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Russia and the European Union: Shall We Dispense with Summits?

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Another mini-scandal broke out in the European Union the other day. Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, perhaps impressed by the recent Geneva summit between the presidents of Russia and the United States, suggested to her EU partners that they think about inviting Vladimir Putin to the upcoming Euro summit. Indeed, if none other than Joe Biden deems it appropriate to extend his already prolonged European tour for a conversation with his Russian counterpart, then EU leaders should not lag behind their ally from across the pond. President of France Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz were quick to endorse the initiative. Judging by the response of Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary for the President of Russia, the Russian leadership was rather interested in such a meeting as well.

It would normally be safe to assume that such a powerful coalition in favour of a meeting of this kind means that a summit would be organized as soon as possible, promising a productive conversation. However, Angela Merkel’s proposal—predictably—did not satisfy everyone in Europe. The first to refuse to participate in the possible summit was Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, who cited the ongoing investigation of the 2014 Malaysian Airlines plane crash in the east of Ukraine as the reason. The leaders of Lithuania and Latvia also opposed extending an invitation to Vladimir Putin to be immediately joined by the leaders of several Central European states that traditionally oppose any political dialogue with Moscow, in any forms and at any level.

Die-hard opponents of Vladimir Putin who do not tend to support seeking compromise were quick to point out that such a summit would be an unjustified gift to the Russian leader, one that he has clearly not deserved. Inviting Putin would send the “wrong signal” which could inspire Russia to carry out more “destructive acts” in Europe and around the world. There was talk of the German Chancellor making a “false start” by voicing her proposal right before discussions with other EU heads of states. Imposing new EU sanctions on Moscow was proposed as an alternative to a summit. Ultimately, Brussels failed to achieve a consensus, with the summit issue postponed until better times.

The kind of summit we do not need

To be fair, it was far from everyone in Russia who was enthusiastic about the idea of an EU summit either. Experts, analysts and politicians came out saying that inviting Putin to a summit would be like summoning an indolent student to a meeting with the school principal and teachers to be scolded for poor grades and bad behaviour. Russian “Euro-sceptics” hastened to remind people that Brussels’ long-proclaimed goal of achieving strategic autonomy from the United States has largely remained on paper; consequently, to meet indecisive, dependent and insecure European politicians would be a waste of time.

Pessimists noted once again that Russia and the European Union held 32 summits in the 20 years from 1995 to 2014, with two being held every year between 2000 and 2013. Yet, these numerous and rather officious events failed to resolve the many fundamental problems in Moscow–Brussels relations, nor to prevent the severe European security crisis in the spring and summer of 2014.

One thing is clear: neither Moscow nor Brussels needs another “ceremonial” summit. Such a summit, however, is an apparent impossibility, given the current state of affairs in Europe. Let us at least recall the dismal outcome of the visit that Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, made to Moscow in February. Hardly anyone in the European Union or Russia would wish such an outcome for another visit, this time at the highest level. Amid the current situation, even a hypothetical breakthrough in some important dimension of bilateral relations is hard to envision, be it a liberalization of the visa regime, a cessation of the EU’s sanctions pressure on Moscow, a reduction in the intensity of information warfare, some advances in bolstering security in Europe or in any other area.

No particular opportunities for moving towards a meeting of minds regarding the political dimensions of the “common neighbourhood” can be seen either. In the near future, neither the East of Ukraine, nor Belarus, nor even the South Caucasus or Moldova will become shining examples of constructive interaction between Russia and the European Union. There are even fewer reasons to hope that such a summit will produce unified approaches to a new world order or at least to building a “greater Europe.” Russia will not accept any pan-European construct with the European Union at the centre and Russia in the position of a dependent “Eurasian periphery.” Brussels, in turn, will not agree to building “Greater Europe” on two interconnected pillars, since it does not consider the Eurasian Economic Union to be its equal.

