“And there’s Europe,” Freddy said. “It’s not just one country, and it’s dependent on Russia’s gas.
“Business leaders in Germany have just told their chancellor, Angela Merkel, to stop pushing Putin, and French businesses aren’t far behind doing the same.”
“So much for the union of Europe,” I said.
“So much for reality and the need for everyone to realize that a revitalized Russia’s in the making,” Freddy said.
“Say what you want to about Putin, he’s no dummy. He’s more than being a survivor of what didn’t work all that well with the end of the Soviet Union. He’s the lynchpin for change for more than what Russia’s role is going to be because Europe and we are going to have to react to that.”
“You make it sound like he sees himself as more than some kind of political savior of his country,” I said.
“I haven’t a clue as to how he sees himself,” Freddy said.
“What I do see is a middle aged guy in great physical shape who has seen what didn’t work and has a pretty good idea as to why.
“I see a guy who is proud of being a Russian who wants to restore Russian pride in itself and respect from the rest of the world, and he’s going to do what he can about that come Hell or high water.”
“And what do you see for us?” I asked.
“I haven’t a clue, but I hope it will be better than what we’ve been getting for too long because we are a nation divided against itself and nothing good can come of that,” Freddy said.
“Maybe Putin sees us the same way as you,” I said.
“I wouldn’t be at all surprised,” Freddy said.
Bill Plante is a Newbury resident and a former executive editor of The Daily News.