Why would any European leader be pro-Russian?

Like what exactly does this country have to offer? Isn’t it like poor or something? I don’t even get why Russians are pro-Russian.

Would have thought there would be more opportunities siding with the west.

Explain me please.

Russia is a great place to be an oligarch, a friend of an oligarch, or certain folks on the outs with the US and the EU.

I wouldn’t conflate a political statement of “Russian support” with necessarily a personal support for that gov’t.

How much do you want your country to be a target like Ukraine turned out to be.

Particularly in the east: Uncertainty in the future adds to the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia for the past older folks. Soviet block wasn’t too bad, right? Politicians chase votes and old people tend to do that. Also consider demographic age shift of eastern europe. I am guessing a large number younger folks have moved away for more opportunity, yay Schengen!

Or you might be an aspiring ruthless tyrant who the west would not tolerate but Putin would welcome.

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Russia has a crap ton of fossil fuels that they export. Germany, Austria, Italy and France import a lot of natural gas from Russia. Turkey imports a lot of natural gas AND oil. (Russia’s other big oil customers are China and India, with China being the biggest, by far.)

Western European countries are scaling back after the invasion of Ukraine, but I don’t think they’re completely weaned off Russian natural gas even now.

I think they have good soup.

Are you referring to borscht:

Some know it as borshch , some as borscht —a beet by any other name would smell as sweet. In 2022, UNESCO declared the iconic sour soup, known for its signature crimson color and occasional smetana (sour cream) garnish, to be Ukrainian “cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding,” citing the ongoing Russian invasion and the consequent displacement of Ukrainians from their ancestral home as a threat to “the cultural contexts necessary for the cooking and consumption of borscht.” The designation by the international cultural authority was widely seen as a landmark decision in the ongoing cultural dispute between the two countries on borshch’s true country of origin.