The Baltic Region

2018 Vol. 10 №4

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Two civilizations: the relations of Russia and Western Europe at the beginning of the 21st century



The challenges of building relations between two different civilizations, which Samuel Huntington and Lev Gumilev wrote about, are currently becoming more obvious due to the cardinal geopolitical and geoeconomic changes that have taken place since the demise the USSR and the world socialist system. Today, in the West, as if in contrast to the famous project by Charles de Gaulle —“Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals”, an extremely negative image of Russia is being formed. Western ideologists stick to the axiom according to which despotism and slavery, allegedly being the basis of Russia's internal order, inevitably give rise to aggression in relations with the outside world. Of course, these ideas do not take into account the ongoing socio-economic changes in the country and have little to do with modern realities. They are a mere reproduction of the old Western xenophobic moods going back to the time when Russophobia was widely spread in a number of leading European countries. The article explores historical roots of Russophobia and their manifestations at the beginning of the XXI century in Poland and the Baltic countries.