Russian nationalist leader Zhirinovskiy ditches anti-West stance

Moscow, 8 December: Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR)
Vladimir Zhirinovskiy has said his party intends to adjust its foreign
politics. "We are abandoning the anti-American and anti-Western sentiments
in our foreign ideology," Zhirinovskiy told Interfax today.

The LDPR will change their emphasis at an extraordinary meeting on 13
December, "proceeding from the situation in the world after the September
terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, and the latest pattern of
Russia's interaction with the US and NATO", he said.

The LDPR will also be turned into a national political party in compliance
with the new Russian law On Political Parties, adopt a new programme and
charter, and elect governing bodies, he said.

Elaborating on Russia's relations with the West, Zhirinovskiy noted that
Russia and the US should interact "to provide security in the world",
citing Russian and US involvement in the antiterrorist operation in
Afghanistan as "a brilliant example" of efficient joint efforts in this
area. "I would like to compare May 1945 and the seizure of Berlin to
November 2001 and the seizure of Kabul - both then and now we acted as
allies," he said.

What is going on these days exactly symbolizes "the restoration of allied
relations and an end to the Cold War era", Zhirinovskiy said. "However,
these changes must not negatively affect Russia's southern and eastern ties
- those with China, India, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt and other countries,"
the LDPR leader said. "Russia should be turned towards the west, the south
and the east," he noted.

In addition, Russia should seek to become "the third political centre in
the world" in a structure comprising the US, a unified Europe and Russia,
he said.

Zhirinovskiy also pointed to a new LDPR initiative. The party intends to
address the Russian Foreign Ministry and international organizations, first
of all the UN, to "give a clear-cut definition to all fanatics and
extremists who take up arms to oppose both their governments and other

"We suggest that they be defined as mutineers and be exposed to measures
analogous to those the international antiterrorist coalition is resorting
to in Afghanistan," he said. Zhirinovskiy also suggested the "Balkanization
of the conflict, which presumes the bringing of international peacekeeping
forces into that country after armed sorties by terrorists are suppressed".

In Zhirinovsky's view, this international peacekeeping contingent should be
represented by servicemen from the US, other NATO countries and Russia in
equal proportions.

"Russia and America can and must cooperate today, and there are all the
conditions for this," he said.
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