VVP wrote a comment in the FT on 21st November (paid for subscription required) Europe has nothing to fear from Russia.
I share his sentiment, as long as you define Europe as being west of the "near abroad."
There were a number of strange things about the article. Not least of which is that it was originally written in Russian and translated by a non-native english speaker. Which meant that it was full of long-winded meaningless statements which have no meaning in english. They are beloved of Russian writers, not that anyone can explain what they mean;
"Though it is not striving to join the EU, when I consider the future of our relations I do not see any areas that are not open to equal, strategic co-operation based on common objectives and values."
It was also strange in that the target audience was solely EU heads of state and their foreign policy governments. So much so that the FT wrote a translation of the article yesterday. In fact the piece was so abstruse that it did not even appear in the physical version of the FT delivered to me here in sunny Moscow.
Despite the FT's translation there remain passages which still remain beyond my understanding (not being the sharpest pencil in the pile). Wrap your collective brains around this paragraph;
"Russia is closely watching the EU’s evolution, not least because the pace of development of our relations and their future depend largely on changes in the EU. The Union could remain a predominantly intergovernmental association or acquire supranational functions. Russia wants its largest neighbour to be stable and predictable, and hopes that changes and expansion will not erode the EU’s uniform legal framework, primarily in the sphere of ensuring equal rights to all EU people irrespective of country of origin, nationality and religion."It may help to translate it back in to Russia and then back in to english via a third language - Mongolian maybe.
And then of course there is the requirement to recognise that Russia has a different European past from the Europe it wishes to join economically.
"When speaking of common values, we should also respect the historical diversity of European civilisation. It would be useless and wrong to try to force artificial “standards” on each other."
Other than the english being truly horrible the translation is; let us develop our kleptocracy our way and we will laugh at your Chirac's, Spanish mayors and British paid for peerages.