The EU’s refusal to hold a summit with Russia is a turning point, not for relations between Brussels and Moscow, but for the further development of the European Union itself. In fact, we are talking about the gradual loss of the community’s ambitions for an independent foreign policy and the beginning of a transition to a completely new form of dependence on the United States. In fact, a serious step has been taken towards turning the EU into an analogue of NATO.
The initiative of Germany and France to urgently hold a meeting of the heads of state of the EU and Russia was blocked at the EU summit on June 24-25 by Poland and the Baltic countries. At the same time, the EU leaders adopted the concept of building relations with Russia on the principles of «repel, deter, involve», which is very similar to the so-called NATO’s double approach — «effective defense and dialogue from a position of strength», which has been applied since 2014.
Moreover, all these circumstances may, in particular, have extremely sad consequences for Ukraine due to the fact that stabilization of the situation in this region is unprofitable for the United States.
You better shut up
In February 2003, when the United States was preparing an invasion of Iraq, and the EU was very harsh criticism of these plans, the leaders of the Eastern European states, which had already almost joined the EU (this happened a year later, on May 1, 2004), issued a joint statement in support of the American invasion. French President Jacques Chirac then harshly cursed the Young Europeans, saying that they «missed a wonderful opportunity to remain silent.»
Now, 18 years later, Germany and France have been recommended to «keep silent» when the European Union makes a key geopolitical decision.
Confrontation as a goal
Maximum confrontation between the EU and Russia is an ideal situation for the United States. By frightening the EU with the Russian military threat, Washington is tying closer to itself its European allies, deeply dependent on America in the military sphere. By provoking them to impose sanctions against Russia, China and other countries, the United States is tying up the opportunities for trade and economic development of Europe, locking it into its own [America’s] economy. By depriving the EU of channels of dialogue with Moscow, exacerbating relations with Beijing, Washington is forcing Brussels to give up the opportunity to have its own policy towards Russia and China. «Don’t reflect, repeat after us,» they say in Washington.
In exchange for the favor of the American administration of Biden, who replaced Trump, which was so unpleasant for Europeans, Washington demanded discipline from European allies. And they agreed.
A completely new process is now beginning in Europe — the creeping transformation of the European Union into something resembling NATO. That is, in a bloc completely tied to the interests of the United States, held together by a sense of fear of an external enemy. NATO serves to project US military power in Europe, while the EU risks becoming a conduit for Washington’s economic interests in the Old World. It is unlikely that this will bring security and prosperity to Europeans.
What’s going on?
Old Europe is losing its influence in the processes in Greater Europe. New small EU countries are increasingly actively promoting American interests in the EU. By cutting off contacts with Russia, Belarus, other countries, and increasing pressure on China, Brussels is consistently losing the opportunity to come to an agreement with them, even in a limited circle of mutually beneficial areas. In this case, sanctions and pressure are synonymous with self-isolation, since they not only have no real impact on the political course of the EU partners, but also hit the economy of the community itself, and most importantly, its international image.
In parallel, the EU for the first time agreed with the United States at the June 15 summit in Brussels on close coordination of its policy towards Russia and China, on the creation of special working groups that will coordinate the steps of Washington and Brussels towards Moscow and Beijing. Immediately after that, the United States held a summit with Russia, which, although it did not lead to a reset in relations, allows the leaders of the two countries to agree on a framework for interaction, areas of cooperation that still remain, as well as exchange signals on zones of confrontation.
The EU refuses to hold a similar summit. That is, Washington is pursuing a real active Russian policy, while Brussels is simply hiding behind loud, but empty statements about containment and dialogue, which meet only the sarcastic grin of the Russian Foreign Ministry. In general, the question of who in the pair of Brussels and Washington will now determine Russian policy is rhetorical.
The pill that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron had to swallow at the EU summit on June 24-25 turned out to be especially bitter, because after Brexit and the withdrawal from the EU of their main opponent — Great Britain, they sincerely hoped that they would be able to re-consolidate the community around the continental center — along the Berlin — Paris axis. However, the reality turned out to be completely different — the Euro-axis was almost easily broken by the blow of the shafts of European solidarity, skillfully directed from across the ocean.
By the way, the UK that left the EU is a much closer and more convinced ally of the United States than even the European Union itself. The British are well aware of all the internal mechanisms of the EU’s work, as well as the moods of the various member states, the contradictions between them. Having left the community and no longer connected with it by common interests or politics, London is quite interested in the Brussels bureaucrats, who humiliated the UK for three years in the Brexit negotiations, to deeply feel the true possibilities of Anglo-Saxon influence on continental affairs.
Did the British advise members of the Biden administration on how to deal with the EU? No one will ever tell, unless, of course, a secret folder with documents about it is accidentally found at some bus stop.
