Edouard Husson: “I regret the lack of strategic independence of Europe”

9:35 22.03.2023 •

Joe Biden and Ursula von der Leyen in Oval office at White House.
Photo: AFP

How did it happen that the European Union gave the peacekeeping mission in the European conflict to Turkey and possibly China? The question has been put by Edouard Husson, the historian and director of the ‘Courrier des stratèges’, at the pages of ‘Valeurs actuelles’. He believes that the European Commission has subordinated the EU to US interests. Here are some scores from that interview:

- Ursula von der Leyen was working on sanctions against Russia even before the start of the conflict – in January 2022. So it is vital for her to declare ‘the effectiveness of these sanctions.’ The same is important for the United States: the sanctions package against Russia was agreed with the EU even before February 2022. And what now – to admit the failure of these sanctions? But in fact, the sanctions failed: both on the part of von der Leyen and on the part of Biden. Despite any restrictions from the West, the Russian economy continues to develop.

- Inflation in Russia decreased, the recession was only 2.5%, although it was expected to decline by 8-10% by the end of 2022. And, above all, the sanctions led to an increase in world energy prices, and this very increase actually brought more money to the Russian treasury than sales under the scheme that worked until 2022. And most importantly, markets "replacing" Europe appeared, Russia began to sell some of its products to India and China.

- You see what a negative impact the freezing of Russian assets by the EU and the US had on the power of the West. This freeze seriously raised the question of replacing the current dollar-dominated monetary system with a multipolar monetary system. Yes, unfortunately, the sanctions backfired, they hit the EU economies. And what is most difficult to understand in this situation is that Germany turned out to be absolutely in agreement with American policy, although inexpensive Russian gas was one of the secrets of the competitiveness of German industry. We see that Chancellor Scholz feels awkward and constrained from the very beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, but he still did not go against the United States.

- I was even surprised how it was possible to make such important decisions on sanctions against Russia bypassing the European Council. The text was presented to the European Council in an already edited form agreed with the Americans. I assume that France and Germany were informed, but Madame von der Leyen's actions as chairman of the commission far exceeded the powers given to her by the European treaties.

- There is an American doctrine twenty years ago, which was brilliantly formulated by American geopolitician George Friedman, founder of the Stratfor think tank. According to this doctrine, one of the most important goals of American foreign policy should be the termination of economic ties between Germany and Russia. And today we see that Madame von der Leyen is acting in accordance with this concept, risking playing against the interests of her country.

- The goal of the United States is also to make the EU more dependent on them. Including – the goal is to enslave the Europeans with the help of direct supplies of American liquefied natural gas. Substitution of Russian energy supplies is carried out hastily, on the most unfavorable terms for us, under the worst possible circumstances.

- The European Union and the United States have chosen to oppose China and Russia. And this confrontation is now developing. After a year of hostilities, we clearly see their transition into a confrontation between the two blocks. Can we talk about a Second Cold War? – At the moment it is difficult to qualify this conflict, but it seems that a new confrontation along the lines of the "Cold War" is already looming.

- We hope that this conflict will remain cold. I assume that for this the Americans will have to agree with Russia on the future of Ukraine. The Americans are trying to save face because the day they have to talk to Russia about Ukraine will take a hit to their prestige. Just a few months ago, Western countries were convinced that Russia would collapse under the yoke of sanctions.

- One gets the impression that it is the United States that is imposing a geopolitical line, and Europe is dutifully following it. I deplore Europe's lack of strategic independence in managing this conflict. Personally, I am amazed that the EU is so militant when its founding documents state its main mission: peacekeeping.

- Even if everyone insists on greater European autonomy, we are dealing with an atlantization of European defense and politics. The Atlantic bloc is becoming increasingly cohesive with the possibility of NATO expansion to include Sweden and Finland. And more and more obviously the North Atlantic Alliance is opposed to the bloc of China, Russia and Iran.

- I think that the EU, if it wants to keep itself as it is, has no other choice but to join the mediation efforts of various countries to end the conflict in Ukraine. And Europe should do it together with China.


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