Russia & the West.
Pt. IV: Vodka vs Caviar, or the Eternal Opposition?
Again a tussle with Europe (oh, it’s not a war yet: they say that we – Russia, that is – are still a long way from war). Again the endless Eastern Question is in the news; and again in Europe they are looking mistrustfully at Russia…. Yet why we should go running to seek Europe’s trust? Did Europe ever trust the Russians? Can she ever trust us and stop seeing us as her enemy? …
The West in Russia is more than just the ‘West’.
Captain Obviov, Lost Letters & Memoirs, 1989-2009.
…Let me quote Romano Prodi once again: “Russia and the EU are united like vodka and caviar“. He tried to modify an English proverb – ‘like whiskey and soda’. But my Russian friends told me that vodka and caviar are not always perceived integrally in Russia. Perhaps, I will advise him to say like vodka and herring next time.
Richard Wright (Head of the European Commission mission to the Russian Federation), Evropa (journal of the European Union), №6(29), June, 2003, p. 2.