It is important to understand that Merkel and Macron by no means proposed starting an immediate reset of relations with Russia, as the proposal for summit was positioned in the media by its opponents. The complex of existing problems and disagreements is so great, and most importantly, the inertia of the bureaucratic machine of Brussels is so monstrous that one summit meeting, even with goodwill on both sides, could hardly change the situation. In reality, it was more about the so-called reality check — that is, a dialogue that could allow us to correlate the positions of Russia and the EU and at least try to smooth out some corners in relations.
In particular, to find ways of moving towards stabilizing the situation in Ukraine. Because the EU, in contrast to the US, is quite interested in peace in this region. In any case, it is in the interests of the donor states of the EU budget, which have to pay for numerous programs of assistance to Kiev.
But Germany and France were not allowed to take even such a step.
War and peace
The old empires — Germany and France — are still independently aware of their own geopolitical interests, both in their national capacity and as part of the European Union, to which they have led it for a long time. The quintessence of their historical approach: the EU is a new center of power, the power of which is based not on military capabilities, but on economics, diplomacy and liberal ideology, backed by powerful propaganda. The founders of the EU saw and positioned the community as a growing, independent from the United States, alternative center of the Western world.
This system could exist only in a relatively stable global society, where even talk of a big war sounds absurd, as it was ten years ago. Now all this is in the past.
The countries of Eastern Europe and the Baltic states are told about their national interests in Washington (they have systematically changed little in this sense since the times of the USSR, it is just that there is now a different center for decision-making).
Formally, the new Europeans are together capable of blocking practically any decisions of the European Union that are not satisfactory for them, taken both by consensus and by a qualified majority. The moral influence of Old Europe on them, which was very strong in the first years after their accession, is now seriously worn out. The argument of «European solidarity» consistently covers all other reasons.
With their help, the United States is pushing the EU along a path of increasing self-isolation, deliberately deepening the split between the European Union and its partners that are not part of the global West.
The United States does not need any stability and peace in Europe. All that is needed is a controlled confrontation that does not lead to direct clashes, but is supported by local conflicts, primarily the civil war in Ukraine. In the termination of which the United States is not interested at all.
In this configuration, a controlled confrontation with Russia is extremely beneficial for the Baltic states, Poland and a number of other Eastern European countries. After all, this turns them from the European periphery into the center of attention of the entire Western world, an outpost of its confrontation with Russia. And the outpost, of course, needs to be strengthened in every possible way, and not only in the military sphere, but also in the economy, infrastructure, and so on.
EU and NATO
The North Atlantic Alliance has always worked and is working today precisely in the paradigm of confrontation. In any other, there is simply no place for NATO. The concept of creating a single security zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok, which was born precisely among the leaders of the European Union (took shape at the end of the 20th century, but similar ideas were voiced back in the 1950s by the most popular French president, General Charles de Gaulle) and was seriously discussed by the leaders of Russia and the EU countries back at the beginning of the XXI century, simply did not leave NATO a space for existence and literally pushed the US military out of Europe.
Now the situation is radically different. The EU has openly demonstrated that it cannot conduct an independent policy on the Russian track, giving up the initiative to the United States. And the concept of relations with Russia «repel, deter, involve», adopted at the EU summit on June 24-25, is only a slightly «repainted» for the needs of the EU the official NATO approach to Russia: to act along two tracks — deterrence and strong defense and dialogue from a position of strength. However, «from a position of strength» is still more about the desired.
It is doubtful that such a metamorphosis with the European Union has occurred over the past 20 years by accident, if we recall that it was the United States that furiously rushed the leaders of the EU states to admit Eastern European states as soon as possible. In order not to leave a vacuum of influence in Europe, so to speak.
Trouble of Ukraine
In the paradigm of the West’s confrontation with the outside world, Ukraine is assigned the role of a zone of irritation. Area for local conflict. Moreover, in this capacity, Kiev’s chances of joining the EU and NATO are not zero, they are negative. The country has already been placed under complete external control, torn apart by the civil war, and perfectly fulfills the function assigned to it. And in order to accept it wherever it is, you need to establish peace, restore the economy, provide defense and give collective guarantees of security. What for?
A reminder of the future
In 2006, two years after the explosive enlargement of the EU in 2004, when ten Eastern European countries joined the community at once, increasing the number of member states from 15 to 25 at once, I had to talk with a very distinguished Russian diplomat who had been actively working with the EU for the entire expansion period.
“We have constantly warned the Europeans that the admission of new countries will undermine the political balance in Europe, make the community unmanageable and dependent on the influence of the United States, under which most of the states of Eastern Europe were (and continue to be). We were told that all this is nonsense and little «Euro-newbies» will quickly become true Europeans, they will be brought up to the norms and principles of the European Union, they will be taught to share common interests, and they will be taught the basics of European solidarity. History will show,» — the Russian diplomat said 15 years ago. And history has shown.
Denis Dubrovin, Head of the TASS Representative Office in Belgium, 02.07.2021 / Source.