But if the meeting’s agenda boils down to the ritualized exposition of the parties’ well-known stances on, say, Ukraine or Belarus, human rights or sovereignty, there is then no need to hold a summit. Such verbal spats can continue through the efforts of eloquent diplomats, sassy journalists, or MPs looking to make a name for themselves.

Nevertheless, I would think that an EU–Russia summit would be useful for the same reason that the U.S.–Russia summit in Geneva was. Summits between adversaries are needed as much as summits between allies. When relations between neighbours turn out to be mostly those of rivalry and, especially, of confrontation, summits allow the parties to decide on their mutual “red lines” and—once these are agreed on—to reduce the risks and costs of mutual deterrence.

Where do the “red lines” lie?

Russia’s “red lines” in its relations with the West are roughly clear, and they were delineated back in Geneva. Everything that Moscow perceives as an infringement on its sovereignty will be thwarted in the most severe and unequivocal form. It is up for debate whether Vladimir Putin is correct in opposing any attempt by the West to “internationalize” human rights issues, bring up questions about the role of political opposition or an independent judiciary and claim the part of a defender of dissenters and—more broadly—Russian civil society. Yet, this is the Kremlin’s current stance which is unlikely to change in the coming years. There is no ambiguity or hypocrisy here.

The EU’s “red lines” for Moscow, on the other hand, are drawn far more vaguely. Rather, they are drawn but they are too many for a realistic strategy to stand some chance of success. Brussels speaks far too often about the “unacceptable” actions or even potentially “unacceptable” actions of Moscow, whether relating to Ukraine, Syria, Belarus, Libya, Alexey Navalny, new lists of “undesirable organizations,” Moscow’s contacts with European right-wing populists or expulsions of EU diplomats from Moscow. Ultimately, it is extremely difficult—or well short of impossible—to understand the hierarchy of Europe’s multiple grievances, claims and complaints when it comes to Moscow.

When a formula is used too often and clearly to excess, it inevitably becomes devoid of meaning—if the European Union finds almost every domestic or international step (or potential step) the Kremlin makes to be unacceptable, then “red lines” merge into a single crimson field that has nothing to do with real politics. If the European Union thinks the Russian leadership should be prohibited from any and every action, this means that it is, in fact, free to do anything it pleases.

Obviously, the EU leadership cordially dislikes many of Moscow’s foreign policy steps, and they are not thrilled about the current dynamic of Russia’s domestic developments either. However, the EU is incapable of forcing the Russian leadership to make a U-turn in a particular area. Times when Russia was willing to be a diligent and obedient student of the European Union are long gone and are unlikely to return. Therefore, we need to look for partial agreements—clearly far from ideal and compromise-based by default—in those areas that are vital for the European Union. That is, “red lines” should not be mere tropes of political rhetoric but reflections of the European Union’s real priorities.

Incidentally, unlike the EU leaders, President Joe Biden of the United States set very specific and unequivocal “red lines.” The Geneva summit confirmed what was unacceptable for him—foreign cyberattacks on critical U.S. infrastructure and cyber-meddling in U.S. domestic politics. This is why Biden did what Trump did not dare do. He namely increased the level of bilateral interaction between Moscow and Washington on cyber security issues. If the aborted EU–Russia summit resulted in a single decision—such as a substantive dialogue on the broad range of cyber threats issues and ways to reduce them—it would ultimately justify all the efforts that would have gone into preparing and holding the summit.

It seems obvious that priority pockets of cooperation can only be singled out once the parties have drawn their “red lines.” Top-level dialogue is indispensable here. Fortunately or unfortunately, following a long stagnation in the relations, the only possible way to change the currently entrenched trend of keeping the negative status quo is with a summit.

Only a clear political signal from the top, expressed in no uncertain terms, can inspire to action the vast armies of officials, diplomats, experts and business leaders on both sides who are not always ready to “jump the gun.” If the Russian and EU leaders achieved a fundamental agreement to work together on the issues of “green energy,” 5G or international migrations, these decisions would greenlight the work of the relevant agencies, ministries, corporations, public organizations, professional communities and educational institutions that are already primed for action.

