Germany fears that Americans and Russians want to partition Europe again

Foreign Affairs Council. EU Minister for Foreign Affairs meet in Brussels.From left to right: Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, Erkki Tuomioja, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany. (European Council, Council of the European Union Newsroom, photographic library).

Foreign Affairs Council. EU Minister for Foreign Affairs meet in Brussels.From left to right: Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, Erkki Tuomioja, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany. (European Council, Council of the European Union Newsroom, photographic library).

The Western threat to punish Russia by blocking its associations with the European Union and the Atlantic economic volume over the Ukrainian crisis has a major drawback; the Russian supplies of natural gas which move Europe. Moscow says it will cut off its gas supplies to Ukraine if an agreement on pricing is not reached today. It’s not clear if this will impede the flow of natural gas to the European Union, which covers almost half of its needs from Russia. There are EU countries, like Bulgaria, who dependent entirely on Gazprom deliveries. Negotiations between the Russian monopoly Gazprom and the Kiev authorities broke down last Saturday but were expected to be resumed yesterday, Sunday.

The problem is that, while the US and the EU seem wrapped together in confronting Russia over Ukraine, the two allies have quite different, if not conflicting interests in relation to Moscow. Even the three major EU countries, Germany, France and Britain have different, even opposing pursuits vis-à-vis Russia, with the first largely depending for its energy supplies, having invested heavily in Russia and eyeing more economic cooperation in the future. As for the US, the Americans see Russia probably as a future competitor in world energy markets and obviously hate the idea of a closer Russo-German relationship.

The Germans feel differently

Last week the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was in St. Petersburg meeting his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. The German minister after the talks stated that “Russia’s tone had notably changed” and he added characteristically, “There is no interest to risk a new partition of Europe.” These comments are in direct contradiction with the bellicose attitude of Washington, London and Paris towards Moscow. Even Brussels have adopted a quite aggressive stance vis-à-vis the pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists and Moscow itself.

Such a strong Brussels attitude is a revelation. Not even an EU Press release was issued questioning the ruthless heavy artillery and air bombardments of inhabited areas in Donetsk and Mariupol, after the new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko assumed office. His last week’s claims of having ‘won back’ Mariupol and Donetsk were challenged by the downing of a military aircraft near Luhansk with 49 victims. Poroshenko’s plan to annihilate the resistance of the separatist forces before starting negotiations to accord some form of autonomy and recognition of the Russian language in the eastern provinces have not persuaded the pro-Russian rebels.

The Russian government demands that Kiev stops its all-out military action in the east and start an all-inclusive dialogue. Actually, two weeks ago, Frank-Walter Steinmeier had submitted his country’s proposal along the same lines for a solution to the problem. The German Minister had visited Kiev and the eastern provinces and had concluded that a viable solution cannot be reached without the participation in the negotiations of the Russian language fighters in Donetsk and Mariupol. Obviously, Berlin takes a much different position in this question than Washington, London and Paris. Surprisingly Brussels, as expressed by the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, is siding with the three and forgets what Germany has to say.

Georgieva speaks her mind

Understandably, the Berlin proposals passed quite unnoticed by Washington. Catherine Ashton meets more regularly with US Secretary of State John Kerry than with the German Minister of Foreign Affairs. It was the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis, Kristalina Georgieva, who demanded that “All parties must protect civilians” and added that “I am gravely concerned by recent developments in the eastern region of Ukraine, especially when innocent civilians, including women and children, are caught in crossfire and pay with their lives”.

This was the only Brussels’ initiative to recognize that the Kiev authorities under the new President have intensified heavy military action against residential areas in eastern Ukraine. Let’s be reminded that, Europe and the US decided to destroy the Gaddafi regime from the air and with it the entire Libyan state structures when government violence against citizens filled the streets with dead and wounded people. Libya doesn’t exist anymore. In the case of Ukraine, now, much more violence has been exercised by the Kiev authorities against the eastern provinces. Gaddafi didn’t use fighter planes against the country’s people as Poroshenko did. Obviously, the West uses double standards in the cases of Libya and Ukraine, according to its own interests.

Coming back to Brussels, only Georgieva among the EU Commissioners stated that the Kiev authorities are waging war in towns and cities where “women and children, are caught in crossfire and pay with their lives”. Probably for that the EU may take against Gerogieva legal action, as it did for her country in the case of the South Stream natural gas pipeline agreement that Bulgaria has signed with Russia.

