations act for the purpose of the recovery of the world economy, we will be supportive. However, if one group of states enriches itself through the impoverishment of another group, we will not take part in this. Although, we will take part in this if we belong to the group of states which enriches itself at the expense of the other group. We are ready for this.

WRE: To obtain credits 'fom the IMF, for instance ...

Zhirinovsky: ... and not to pay them back!

WRE: ... one has to fulfill certain conditions.

Zhirinovsky: We will not fulfil anything! We will set the conditions.

WRE: Then there will be no credit.

Zhirinovsky: We do not need it. We will manage without it. Conditions are negotiated with us on an equal basis - partnership relations. We will ourselves dictate conditions to other countries. They should not dictate conditions to us.

WRE: Still, one cannot do without compromises.

Zhirinovsky: Compromises - definitely, but compromises which take into account the interests of Russia. Let us take the division of spheres of influence. Let us divide the planet into such spheres.

WRE: And what sort of "sphere of influence" would you demand for Russia?

Zhirinovsky: The very smallest! Only three countries:

Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan. For Western Europe - the whole of Africa. Let them deal with that. For North America




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- all of South America. For Japan - all of Southeast Asia, th~ Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. This results in a very good division: from the North towards the South.

WRE: Turkey is a NATO member.

Zhirinovsky: So what? ltisaNATOmember. ItwiIlbelong to Russia's sphere of influence.

WRE: Maybe Turkey might not agree to this.

Zhirinovsky: It does not have to be asked.

WRE: In Iran and Afghanistan there is the problem of Islamic fundamentalism ....

Zhirinovsky: That's fine. We will neutralise it - this is in the interests of the West. And the West will pay us for this.

WRE: In cash?

Zhirinovsky: In cash.

WRE: And what amount...?

Zhirinovsky: We will see. The sum we need at that moment. We will calculate what it will cost for us, and the West will compensate us for that amount. If not, we will direct the Islamic factor against Western Europe and secure our southern border - through Turkey and the Balkans into Western Europe. Today there are 4 million Turks in Germany. In France there are many Arabs.

WRE: Are you focusing on this area because you are an orientalist by profession?

Zhirinovsky: Yes, this is my area of expertise. This is exactly the region where one can play well for a very long time.

WRE: How would you yourself explain your success during the presidential elections in 1991? You appeared on the political scene only three weeks before the voting, yet received significant support [6.2 million votes, or 7.81 %].

Zhirinovsky: I was the youngest candidate. I was never a communist. All the others were communists. I had a clear position on all the issues. And the Russian question [regarding the 25 million ethnic Russians living outside the Russian Federation]. And I boldly stated the reasons for our crisis. All of this caused definite attention and led to this result.

WRE: At this moment [August 1993], according to the opinion polls, your popularity seems to have fallen.

Zhirinovsky: No, quite the contrary! At this time, I am in third place, after Yeltsin and [Alexander] Rutskoi [the former Vice-President]. Yet, Yeltsin is a serving politician and I am in the opposition. Therefore I am in first place among

politicians of the opposition. And this is their distorted and manipulated data. If you take the newspaper Pravda: it has published an interview with General Lebed' [commander of the Russian forces in the Dniestr region of Moldova] this week. He has finally admitted that the data from the Tula division [used to demonstrate strong support among the military for Yeltsin] was forged in order to benefit Yeltsin. Today, 28% of the votes are for me, 23% for Yeltsin. That means if one carries out a real and objective poll, we are second or third place.

WRE: What is your answer to those journalists who describe you as a fascist?

Zhirinovsky: Well, when this happened, we brought a civil suit against them and that was it. It happens .... You can see fascists now. They are running around. The "Black Shirts" are marching. We do not have this. We are opposed to any use of force. Only in the framework of democracy. Therefore: Liberal Democratic Party. Elections, democracy, freedom and so on. We are against any exaggeration. Fascism, communism and anti-semitism are precluded.

WRE: Then you do not see your party as an extremist one?

Zhirinovsky: By no means. We are a moderate, rightcentrist party twenty degrees right of the centre, like the Gaullists, Giscard d'Estaing in France, the CDU/CSU in Germany, the Conservatives in Britain, the democratic Republican Party in the US, the Conservatives in South Africa, the LDP in Japan and so on.

WRE: Let us say you become the president of Russia and that you would have to deal with a parliament in opposition. How would you behave? Would you tolerate such a parliament?

Zhirinovsky: Of course! It is necessary to try to come to terms with the parliament and to find compromise solutions. Early elections are, of course, a possibility .... They take place in various countries. Still, one has to find a compromise formula, so that there is a stability of power and respect for the executive and the legislative [branches]. One always has to find ways which are in accordance with the law.

WRE: This would be consistent with the Western notion of liberal democracy. Your political history, however, seems to contradict this. One gets the impression that you are saying to everybody the things that they want to hear. Your actual point of view is difficult to discern.

Zhirinovsky: Such is the country, the country ....

Andreas Umland is an M.Phil student of Russian and East European Studies at St Cross College. Oxford. This interview was made possible by a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Travel Bursary and the support of Mrs. Fiona Fenton of the British Council in Oxford. Nick Gvosdev, a student of St Antony's College, helped to prepare the interview.