Staunton, October 31 – For all their blather about the defense of traditional morality, Vladimir Putin and those around him believe they can buy anyone in the pursuit of their goals, a conviction supported by the behavior of some European leaders but one that promotes ever greater irresponsibility by Mosocw, according to Sergey Parkhomenko.
On his Ekho Moskvy program, the journalist says that that is why the new revelations about the way in which Moscow corrupted the FIFA process that led to Russia’s selection as host of the World Cup in 2018 is not an isolated incident but a clear indication of how the Kremlin operates in a wide variety of spheres (echo.msk.ru/programs/sut/1649100-echo/).
Having come into possession of enormous sums of money after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s new rulers concluded that they were “people who with the help of these unprecedented sums could achieve whatever they wanted” by buying off officials and businessmen abroad/
“They bought the Olympic Games, they bought the World Cup, they bought the highest European officials,” Parkhomenko says. They bought Gerhard Schroeder by having him become a senior employee of Gazprom to the point that many Germans now wonder whether he had been bought and paid for by Moscow even while he was chancellor.
Similar speculations concern former Italian President Silvio Berlusconi and many others in Western governments, businesses, and international bodies like the IOC or FIFA, the journalist continues. Sometimes Kremlin officials had to pay a high price; at other times, a lower one. But Moscow was ready to buy and all too many were ready to sell out.
“All this trade, all this world political commerce,” he continues, had a most negative effect on “the minds of a large number of Russian leaders, including the very highest … They really believed that it is possible to buy absolutely everyone.” And that became the philosophical foundation for “an enormous number of decisions” the Kremlin has taken.
That is because the assumption became fixed in their minds that if they took a decision and it went wrong, they could solve it by spreading about even more money, something they could do because they had it and because so many abroad were ready to take it. For Kremlin leaders, it simply became a question of how much they might have to pay.
That conviction in turn “has given rise to the very greatest political irresponsibility” among the leaders of a nuclear power. They no longer have to think about how others will react before they act but only about how much they will have to spend to buy off these people after they do something.
Moscow’s “purchases” of the Sochi Olympiad and the World Cup were only “training” for much bigger things such as how the Russian authorities would respond after they invaded a neighboring country and annexed part of it to the Russian Federation, Parkhomenko argues. That makes it critically important to investigate the bribes Moscow has offered and those who take them.
Just how much money has been paid out to FIFA officials or even to Sepp Blatter himself is going to be revealed by the current investigation, but this case is just the tip of the iceberg of a much larger threat not only to the Russian Federation but also to other countries whose own citizens make them its victims.