To the global community, an EU–Russia summit would herald that Brussels and Moscow do not intend to watch with indifference as a new global bipolarity is emerging. On the contrary, they are firmly determined to prevent it from taking ground while remaining fully independent and active global actors.

Alternatives will always be there

There is still hope that an EU–Russia summit can still take place before Angela Merkel leaves the European political scene—specifically, before Germany’s parliamentary elections on September 26, 2021. Not only because her departure will mark a pause in Germany’s foreign policy (even if this pause will not necessarily be a long one) but because the current Chancellor of Germany has poured much effort and energy into stabilizing Moscow–Brussels relations. She did not totally succeed, and not all her ideas invited definitive agreement, but it would be fair to let this truly outstanding European politician complete her part on the European scene.

As someone who has some idea of how the bureaucracy in Brussels works and what the current balance of political power within the European Union is, I must admit that Angela Merkel’s chances of having her final political “special” with Vladimir Putin making an appearance are slim. Those who are against the dialogue can rejoice. Once again, they have defeated Europe’s political heavyweights and imposed their position on the European Union. Apparently, the relations between Moscow and Brussels have been paused yet again, and it remains to be seen how long this situation will last.

There are only two conclusions that Russia can draw following the refusal of the European Union to hold a joint summit. First, it appears that important issues of European security need to be discussed with the United States rather than Europe. Moscow’s main task is to come to agreement with Washington, and it will make every effort to do so over the next few months. It is then up to Washington to ensure that the (Central) European capitals support the agreements achieved, using any means it deems fit.

Second, if it is well-nigh impossible to come to agreement with Brussels, then Russia should, as before, prioritize bilateral relations with Berlin, Paris, Rome and other European capitals interested in fostering cooperation. Let these capitals enforce the decisions they and Moscow need from Brussels in areas beyond their national jurisdictions. And relations with the European Union as such will develop in the same way they have developed over the last seven years—that is, they will not develop at all.

Certainly, the EU’s refusal to hold a summit further bolsters those forces in Moscow that have long been promoting the idea of the “civilizational incompatibility” of Russia and Europe, calling for a speedier “pivot to the Orient” while adding every-so-often suggestions that Russia withdraw from the pan-European organizations of which it is still a member. As far as these are concerned, the very idea of a Russia–Europe summit today seems useless to them at best and harmful at worst, since it draws attention away from the far more important objectives of Russia’s foreign policy on the vast expanses of the Eurasian continent.

Naturally, few in Brussels would welcome such developments, as they hardly meet the long-term interests of Warsaw, Riga, Tallinn, Vilnius and Prague. The European stage is thus likely to treat us to more new covers of old songs. Russia will again be repeatedly accused of unjustified “Americentrism,” the desire to undermine “European unity,” overestimating the prospects of Russia–China cooperation and underestimating the European Union’s role in the world today. They will say that a conversation with Russia does not need to be launched at the top level, as it would be better to discuss many issues as a matter of routine interactions—only when there are prospects of earnest cooperation can the idea of a summit be brought up again. Maybe in a year, or two… or five.

However, such reproaches and reasoning do not appear overly convincing given the EU’s pointed refusal to have a direct and frank top-level dialogue with Moscow. As the French classic Jean-Baptiste Molière said on a different occasion, “You wanted it, George Dandin!”

From our partner RIAC

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The End of History, Delayed: The EU’s Role in Defining the Post-War Order

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While the world is following the dramatic unfolding of the Russian aggression against Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Europe needs to start elaborating its vision for the post-war world. While a new Yalta might be needed, we all should realise that a peaceful world order has never existed outside the European Union. This in itself grants the EU the credibility – and responsibility – for arranging the post-war framework that secures the peaceful future of the continent.

