Feb 12, 2007

Putin on History (PBD)


Ern's post below got me thinking...Is Putin correct when he says, "Russia is a country with an over 1,000-year-long history and has almost always been privileged to pursue an independent foreign policy."

The phrase "almost always" is the kicker.

First, it is difficult to argue that the Riurykide princes had anything approaching a modern conception of "independent foreign policy" in 882.

Then, there was that little business of the Golden Horde which, shall we say, severely curtailed any independent foreign policy agenda from 1240 to 1480.

And we will certainly have to ignore the Polish interventions during 1018 and 1598-1613, the latter being a time of troubles in which the Russian state was certainly in no position to look outward, when it's own survival was so much in question.

This leaves us with 865 years in which a foreign power was not directly orchestrating Russia’s "independent foreign policy." In fact, Russia will have to avoid foreign intervention until the year 2142 AD – before it can rightfully claim a 1,000 year history of "independent foreign policy."

Not bad as far as history goes. But who’s counting, Vladimir Putin.

2 comments:

Erin said...

Thank you for doing the math, Peter. It needed to be said, for the record.

Jennifer said...

Well, we can certainly ignore the "Polish interventions" but cannot forget the "Polish-Lithuanian" ones...

1386: The marriage between the Polish queen Jadwiga, daughter of Louis I, and Lithuanian archduke Wladyslaw II Jogaila, who converts to Christianity, changes name to Jagiello and de-facto unites Christian Poland and pagan Lithuania

1565: Poland and Lithuania are formally united under king Zygmunt/Sigismund ("Union of Lublin"), last of the Jagiellonians