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Dalai Lama Underscores Russia’s Peace Potential as a “Bridge between Europe and Asia”


His Holiness the Dalai Lama has emphasized the important potential of Russia’s political role as bridge between East and West and urged President Vladimir Putin to take a long-term view of the country’s position as a global superpower. Speaking in an interview with the state-owned Russian news agency Sputnik, published on Thursday, the Tibetan spiritual leader also urged Russia to join the European Union as a concrete move toward bolstering global peace. 

“Russia is a big nation and a bridge between Europe and Asia. I think you [Russia] can make some significant contribution to the promotion of peace of mind,” His Holiness told the news agency. “I think that Russia is a great nation, very powerful. Recent events showed that Putin as a leader of the Russian nation pays more attention to the issues in different parts of the world. I think that is good.” (Sputnik)

“Today the world is passing through a critical period. In such a time President Putin should think very carefully, take into consideration a wider perspective and a long-term interest. That’s important,” he stressed. (Sputnik)

The Dalai Lama underscored the importance of unity in the pursuit of common interests as a key component of building a peaceful world and ending centuries of bloodshed and animosity. “Russia must join the European Union to strengthen the peace of the planet,” he stated. (

“In the previous century, the member states fought each other, killed each other,” he noted. “Then after World War II the very nations who were really involved in violence—France and Germany—they realized that now it’s much better to think about common interest rather than Germany’s interest, or France’s interest. This is a realistic approach. So the European Union was created, and in the last few decades there was no killing among its member states.” (Sputnik)

The octogenarian Nobel Peace Prize laureate also sought to downplay the need for outdated political institutions such as monarchy, calling for a focus on education and democracy on the path to peace.

“A few days ago the Japanese emperor [Naruhito] acceded to the throne, and yesterday a new British prince was born [Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal baby]. I really feel that [monarchy] is outdated. Russian Bolshevik revolution eliminated the tsarist rule, and the French Revolution also eliminated the king’s rule. I feel this is right. All these kings, queens are part of old thinking. In that system, there was too much emphasis on military power,” he said. (Sputnik)

“Today [the] time has come for democracy. The world belongs to seven billion human beings, each country belongs to [the] people of that country. When people think properly, are educated, then I don’t think they would be determined to kill each other. I don’t think so.” (Sputnik)

The Dalai Lama gave equal weighting to the responsibility of the United States as another key player in determining the future of human society, lamenting its recent acts of selling huge quantities of arms to Saudi Arabia and withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, which His Holiness described as “unfortunate.” (Sputnik)

He also noted the long and special relationship between Tibetan Buddhism and the Russian Federation, which is home to three Buddhist republics: Buryatia, Kalmykia, and Tuva, and observed that many people from Buddhist regions of Russia are undertaking academic studies in Tibetan monasteries in India.

“We can go side by side with modern science. In Russia, there are regions where people traditionally are Buddhists. These are republics of Kalmykia, Buryatia, and Tuva. When I was in Tibet [before 1959], we had many top scholars and abbots of big monasteries who came from Kalmykia, Buryatia, and Tyva,” he said. “Therefore, I really feel Russian Buddhists should pay more attention to the study of Buddhism. You can take from the Buddhist literature knowledge about psychology, quantum physics, logic, and study it in the academic context. It will be of benefit for all people—religious people and non-believers.” (Sputnik)

“I am a Buddhist. But I never say that Buddhism is the best religion. All major religious traditions are like medicine, they all help to achieve peace of mind. So we cannot pick up one medicine and then say this is the best for everybody. You cannot say this. The doctor first examines the patient’s condition. Then he can recommend: for your case this medicine is the best. Similarly, among the believers there are so many different mental dispositions,” he said. (Sputnik)

Born in 1935 and now aged 83, the incumbent Dalai Lama was identified as the reincarnation of his predecessor when he was just two years old. The next Dalai Lama would be the 15th incarnation over a continuous period of about 500 years.

See more

Dalai Lama praises Putin’s global policy (
EXCLUSIVE: Dalai Lama Says Russia is a Bridge Between East and West (Sputnik)
Dalai Lama: Russia Must Join the EU (

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