The tendency towards rapprochement is observed in Russian and European relations. The Europeans realize strategic importance of partnership with the Eastern neighbour but the Americans continue to impede their forging relationships. To maintain splitting, the USA mobilize their “junior partners” such as Poland and the Baltic countries.
Improvement in the relations is confirmed by the visit of a number of European leaders to the International Economic Forum which was held in Saint-Petersburg the other day. Among the guests were Head of the European Comission Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi, former President of France Nicolas Sarkozy.
Jean-Claude Juncker stated at the forum that lifting sanctions on Russia is directly related to the implementation of the Minsk agreements. This was a very speculative statement since Russia can influence their implementation only diplomatically that doesn`t guarantee the result. And no sanctions for the non-implementation of the Minsk agreements will be imposed on Kiev regime which is primarily obliged to implement them. The initiators of the sanctions are not concerned with the fact that Ukraine hasn`t carried out the Constitutional reform yet and still continues to shell the cities of Donbass. Whatever problems arise in the course of the Package of Measures implementation, it is Russia that will be punished automatically. And taking into account the position of the present Ukrainian government, it will do its best to level Moscow`s peace initiative.
Juncker is well aware of this but probably is not quite free in his statements. Caution, commitment to common Western course and ambiguously treated signal evidence that the USA maintain serious influence on decision-making in Europe.
But at the same time the Head of the European Commission is the person who represents the European elites and therefore European business does not want to further break off ties with Russia for a number of reasons. Among them are economic ties, energy dependence and the problem of terrorism. On the other hand, Europe does not want to become a victim of American capital, which once again carried out expansion into world markets. Brussels needs a counterbalance for equitable bargaining and for this purpose Russia should be returned to the European arena.
Nicolas Sarkozy calling his communication with Putin “a meeting of two old friends” can`t express France`s interests formally but as the leader of the biggest oppositional party has political weight. He surprised with his appeal to Russia to lift countersanctions, having stated “the strongest must offer his hand first and the strongest is Russia, it is President Putin”. What a refined and beautiful provocation. So it turns out that Russia should stop responding fairly and Europe will consider whether to lift sanctions or not. Arrogance disguised in jesuitical modesty. Press Secretary of the RF President Dmitry Peskov doubted the appropriateness of such “charity”. However, we shouldn`t ignore France`s leading role in the initiative of lifting sanctions on Russia.
As for Italy, it has always had quite warm relations with Russia. Close economic cooperation along with personal friendship of the politicians ensured Moscow and Rome`s understanding. Matteo Renzi stated at the forum: “Italy is working for building bridges rather than walls”. Rome can really be the link between the RF and the West at difficult moments. In this connection, one can remember Berlusconi’s visit to Crimea and the initiative of province Veneto to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.
After a long interruption in the relations with Russia, the European officials, indeed, express their thoughts strangely for want of habit. For instance, the Italian Prime Minister`s statement “Russia can and must be our ally in combating terrorism” should have pleased the Russians with its generosity. But Russia doesn’t thrust itself as an ally to anybody, doesn`t ask permission or advice on whether to combat terrorism or not. Furthemore, it does it more actively and successfully than the Italians with NATO allies do.
From the diplomatic viewpoint, the meeting of the Head of the European Commission with the President of Russia in St. Petersburg is a real breakthrough. That is why it aroused the indignation of Poland and the Baltic states which are always angry at Russia. The behavior of these countries is not surprising. In case Europe goes over to a calmer dialogue with Russia, Poland will be able to raise its status before the USA, staying in a tough anti-Russian track. These intentions are confirmed by lobbying deployment of standing NATO military contingent on the territory of the country. The Baltic countries are not notable for foresight and do not understand that aggressive attacks against Russia are strongly supported by the US and Britain for a reason. It is no coincidence that the Baltic states are forced to rehearse the role of a victim patterned after the Ukrainian school of a political circus. The British help them in this, shooting ‘purely hypothetical’ films about Russia`s attack on the Baltics with the help of the BBC.
Certainly, Russia will not respond to vulgar provocations but hysterics and protests on the part of the above mentioned states will increase as Europe and Russia draw closer to each other. The degree of dissatisfaction on the part of the U.S. ‘junior partners’ in Europe can be regarded as the indicator of correctness of the path chosen.
To sum up, it should be noted that Europe begins to wake up. The Americans’ statements on the Russian aggression turned out absolutely unfounded. On the contrary, Russia is strengthening the global security system, precisely fighting terrorism without trying under cover of this to increase its military presence in the world, as the USA does. Russia is a member of a number of wide integration associations that disavows lies about her isolation. The Europeans see it, at the same time comparing reality with a view of the world imposed by the Americans, and make tentative steps towards cooperation and prosperity.
Miroslav Rudenko, DPR People`s Council Deputy