By Dr.Maria Alesina and Francesco Cappelletti*

In the interconnected international society, war is not only a horrific and painful but also irrational choice. It is a zero-sum game, which sets into motion the domino effect of global repercussions. However, rational considerations have little to do with what stands behind the ongoing military attack on Ukraine. Russia’s war is not limited to Ukraine or aimed at a regime change to strengthen regional influence (as realists would say), nor does it represent an attempt to reinforce specific strategic interests (as a cognitivist analysis would suggest). It has emerged as something beyond traditional disputes: it is, as a matter of fact, an ideological war against the West. More than anything, it is Huntington’s “clash of civilizations”, although driven not by ideology or religion but by the two conflicting standpoints on human life – as a value and a non-value. This fundamental clash is happening now on the Ukrainian soil, and the battle is as fierce as it can possibly get.

The propaganda-driven “Rus-zism” rhetoric, missing any solid ideological basis or constructive meaning, consists of an overt anti-Western narrative aiming to establish a multi-polar world order and a vaguely defined concept of Russia’s “greatness”, entrenched in the shreds of evidence given by altered revision of events, such as the Great Patriotic War. A war that, in the eyes of the Russian establishment, has never ended. In the anti-Western rhetoric, the corroborating factor is a series of facts, events, convictions, beliefs, interests that support the leitmotif of the inevitability of “blocks”, an enemy, the “others”. A heritage of the Cold War. All this is grounded in the historical super Troika of the Russia’s foreign policy: fear of external threats, dispersed economic and political inefficiency, and focus on securing citizens’ support – by all means, ranging from propaganda to political repressions. This is a sheer exercise in power without purpose, control without vision, projected both internally and externally. This dynamic, although never fully dissipated, has been re-gaining momentum starting with Putin’s speech at the 2007 Munich Security Conference.

Today, in mid-2022, Russian aggression in Ukraine is only growing in atrocities and cynicism. In contrast, the EU politics still remain a palliative medicine, by definition unprepared to dealing with the concept of war. Political crises in several Member States – Italy, France, Estonia, Bulgaria – risk becoming a further destabilizing factor preventing the EU from fully standing up against Putin’s war plans. Meanwhile, the Europeans are becoming increasingly concerned with the upcoming ‘Russian winter’, recession, global food shortages, and a new migration crisis. As much as citizens advocated for support to Ukraine in the beginning, soon they might start demanding peace at any cost – most likely, Ukraine’s cost. This is the trap that Russia is orchestrating.

However, any simple, although desperately needed, ceasefire agreement risks only deepening the problem and postponing the solution. It will be a matter or years, if not months, when Russia restarts its aggression, possibly better prepared the next time around. The somewhat belated understanding of this simple truth should prevent us from re-engaging into the dilemma of prioritizing short-lived comfort and material gain over long-term solutions based on our fundamental, “civilizational” priorities. We need to remember that Europe’s prosperity has resulted from a prolonged period of peace – not vice versa. Those who threaten the peace, by definition threaten our growth and sustainability. Alongside building up its strategic autonomy for the 21st century, Europe must be prepared to do what it takes to secure a new long-term peaceful world order – not simply patch the old one.

Given that the ‘Russian factor’ will not disappear even after the overt military conflict is over, the Cold War II stands in the midst of diplomatic challenges anticipated for the post-war scenario. On the one hand, as Russia has acquired the official status of the world’s villain, dethroning China from this role, it will continue to face some extent of isolation. Regaining any level of trust will require years, and Moscow will struggle to find a credible audience to speak to when trying to redefine its external relations, while having to deal with a prolonged recession and a technological slowdown never experienced since 1991. On the other hand, without being naïve, we cannot expect any substantial regime changes to happen in Moscow. For centuries, the narrative ‘Russia vs. the West’ has constituted the very central axis of the national public discourse, even within the liberally-minded opposition circles. Such long-standing trends do not change quickly, if ever.

