Something that had never happened to me was that I arrived in a country that was different from what I expected. When I arrive to Russia, the only thing that coincided with my expectations was the weather, but the people and the general behavior of the country surprised me a lot. Contrasting it with other expatriates who lived there, we agree that when you tell us that it is so different from expectations, nobody believes it. That's what motivated me to write this book. " Xavier Roig refers to your essay L'enigma rus
( The bell).
Roig (Barcelona, 1957) has focused his professional activity in the field of new technologies and has worked all over the world as director of multinational companies. Now he presents this personal style essay about his vision of Russia, a country unknown to the western world and which he tries to explain because he believes that the rapprochement between the European Union and Russia would be beneficial for all parties.
The author does not deny that he feels a certain admiration for Russia: "An admiration he did not have. I think it's important to deal with this ignorance, and that's what I'm trying with this book. " The thesis of L'enigma rus is that, if we look at Russia with different eyes, things could be better for everyone: "It's a bit what the political scientist says Andréi Grachov in the prologue: If Europe dispenses with Russia, it loses something of its soul. Since Peter the Great arrived, in the 17th and 18th centuries, Russia has lived looking at Europe, and they are Europeans. " On the other hand, in the West they have a bad image: "Those who come here are the oligarchs and the rich people, but the Russian middle class would be happy to be European. We would win all, because Asia sees Russia as the Asian door in Europe, and vice versa. "
"Russia is more interested in a multipolar world than in a bipolar world, because it knows that two do not win"
As it does not stop being a giant, it gives the sensation that, if it entered the European Union, it would cause an imbalance: "This idea comes from the time of the cold war. In fact it is not a big country, there are 144 million, like the inhabitants of France and Germany together, but it is a huge country, the largest in the world, one sixth of the land that is out of the water, and, of course, govern it it's not easy, you need huge resources, "Roig reasons. "Talking to the people there, they say it's too big to be a member of a club and too small to be a member. From the bipolar world we have moved to a multipolar world, which is the one that interests Russia, because it knows that two do not win, "he says.
"I do not say that I have to be part of the European Union, it is not necessary to be integrated, but I should have an associated State treatment, with preferential relations. But those are things that affect personal issues, and that's why we'll probably have to wait for someone to arrive after Putin, with a new generation. "
Some voices have said that the book is pro-Putin, and Roig clarifies it immediately: "It is not pro-Putin, but pro-Russia: in the nineties Putin eliminated the mafias and ended the chaos, and it was very important. What happens is that they are alone and there is almost no political opposition, nor do they have the support of other countries to carry out the necessary reforms, as it does in the EU, that some countries push others on the road to democracy, although in cases like Spain, it never ends ".
The book provides a surprising fact to Western eyes: the data of the dead in the WWII by countries. 300,000 Englishmen died, 400,000 Americans and 25 million Russians. "Exactly, they consider that they won that war, and we, on the other hand, have a very different perception, because the non-Soviet world has forgotten it," he says.
"We have forgotten his firm fight against fascism. We have produced our films, and they have produced theirs. We do not know what they are doing, but they do, "he continues," because language is a great handicap. All young people know English, which creates great imbalances. It's a bit of what happens to the Catalans, that we understand two languages, and it also happens a little to the Germans. "
Hence the need to decipher L'enigma rus.