Some say that the ‘no’ result of the referendum in France is positive for Russia, since they consider that while continued disagreement exists within the heart of Europe, Moscow’s margin of maneuver is greater. I don’t agree with that. A strong European Union has strategic interest for us, and to fulfill those interests, it is necessary to have a constitution. This it is based on Russian principles that are advantageous. In our country, for example, the principle of protecting national minorities is defended. The European Union would be more interested in the problem of minorities in Lithuania and Estonia. That constitution is based on the idea of the expansion of democracy, as well as other fundamental questions of importance for the democratization of Russia and the development of the international cooperation.
Some new countries have historical complaints against Russia and are creating problems for our integration into the European Union. The Constitution offers the possibility to include Russia in those integration plans. We need a new “roadmap” technique and new judicial bases. The main difficulty that exists between Russia and the European Union is not the confrontation between two systems with different values, but the crisis of a system of relationships whose objectives are not defined. To speak of our entrance in the European Union is of course premature, but in the long term, I do not see any reason that Russia, if it enjoys a flourishing and democratic climate, cannot be a member. The Constitution would allow it.

Vremya Novostyey (Russia)

Есть мнение, что негативные итоги референдума во Франции выгодны России ,” by Nadejda Arbatova, Vremya Novostyey, May 31, 2005.