Not in terms of taxes, as George H.W. Bush said, making this phrase famous, or a meme, if one wishes, but in terms of Russia NOT GOING back to Europe. So, read my lips: majority of Russians have a profound sense of contempt for modern Europe and Russia's future is in Eurasia, not in Europe. The reason I post this because of a funny exchange between Chris Chuba and the guest under the handle Milly, who discuss Milly's statement:
There was no liberation of Europe or anything else by the Red Army! You, as a Russian are only entitled to believe that the Red Army liberated USSR. As soon as it passed the western border it became an occupier. Reason for that is simple: every "liberated" country and people would have preferred German occupation even under Nazis rather then occupation by the soviet communists or any Russian (communist or not) occupation, for that matter. Don't you see how unwelcome the Russians are today for ALL Europeans including one or two orthodox peoples who were somewhat inclined to look upon Russia as a friendly country until having been screwed up by "new Russia" acting cloak and dagger on behalf of the "partners", like the Serbs for example. Therefore, for Russia: no more "partners", no more friends, no future looking towards Europe and that is a truly terrible proposition for all Russian industrial, financial and political oligarchy. In other words: Europe and Russia are two totally different worlds whether you like it or not.
Milly, whoever he(she) is, obviously failed to read this blog and keep abreast with the events of the last 8 years or so. Not only I constantly stress the fact that modern Europe and Russia "are totally different worlds", but I am on record for years calling for erection of the new Iron Curtain by Russia and detaching Russia from Europe in the most dramatic way, bar some basic economic ties which are mutually expedient, for now. There could be no normal relation between Russia and Europe as a whole and Eastern Europe in particular. I agree with Milly, Europe is an enemy of Russia and latest moves by Russia testify to this fact--from Russia declaring in her new Constitution a primacy of Russia's laws over any supranational, primarily conceived in EU, laws, such as European Human Rights Court, to shutting down, finally, a bunch of NGOs which, despite declarations, have nothing to do with "democracy" and "human rights".
Apart from some economic ties, the main task for Russia in new geopolitical paradigm is to be an arc for those Europeans who are still sane and cannot live anymore in the multicultural totalitarian cloaca Europe increasingly becomes. Here is the second reading of my lips: never again Russian soldier's foot will step on European soil--keep the Iron Curtain and let Europeans face whatever they cooked for themselves--it was their choice. I am sure Arabs and Africans have own ideas on the fate of Europe. So, if tomorrow Europe will start wearing burkas--Russia has no business in all that. If new European idea of marching to the East rises again, Russia simply has to wipe out the seats of European governments who advocate such a plan and this is easy to do. As long as EU countries pay for Russia's hydrocarbons and other products, they can do whatever they want and all become transgenders if they wish. Europe cannot be saved and Russia and Russians have a very clear understanding of this fact. If there is a hint which cannot get any clearer that Russia wrapped it up with Europe, this is Shoigu's plan for new Russia's Siberian industrial clusters:
"We need to build at least three, but preferably five, large centers of scientific, industrial and economic activity in Siberia," he said. "In other words, they should be cities with a population of 300-500,000 or, better – up to a million people. And we shouldn't only build a city and move the capital here, but make each [new city] specifically aimed at one or another sphere of activity."
This is Shoigu's not only the actual plan--obviously approved at the very political top of Russia--but Shoigu's path to Russia's presidency. Shoigu is the guy who gets things done. This major undertaking in Siberia:
Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that the initiative proposed by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to build new cities in Siberia is very important. “Of course, the development of the country requires the emergence of new centers, new cities,” – said Peskov, adding that the development of existing cities is also a constant priority for the country’s leadership.
You see, Europeans still don't get it that they are not that important to Russia anymore and they still love to delude themselves with their self-importance, while in reality, bar few Russian Nouveau riche and tourists, there is very little value in Europe for Russia. Just to give you some idea, why should Russians go to France's Nice or Spain, when the string of resort cities on Russia's Black Sea coast--even considering ever expensive Sochi--goes through transformations like that. Here is old Russian resort city of Gelendzhik (I, actually, have few friends who live there), and this is just one of many such cities.