The United States has always tried to do its best to weaken Russia. Driving a wedge between Russia and the European Union is a priority mission. But Crimea and Ukraine frustrate the plans. Entangled in the Ukrainian crisis, Europe starts to doubt the expediency of following the US policy and displays its unwillingness to escalate the confrontation with Russia. As they say «Mutiny on the Bounty» is getting ripe, though most likely the revolt will go no further than undermining some US initiatives…
Looks like Brussels is going to quietly let Ukraine go. Revolutionary frenzy behind, the EU is not prone to take further anti-Russian actions. They gradually start to listen to the Kremlin. Russia has taken diplomatic initiative away from Washington and takes a more adamant stand insisting that an all-Ukraine dialogue should be a foundation for crisis management. The Western hopes for Moscow’s at least indirect recognition of the illegal government in Kiev are getting stymied.
Russia believes that peace enforcement efforts aimed at making the Kiev-based putschists take a seat at the round table instead of resorting to coercive measures is the goal to be pursued while cooperating with the Euro-Atlantic structures.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on the Kiev authorities to take urgent measures and build a national dialogue with all political forces and regions in Ukraine. According to him, all external players, including Brussels and Washington, should call on the Ukrainian authorities to take on responsibility for the situation and start a dialogue with the participation of all interested parties in Ukraine. All regions should take part in the talks.
The position is clear. It’s well known that the United States is afraid of the civil movement in the south-eastern part of Ukraine. A small rag-tag group of US puppets got hold of power in Ukraine. The Washington’s goal is to eliminate any opposition to their rule. The White House is inclined to ignore at least a half of Ukrainian population.
It has gone too far along this path while bringing Europe to the brink of involvement in a civil war on the side of putschists. Looks like the Obama’s Ukraine policy boils down to a host of manipulations with murky goals influenced by global confrontation with Russia.
The battlefield has moved from the Middle East to the very borders of Russia. The European Union and NATO did not support the Obama’s intention to deliver strikes against Syria. No doubt this time again reason will prevail in Brussels.
Barack Obama is trying to calm Europeans down, saying the world is safer when America and Europe stand side by side. He said it by the end of March when Europe faced the shock of hearing Victoria Nuland putting it bluntly that that she preferred the United Nations as mediator, instead of the European Union, adding, «I think, to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, you know, f’k the EU».
Is there any reason for the European Union to move ahead along the way defined by the State Department? Obama called Europe Washington’s closest partner on the world stage and said Europe is the cornerstone of American engagement with the world. The United States has its own vision of the close partnership.
The US National Security Agency is keeping hundreds of top European politicians under tight scrutiny so the only thing left for Obama is to express empathy and compassion. Spying, blackmail, threats and provocations – this is the usual pattern of US diplomacy in Europe which lacks the will to counter the cowboy-like offensive policy of the overseas partner.
It’s all pell-mell and confusion in Washington, as well as in Ukraine. On many occasions the State Department and the Department of Defense see things differently. Congress paddles its own canoe. The President is on the fence or trying to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds instead of clearly defining the policy. It’s not an occasion that many decisions of Obama appear to run contrary to logic – they reflect extreme exasperation with the outside world.
Afghanistan is not ready to sign a colonial agreement, Iran avoids provocations and steadfastly moves ahead to the diplomatic solution of nuclear problem, the legal government firmly holds power in Syria, Israel and Saudi Arabia move out of US influence. Now it has Ukraine, the country US politicians don’t know the first thing about making a laughing stock of themselves. These are the things Europe takes notice of.
True, it is divided. The British stick to the tactics of forming temporary alliances to tackle a concrete problem. In the case of Ukraine, Washington is ready to side with anyone who stands against Russia. It’s not key allies, but rather puppets, for instance, the Baltic States or the Georgian regime. At present anti-Russian statements of their leaders have become forgotten things of the past. Besides, the Baltic States avoid going too far; they remember that the regional military balance is in Moscow’s favor.
The recent resolution on Ukraine adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) appears to be concocted by aliens. For instance, it says that Russia is considering unprovoked military aggression against Ukraine.
Then Georgian MPs were the first to lead the campaign by offering to suspend Russia’s membership. Russia’s share amounts to 4% of PACE budget; it’s one of five biggest contributors. Now the Russian MPs can ignore PACE sessions – anyway they should not take part in the forum which so vehemently distorts the Russia’s policy on Ukraine.
The European Union has nothing to do but find a common ground with Russia if it wants to tackle the issue of Ukraine. Moscow should remember that the «old continent» lacks a leader which could speak for the whole Europe while discussing the problem.
At first Europeans should learn to speak with one voice. It’s not that easy. Great Britain has a vision of its own, the French approach differs from the one adopted by Germany, Poland constantly repeats it has a «special role» to play…etc.
The participation of European Union in the talks on Ukraine looks abstract. Europeans have already forgotten that it was Euro-integration that sparked unrest in Kiev. The only thing the European delegation can do is pretend to make believe it has a consolidated stance.
But it would not suit Germany. It wants to leave the crisis behind without damaging its relations with Russia and preserving the clout it has in Eastern Europe. It cannot reach the goal while closely cooperating with Americans. It’s time for those European politicians who really can lead to start acting independently scrutinizing the US policy through the prism of their own interests.
Nikolai BOBKIN | Strategic Culture Foundation