Friday, February 26, 2021

The EU was humiliated in Moscow by finally absorbing itself and hardening it


European Union foreign ministers voted on Monday for the EU to impose further sanctions on Russia. This is a surprising change from before, as so far it has not looked like the EU is going to harden against the Russians, but it is largely due to itself. Vladimir Putin government.

Recently, the Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs was so humiliated in Moscow that the edge of the continent shuddered. Josep Borrell history, in short, he traveled to Moscow despite the fact that pretty much no one in the EU wanted to Sergei Lavrov Foreign Minister, calling the European Union an unreliable partner and questioning Russia’s Alexei Navalny opposition activist.

Borrell was spectacularly dragged into a tube, but he himself traveled unprepared to Moscow, which several people spoke of when asked to be replaced. But the High Representative has not been replaced, and, interestingly, the European Union has just been shut down behind him.

Personal meeting

The High Representative was also present in person at the Council of Foreign Ministers and organized a full-day program to try to save the situation a bit. Moscow’s slap hurt the EU precisely because it highlighted that the continent was not a real player in foreign policy. Part of this is rightly true, as the foreign policy interests of the 27 Member States should be reconciled, and no one will think the same about, say, Turkey. Now, however, it has also come to light that the EU employs amateurs in foreign policy who can be easily suppressed because they are not prepared properly. The foreign affairs representative of any EU power would have recognized the trap into which Borrell had been dragged.

With regard to Russia, analysts have long said that while he is negotiating hard, if he experiences the same hard action, he will react much more rationally.

Sanctions were already demanded by several countries when the returning Alexei Navalny was arrested in Russia. The reason for his arrest was that he had been on parole due to an earlier case that seemed rather fabricated and did not show up for inspection. The Russian state said they didn’t know where he was while half the world was just reading about Navalny recovering in Germany after being poisoned by the Russian state he was looking for right now.

According to the leaked information, most of all, Poland wanted to get new sanctions imposed on Russia, precisely because they think the Russians are spectacularly unwilling to take part in negotiations that advance the interests of both parties.

It is not yet known exactly who will be sanctioned, but at least four people are said to be certain, including Russia’s Attorney General, Igor Krasnov and the head of federal prisons, Alexander Kalashnikov.

The stroller stepped down

Of particular interest is the fact that Hungary also had to vote on sanctions and the meeting took place in person in Brussels, To Péter Szijjártó he had to fly home quickly to vote in the afternoon to maintain the emergency, for without his vote he might not have two-thirds in parliament. The face-to-face meeting was justified by the foreign ministers on the grounds that there is no really secure phone line, and if these meetings are held over the internet, everyone will only tell the pre-written texts, while bolder decisions will be made in face-to-face meetings.

By the way, Hungary has supported sanctions against Russia so far, but only with votes, while constantly communicating that there is no need for them because economic relations are more important. Now, however, the entire EU is so closed, and the Poles – who have traditionally been very anti-Russian – have demanded action so hard that Hungary probably did not dare to allow itself to stay.

Although the imposition of sanctions is a decisive action against Russia and will work in the long term, this is the medium solution in the current situation. This is because it is much harder to salt the Russian government.

The real slap

The biggest pain, of course, was in North Stream II. stopping the construction of the gas pipeline would cause the Russians. Russia is the continent’s largest gas exporter, with much of the EU using gas from here. However, it is an old problem for Putin’s government that the current gas pipelines all reach Central Europe via Ukraine. The North Stream II. however, it would bypass Ukraine from the north, transporting gas directly to Germany, which would solve this problem.

Now, in practice, Ukraine can blackmail at any time by shutting off Russian gas to Western Europe, and while there is little chance of doing so, the Russians cannot simply disconnect Ukraine from the gas grid, as a significant part of Europe would be cut off. . If the North Stream II. Ukraine’s territorial integrity, which Russia has already violated in the past, is under further serious threat. Obviously, it would not be good for Hungary either if one of the neighboring countries started a war with Russia, and we are very close to the fact that Nord Stream II. get ready.

Joe Biden the US president seems to be planning tougher against the new Nord Stream pipeline, but here, in fact, the support of Germany and France is essential. Angela Merkel and it has long held its ground that Nord Stream II. business project, not political, so it should not be stopped for political reasons.

Interestingly, the two sides of the debate seem to be the current decision of Borrell and the EU. Proponents of the new gas pipeline say Russia can be tied to the West if dialogue between the parties continues, and opponents say Putin will only hold back if they take tough action against it. In the coming weeks, you may decide which side’s opinion will be dominant, but the current sanctions are clearly pointing to the latter.





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