Although no notions of trustworthy diplomacy will bring Russia to the international negotiation tables for a long time, the need to guarantee security goes beyond this conflict and its territorial or ideological implications. The only viable solution is to find a way to contain Russia within a binding and comprehensive international framework. This means a pragmatic approach is needed in developing untouchable geopolitical, diplomatic, and security-related boundaries of the new order. The exact same boundaries that kept the first Cold War “cold”, with the difference that this time one of the great powers involved is – to use Kennedy’s word – declining.

The results of the potential Kyiv-Moscow talks will largely depend on the West’s willingness to avoid grey zones in the future security settlements. It is a matter of responsibility, especially for the EU, to provide a forum to assess, judge, clarify, evaluate, measure, and pragmatically set limits of the new post-war security system. While the US is interested, first and foremost, in slowly weakening Russia politically and economically, Europe’s long-term concern consists primarily in preventing its giant neighbour from disrupting the very basic principles of coexistence on the continent. A zero-trust model should be applied to Russia, while a new paradigm for debates should be developed from scratch: there is no more “balance of power” and “deterrence” to fit into the discourse. The world is now divided into nations that either care or not about commonly accepted principles, rights, and, above all, about the value of human life. The end of history, in 2022, is farther away than expected.

*Dr Maria Alesina and Francesco Cappelletti are Policy and Research Officers at the European Liberal Forum. Dr Alesina holds MA degrees in Political Science and EU Studies obtained in Ukraine, Germany and Belgium and a PhD degree in interdisciplinary cultural studies from Ghent University. She specializes in EU foreign, social, and cultural affairs. Francesco Cappelletti holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Florence and MA in World Politics from MGIMO. Member of Center for Cybersecurity in Florence. He focuses on cybersecurity, digitisation, Russian-Western relations and the relation between sustainability and technologies.

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“No longer analyze Asia with European eyes”, says French expert in Bucharest conference

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A 2-day academic hybrid conference organized in Bucharest at mid-July by MEPEI (Middle East Economic and Political Institute) and EuroDefense Romania, two Bucharest-based think-tanks, was the perfect venue to learn about the latest analyses on economic, geopolitical and security topics related to the Middle East and Asia, during which China was mentioned by all speakers as clearly playing a role in today’s international order. Entitled “Middle East in Quest for Security, Stability, and Economic Identity”, the conference was the 8th in a series of international conferences that annually gather well-known experts from all over the world to present their analyses and research on highly debated topics such as terrorism, Middle East, emerging Asian countries, the rising China, to which this year a new topic was added: the conflict in Ukraine.

Interesting ideas derived from the speakers’ presentations.

Adrian Severin, former Romanian minister of foreign affairs and EU parliamentarian, pointed out that “the conflict in Ukraine is actually one between Russia and the West, but economic sanctions never stop wars, and they even may lead to global disaster”. Severin considers it to be more and more difficult for NATO to defend its allies, with so many countries relying on NATO, and on the US, for their national protection, including non-European countries such as Saudi Arabia and Israel. When it comes to Asia, Severin sees “China to have a first rank role in shaping the world order.”

Teodor Meleșcanu, another former Romanian minister of foreign affairs, stressed that “Asia has the majority of the world’s population and lots and resources, and the future of Asia will assume the future of our civilizations.” Meleșcanu explained that “China wants to stabilize the world and to forge alliances, but not to fight with the West. Chinese trade is not interested in confrontation with Western partners by making alliance with Russia and it’s obvious why – because the West means more than 700 million people whereas Russia means only 114 million.” Meleșcanu suggested that the optimal solution in international relations is to operate with regional organizations in order to have dialogue, not directly with “the big boys in the garden.” Meleșcanu also encourages never-ending dialogue between the US-Russia-China, as the current situation proves it, in order to prevent such events that destabilize the world. He believes that the principles in Norman Angell’s The Great Illusion will always apply, as war does not actually mean conquering territories.  

