The Economist: the EU’s relations with Russia thaw begins

The Economist: в отношениях Евросоюза с Россией начинается оттепель

Moscow, too, could compose a draft text on July 25 telephone conversation between Donald trump, Vladimir Zelensky, the content of which became known as a result of leakage. In the course of this conversation, the Ukrainian President was supported by criticism of its European partners, and, it seems, he was ready to make a deal in which his country would reveal information damaging to Joe Biden, a possible rival of the President of trump in the election, in exchange for help in the struggle of this country against the Russian military invasion. The publication of the transcripts of this conversation confirmed false statements over the fact that Ukraine is a Satrap of the decadent West.Friends of Ukraine should not worry too much about that phone call. Ultimately, many European leaders are pandering to Mr Trump talking on the phone. However, the Ukrainians and their allies need to show concern for another reason. A partial thaw in relations between the EU and Russia is caused not by the blunders of inexperienced President of Ukraine, and the ongoing geopolitical shifts.On paper it looks unlikely. The Russian annexation of Crimea and its invasion of the South-East of Ukraine, as well as its role in the incident with the downed airliner in 2014 contributed to the creation of a European consensus in favour of implementing and sustaining sanctions against Moscow. The intermediary in this case was mainly Angela Merkel and the measures still bring together a wide range of countries and opinions — from “pigeons”, as in the case of Italy, to the “hawks”, as in the case of Poland. Russian-backed forces continue to violate the agreement on cease-fire in Eastern Ukraine, and recently in the Black sea was captured by the Ukrainian court. New members of the European Commission is not ready to compromise in relation to Russia. Ursula von der Leyen, its Chairman, is a staunch transatlantica. Josep Borrell (Josep Borrell), the new head of European diplomacy, addressing this week in the European Parliament, said that sanctions against Russia should be maintained. Pro-Russian forces within the EU discouraged, and recently their representatives withdrew from the government in Austria and Italy.However, the actions taken suggest otherwise. In June it was restored to Russia’s membership in the Council of Europe, near the European Union organization dedicated to monitoring human rights, and it happened after five years, during which time her driver’s license was suspended. As President, Zelensky resumed with Russia, the exchange of prisoners, and also caused protests on the streets of Kiev because of the movement to a model involving the division of powers in the East of the country and demonstrating serious concessions to Russia. Such steps allow the Western Europeans to consider a new discharge. The President of France Emmanuel macron calls for thaw in relations with Moscow and supported the summit to resolve the Ukrainian crisis. In addition, in his speech to diplomats in August he stated that “Europe could disappear” if the proposed policy will end in failure.The German firm renew pressure on MS Merkel, and actively support the construction of a new large pipeline “Nord stream — 2”, which will transport natural gas from Russia. Germany recently sent his Minister of economy summit in St. Petersburg, the most important in Russia economic forum, and it was the first time in 2014. The German authorities do not raise much noise about the murder in August in Berlin, the Chechen immigrant. The EU diplomats discuss the impending easing of sanctions. The wheels rotate, and it moves.In political terms, the EU and Russia continue to remain irreconcilable. Russia has shown almost no respect for European requirements. Her undeserved return to the Council of Europe has created a dangerous precedent regarding the rehabilitation reforms. However, the two sides closer to each other, because the action given the other forces. Large, long-term transcontinental shifts again push Russia and Europe towards each other.One of these shifts is that the transatlantic relationship had begun to stagger. Europe and America are no longer willing to rely on each other as they did in the past. Trump turned out to be an unreliable ally, and that’s probably why more and more Europeans speak of the need for “strategic autonomy”. Any this kind of thing happen in the distant future. Located in London, the international Institute for strategic studies (International Institute for Strategic Studies) recently made a calculation, according to which the EU will need to invest an amount in the range from 288 billion to $ 357 billion dollars in order to be able to prevail in a limited ground war with such a power as Russia. Today, however, Europeans are beginning to protect their bets. To resist the Russians had the sense during the reign of President Obama, when America was clearly toed a hard line, however, the attitude of the tramp toward Russia and Ukraine remains unclear. Speaking at the UN last month, the President of the United States blamed Russia has undertaken military action in its predecessor, and urged the two countries to resolve themselves between them. The departure of two binding Europe and America links — Britain leaving the European Union, and Merkel, which is in its final stage of its stay in power as Federal Chancellor, only contributes to the widening of the Atlantic divide.Another driver is the ascent of China. The Europeans fear that China and Russia are moving in the direction of formation of the new unit, which will occupy the dominant position in Eurasia. The rotation of the Macron in the direction of Russia, is partly aimed to stop Russia from slipping into the arms of China. In his opinion, it is better to make some concessions to resolve the Ukrainian question and to resume relations with Moscow, than to allow the largest country to be in orbit of Beijing.The middle East factorHowever, some European diplomats suspect that the cause of true concern Makron is closer to home. According to them, he understood that European security depends on victory over such forces as the Islamic state (a terrorist organization banned in Russia — approx. ed.), and this requires assistance from Russia, the positions of which in the middle East strengthened. This is a credible argument. Russia controls the course of the war in Syria, and is also involved in this process, Iran and Turkey. America is in the process of withdrawing its military from Northern Syria to Turkey set up your order and suppressed the Pro-Western Kurds. Europe is interested in a stable middle East needs Turkey. And Europe is in need in Turkey today needs Russia.A widening Atlantic, rising China and the middle East crisis is pushing Europe and Russia towards each other. It’s probably possible to understand, however, there is also a very risky situation. The country, sandwiched between Western Europe and Russia, from Poland to the Caucasus, for obvious reasons, concerned about the emerging hints of a thaw. European support for Ukraine has value as a symbol and message to the world that liberal democracy can always find an ally in the face of the European Union. The EU is a global power. His actions set the standards.

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