It’s always the oligarchs

There is no doubt that the Ukrainian crisis started when Vladimir Putin convinced the ousted President Viktor Yanukovych to turn down an EU Association agreement and instead sign one with the Moscow led Eurasian Union. In view of that, the Kiev society rose to its feet and opposed this last minute U-turn as it had done during the Orange Revolution. In any case, the heart of the country’s problem was, and of course still is, the indifference of the Ukrainian corrupted political and economic elites for the common good.

Yanukovych and Timoshenko thought they could ‘sell’ their country’s affiliation in turns to Russia and then to the West, not caring about playing with fire, for as long as they could enrich themselves. Ukraine is still in the stage where Russia was many years ago when the first oligarchs established themselves in a devastated and dissolving country.

Now the Russians and the Americans can use the Ukrainian crisis to serve their own interests. Unfortunately, it seems that the European Union appears unable to play a decisive role and impose its own terms for a consensual solution in the civil war torn country. Possibly, some analysts are right that the Americans won’t stop until Europe is again partitioned, as Steinmeier fears.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The Sting’s Team

How will Brexit affect higher education in the EU?

Modern farming is harming the planet. Tech-driven permaculture could heal it

Ukraine undecided over a strategic partnership with the EU

Siemens-Alstom merger: Can Germany and France lobby to circumvent EC’s rejection, against EU consumers’ interests?

EU countries invested €5 trillion abroad

Business is stepping up its fight against climate change. This is how

Refugees now make up 1% of the world’s population

Unlock the value proposition for Connected Insurance

On Brexit: the outcome of UK elections next May to be based on false promises?

5 ways blockchain can transform the world of impact investing

Skeptic France about Trump-Juncker trade deal favoring German cars; EU’s unity in peril

10 start-ups that are helping to change the Arab world

UN lauds special chemistry of the periodic table, kicking off 150th anniversary celebrations

EU, Latin America and the Caribbean: Partnering for prosperity, democracy, resilience and global governance

Restoring government control across Central African Republic is ‘key’ to lasting peace, stability – UN envoy

UN refugee agency ‘deeply shocked’ at stabbing death of ‘deeply courageous’ Polish mayor

Haitian President at General Assembly calls for essential development aid as UN mission shifts away from peacekeeping

The 27 EU leaders did nothing to help May unlock the Brexit talks

250 days until the European Parliament elections

New round of bargaining for the 2014 EU budget late in autumn

EU to Telcos: Stop Mergers and Acquisitions but please help me urgently with 5G development

Germany may have a stable and more cooperative government

European Banking Union: no one is perfect

This forgotten chemical element could be the key to our green energy future

Romania: MEPs are deeply concerned about judicial independence and rule of law

A young European voice on Grexit: too high a bill and too big a deal!

UN spotlights wellbeing of seafarers on International Day

Here are four ways ASEAN can help entrepreneurs thrive – especially women

They won this year’s Nobel for economics. Here’s why their work matters

This New York store is selling Christmas presents for refugees

Does Switzerland really need more medical students?

Germany objects to EU Commission’s plan for a Eurozone bank deposits insurance scheme but Berlin could go along

The EU learns about fishing and banking from tiny Iceland

JADE May Meeting last call for participants – join us in Zagreb

A lack of affordable homes is forcing young Britons to live with their parents

Refugee crisis update: EU fails to relocate immigrants from Greece and Italy

UN chief encourages victims of terrorism to ‘raise up their voices’

Fostering global citizenship in medicine

What you need to know about the Sustainable Development Impact Summit

Development aid drops in 2018, especially to neediest countries

Why rich countries are seeing more poverty

Drones are saving lives in Tanzania’s remote communities

Technology is a force for peace and prosperity. Don’t let its challenges obscure this

New UN data tool shows ‘mismatch’ between government aid and places modern slavery exists

International tourism arrivals hit record high in 2017, UN agency reports

Pervasive corruption costs $2.6 trillion; disproportionately affects ‘poor and vulnerable’ says UN chief

European tourism remains a strong growth factor

Eurozone: Avoiding a new Greek accident

EU Commission – US hasten talks to avoid NGO reactions on free trade agreement

Bram in Colombia

UN chief welcomes re-opening of key Gaza border crossing

My Mothers

Eurozone: A Sluggish economy offers no extra jobs

Draghi to lay his print on long term ECB policies prior to exiting next year

Iran: UN rights chief ‘deeply disturbed’ by continuing executions of juvenile offenders

Giving humanitarian help to migrants should not be a crime, say MEPs

UN, Somali Government seek $80 million in immediate relief for flood-affected populations

This woman changed the world of work – and you’ve probably never heard of her

New report says better metrics could have prompted stronger response to the crisis

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.

    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s