Lily Ong, host of the Geopolitics360 live show in Singapore, confirmed that regional organizations are vital for dialogue: “Had not it have been for ASEAN, Singapore would have been on the menu, not at the table.”

Foad Izadi from the University of Tehran informed that Iran signed a 25-year agreement with China, and a separate one with Russia, and said “Iran would welcome such 25-year agreements with European countries. It’s Europe’s decision if they really want to follow the US decisions, but the US interests are often not aligned with the European interests”, concluded Izadi.

Vasily Kuznetsov from the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow reminded the audience that Russia and the West cooperated very well in Libya, in fighting against ISIS in Syria, and expressed his confusion about Europe’ militarized approach towards Russia.  He stressed that “the current international situation will result into the strengthening of Asian centres of global power and global economics. China, as well as India and the Middle East as a collective actor become new great powers directly linked to each other, without the West.” At the same time, Kuznetsov sees “for China, a dilemma between pragmatic economic interest and global political ambitions, and for India, a choice between regional and global ambitions outside South Asia”, and he wondered whether “China can have a realistic foreign policy in the Middle East which  is facing issues of internal reconfiguration, sovereignty and security.” For the US, Kuznetsov sees the biggest challenge in the effort “to preserve leadership without more engagement, to make American politics more successful and to combine values and pragmatism.”

 “The rise of China is beneficial not only for China but for entire Asia”, believes Yao Jinxiang from China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) in Beijing. “The rise of Asia will rebalance the world.” Yao also stressed that “people are often biased about Asia. Let us not forget that, apart from the wars led by the US in Asia, Asia has been stable with no war for a long time. The self-control of the Asia countries ensures stability. It looks that it’s easier to attract Europe in a war than Asia. Asian countries try to solve problems by consensus. For example, China, Japan and South Korea step back because ASEAN is the leader. On the other hand, China has always been defensive. China does not want to claim hegemony or to replace the US, or another great power.” Yao equally explained the two terms used to refer to the same region: Asia-Pacific and Indo-Pacific: “Asia-Pacific reflects economic relations, whereas Indo-Pacific rather mirrors the political and military relations”, and he stressed that “China does not want to claim hegemony in this world or to replace the US or another great power. China is only interested in prosperity around the world and it watches carefully the Global Development Index and the Global Security Index”.

Pierre Fournié, French expert on Asia from SUFFREN International think-tank declared the Belt and Road Initiative, formerly One-Belt, One-Road (OBOR), to be “a magnificent project that could be pivotal in Europe” because “trade has always been a peaceful and fruitful relation among countries.” Fournié made clear that the war in Ukraine, inflation, migration, social discontent in Europe and the ongoing reconfiguration of the US society create conditions for Asian nations to become key partners in the post-war reshaping of Europe. “Thus, BRI, or the Indonesian Global Maritime Fulcrum are magnificent assets. Fournié also suggested that ”the current economic model creates tensions, and it’s time for  people to apply mutual aid and to unite to create coo-petition, a term coined by himself, and not competition. He recommended people to “no longer analyze Asia with European eyes.”

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Why the EU Could End Within a Year

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Germany, which has been high-and-mighty within the European Union and has imposed austerity against weaker European economies such as in Greece, Spain, Italy, and Portugal, is now demanding that other EU member nations bail Germans out of what will soon inevitably be an energy-emergency that results from Germany’s having complied with America’s demand to not only join with America’s sanctions against Russia, but to even terminate Germany’s Nord Stream 2 Russian gas pipeline that was supposed to be increasing — instead of (as now will be the case) decreasing — Russia’s natural-gas supplies to Europe. Germany was, until recently, the industrial motor of the EU, and therefore has the most to lose from reduced and far costlier energy-supplies; but this has now happened, and will escalate in the coming winter. As those energy supplies get reduced, energy prices will rise, then soar, and Germany’s economy will get crushed. Germany’s leaders (like in the other EU nations) complied with the American anti-Russia sanctions demands (which are based on faked ‘information’); and, as a result, the German public will soon be freezing, even while Germany will be spending astronomically higher prices for energy than it had previously been paying. The plunging energy supplies from Russia will be replaced by increased supplies from other countries (including America) whose energy is far costlier than Russia’s; and only a small fraction of those reduced supplies from Russia will be able to be replaced at all. Something will have to give, probably the EU itself, because the resultant rapidly escalating internal hostilities between EU nations — especially between Germany and the nations that it now expects to bail it out of this crisis — could blow the EU itself irrevocably apart.

