Solitary Britain sides with US aggressing Russia and chooses hard Brexit

Arrival and doorstep by Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, at the Foreign Affairs Council on 17 October 2016 in Luxembourg. (Snapshot from a video. Location: Luxembourg, Luxembourg. European Council – Council of the European Union Audiovisual Services).

Arrival and doorstep comment by Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, at the Foreign Affairs Council on 17 October 2016 in Luxembourg. (Snapshot from a video. Location: Luxembourg, Luxembourg. European Council – Council of the European Union Audiovisual Services).

Last Sunday Britain surprised Europe by surpassing even the Americans in condemning and threatening Russia over the fight of Aleppo, imminent to be lost for the West. British Foreign minister Boris Johnson went past the US Secretary of State John Kerry, in pointing a finger at Russia. While Kerry threatened Moscow with more economic sanctions, if the Russians continue the bombardment of the dilapidated ancient city, Johnson found something more colorful to say, as he always tries to do, usually unsuccessfully.

According to BBC, in the joint Press conference after the meeting with Kerry, he said that, “as part of measures designed to ‘keep the pressure up’, additional sanctions on the Syrian regime ‘and their supporters’ (meaning Russia) were under consideration”. At that time Johnson knew very well that mainland Europeans were quite skeptical, if not outright negative about imposing more sanctions on Russia, just because the Damascus government army supported by Moscow is winning the battle of Aleppo. Let’s start the story from the beginning.

Suddenly Britain rides in Syria

In the autumn of 2014 the US-led Alliance for Syria was formed. It comprised a number of Sunni Moslem Middle East countries (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Turkey) plus a number of NATO member states (France, Belgium and Germany). However, the British Parliament rejected the corresponding proposal by the then Prime Minister David Cameron, thus blocking Britain from actively participating in the alliance for Syria.

France deployed its aircraft carrier ‘Charles de Gaulle’ in the Eastern Mediterranean, participated in the bombings of ISIS and was victimized by those crazy butchers in Paris and Nice. Belgium, also very active in bombarding ISIS targets in Syria, was equally victimized by ISIS. All along the past two years Britain practically refrained from any active political or military involvement in the war against ISIS in Syria.

Escalating bloodshed

This week however, the gaffe prone Brexiteer leader and now uncertain British Foreign minister Boris, appeared on the side of Kerry and they both planned more sanction on Russia, if Moscow doesn’t back off from the siege of Aleppo. To be reminded that, last September, the next day the US-Russia commonly sponsored ceasefire agreement was concluded in Syria, the Americans bombed – by ‘mistake’ as the Pentagon said – key military positions in Damascus protected by Russia.

As expected, the result was the complete collapse of the ceasefire pact. Since then the situation in the war-torn country has become even more bloody and precarious, with Aleppo being now the point of friction between the two camps. Moscow supports the government of Bashar al-Assad and the US backs an array of various warring factions, ranging from hard-line jihadists related to Al-Qaeda or even to ISIS, plus some mercenary groups organized by Turkey.

US and Russia in dangerous clash

After the complete breakdown of the jointly US – Russia sponsored peace agreement in Syria two weeks ago, the two sides have become callous adversaries. They have escalated support for their proxies on the ground, thus perpetuating the brutal decimation of the Syrian people. The US-Russia clash for the dismembering and the partitioning of Syria is now reaching an apex in and around Aleppo. Presently, both the US and Russia are acting so irresponsibly as to have even put world peace at risk.

The repercussions of the war in Syria have now reached the Old Continent and the Americans want the Europeans to act more aggressively against Russia. Last Sunday though, when Johnson and Kerry met in London, it was pretty clear that the Europeans wouldn’t follow the US in this new enmity against Moscow. Berlin was outspoken about that, and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he couldn’t see the connection between more sanctions against Russia with the facilitation of aid to the Syrian people.

The German position was later on supported by the other 26 mainland EU member states. On Monday 17 October, Federica Mogherini, the EU Foreign Affairs and Security Representative, said that, no EU member state has proposed more sanctions on Russia because of the situation in Aleppo.

Deep division

In short, what we see here is a deep division of the West. Britain wholesale adopts the US position, while mainland Europe doesn’t want to turn its back to Russia. Geography again plays a very crucial role. It seems that the course the Brexit implementation is taking, also plays a key part here. The division between mainland Europe and Britain deepens further, after the London government appears to have adopted a non-amicable divorce.

Provocative Johnson again is in the middle of it. Last week, in a TV interview, he attacked the Brussels viewpoint that there is a strong correlation between access to the single EU market and free movement of citizens by saying it is “complete baloney.” Then, at a Franco-German joint news conference, the German minister for Finance Wolfgang Schäuble, while commenting on Boris’s attack, also became provocative, exchanging glances with Michel Sapin, Schäuble’s French counterpart, and going as far as to mock Britain.

According to Reuters he said: “We just looked at each other because we’re used to respecting foreign ministers a lot.” Then, he went on by saying, “If we need to do more, we will gladly send her majesty’s foreign minister a copy of the Lisbon Treaty. Then he can read that there is a certain link between the single market and the four core principles in Europe. I can also say it in English. So, if clarification is necessary we can pay a visit and explain this to him in good English.” If this is not a clear sign that the Brexit will be negotiated in an inimical way, then words have lost their meaning.

Inimical divorce

If Johnson authentically expresses London’s plan for the Brexit, then Britain and mainland Europe will from now on communicate on serious matters through public ultimatums. The worsening of the situation in Syria and the clear divergence between the Anglo-Americans and the mainland Europeans vis-à-vis Moscow will further alienate Britain from the EU.

Sadly enough, it’s highly probable that the next few months may change our world to such an extent, that the warming up of the planet and the greenhouse effect will be our smallest problems.

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