Russia Is a Natural Friend; China Is Not

Commentary Contrary to the spin from neocons and the mainstream media, Russia is playing defence, not offense, in its confrontation with the West over Ukraine. Misunderstanding Russia’s motivations, and its fundamental nature, could have tragic repercussions for us, not least further driving Russia away from the West—its natural ally—into the arms of China, its natural enemy. Almost continuously since the 17th century, when Peter the Great began to transform Russia along Western lines following his tour of Europe, Russia has identified with the West, and sought to join the West. The Russian court spoke French. Tsar Alexander II freed the serfs after Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. Even Russia’s embrace of communism—the only time it strayed from its Judeo-Christian traditions—was a Western import, Karl Marx being the fashion in Germany, France, and England. Today, Russia embraces traditional Western values more than does the West itself. While many in the West …

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