This will be happening at the same time when the EU — which was extremely committed to reducing or even eliminating both nuclear and fossil fuels and especially coal — is suddenly rushing to increase greatly its use of those non-green fuel-sources, and when European voters who had placed those people into power will not like seeing their leaders turn 180 degrees now into the opposite direction, toward global warming. Previously unanticipated new questions will inevitably become raised. Furthermore, the transitions back to fossil fuels can’t even possibly be done as fast as Europe’s leaders are promising; and, as a consequence, not only will Europeans be chilling-out and shivering during this coming winter, but their leaders will have a lot of explaining to do that can’t be explained except by admitting that they had been wrong — terribly wrong and unprepared — and this undeniable fact will cause political chaos, as the mutual recriminations about their multiple failures will embitter Europeans about the entire EU project, the project of creating one single incomprehensibly bureaucratic U.S.-satellite European mega-nation, the “European Union,” that is composed of virtually all European nations. Nostalgia about the past, of beautiful independent European nations, and bitterness about the future, of “north versus south” (etc.) in Europe, will take over, weakening the EU’s fabric, and bringing into question the entire post-WW-II cross-Atlantic alliance (subservience, actually to the Russia-hating U.S. Government), both America’s NATO and its political twin, the U.S.-dominated EU and its thousands of American servants in Brussels.

The most-recent comprehensive evaluation of the energy-needs of the EU nations is the September 2008 “Europe’s Dependence on Russian Natural Gas: Perspectives and Recommendations for a Long-term Strategy” by Richard J. Anderson of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, funded by the U.S. and German Governments. It made clear that the lowest cost and fastest-growing fuel in Europe (unless EU countries would institute polices to change this, which didn’t occur) was pipelined natural gas from Russia, and that this was especially so regarding electricity-production, industrial uses, and chemical feedstocks for plastics etc. That’s what has happened — Russian dominance of Europe’s energy-supplies (and industrial supplies) — and, as-of 2008, the countries that were the most dependent upon cheap Russian pipelined natural gas were (see this image there): Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Hungary, Turkey, Austria, Czechia, Greece, Finland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. 

Presumably, those are the nations that will be especially “chilling out” this coming winter, in order to continue America’s political domination over Europe. The supposed moral imperative that has supposedly triggered this “chilling-out” is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 as being Russia’s inevitable ultimate response to America’s coup grabbing of Ukraine in February 2014 and NATO’s insulting-to-Russia insistence that this U.S.-made new Russia-hating Ukrainian regime has a sovereign right to place American missiles on Russia’s border only a mere five-minute striking-distance to nuking Moscow — that’s the EU’s supposed moral-imperative reason to turn Russia (Europe’s cheapest energy-supplier) off as being a supplier of energy to Europe. But, as a result of turning off Russia’s energy-spigots in Europe, the EU itself might become destroyed, and a mere has-been economically, culturally, industrially, and otherwise, just so that Europe will remain as being vassal-nations to America (its “dispensable” nations, like all the rest are), instead of to become what it always should have been, and naturally would have been — the radiant glory of the world’s largest continent: Eurasia, a Europe that includes Russia, instead of that endangers Russia. The glory of Europe is done for, finished as what it was, and the only real question now is how fast? Oh — and WHY? Why did Europe’s leaders do this? That will be the real EU-killer question.

The Europe that was, is gone — killed by the regime in Washington DC, using its many hired agents in Europe, and their hired guns in NATO.

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