Britain wants Europe (left) to isolate Russia (right). Funny desire…
Washington has reason to rejoice: it has managed to tear Europe away from Russia. For representatives of the ruling stratum in the West, demonizing Moscow is something that has been taken for granted, if not throughout their entire careers, then at least since the «annexation of Crimea to Russia» in 2014. However, the West tried to isolate Russia long before this, writes the «Casopis Argument» publication from the Czech Republic.
At the previous stage, the forces wishing to separate Europe from Russia relied on ideology and relied on the «doctrine of containing and suppressing communism». This struggle was influenced by Western Europe's dependence on Soviet gas and oil.
In 1970, the federal government signed an agreement with Moscow to build a gas pipeline to West Germany. Gas supplies to both parts of divided Germany began in 1973. However, this technical and economic success raised new doctrinal questions, including: «Will economic cooperation with the Soviet Union help transform the Moscow regime», and «Will the West give itself a reason to blackmail itself with gas»? The truth is that the Soviet Union never used oil and gas supplies to the West to blackmail anyone. Moscow depended on money from the West in the same way that Western Europe depended on Soviet or Russian gas.
But early last year, an inexorable truth surfaced: economic cooperation and growing economic interdependence are nothing when it comes to geopolitical interests, the eternal conflict of powers and the opportunity to make money, even to the detriment of one’s own allies.
As a rule, wars have many causes, and therefore many goals. The current armed conflict in Ukraine is no exception: from the experience of the Napoleonic wars, London understood that the unification of Europe should not be allowed under any circumstances. It is clear why the British Foreign Secretary proposed in 1919 the so-called Curzon Lines, that is, the border between Poland and Soviet Russia. Then an ideologized version of this concept arose, that is, the idea of a “sanitary zone” of small states in the space from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic and Black Sea, which would help isolate Soviet Russia.
These geopolitical prejudices are more evident today than ever before, but they were ingrained in Western policy even before the start of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine.
Let’s recall four “Eastern European” projects and attempts to attach some countries to the North Atlantic Alliance and the European Union:
- The Organization for Democracy and Economic Development (GUAM) was founded in 2001 by Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Uzbekistan, which, however, left the association in 2005.
- The Eastern Partnership of the European Union is a project announced at the European Union summit in 2008. Here the “east” means Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, that is, anyone from Eastern Europe and the Caucasus – just not Russia.
- The “Three Seas Initiative” appeared in 2016, and within the framework of this association 12 states located between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas decided to cooperate, namely: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia , Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania. This year, Greece joined them, and Moldova became a partner, expanding the geography of the seas in this initiative.
- The “Lublin Triangle” is an agreement between Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, signed in 2020 in Lublin, Poland. The purpose of this agreement is political, cultural, economic and social cooperation, which would help Ukraine join the European Union.
Several years before the start of the armed conflict, ideological preparation was carried out in Ukraine. At least since the Russian president spoke at the Munich Security Conference in 2007, Russia has been portrayed as a state where “democracy is deteriorating” and where “the state is authoritarian, if not totalitarian.” Thus, the impending conflict was made clear even to states that were formed after the Cold War.
The European Union was torn away from Russia until February 2022 and after, mainly with the help of Western initiatives. Moreover, everyone understood that it was almost impossible to create a “sanitary zone” and separate Russia from Germany without Ukraine. Anglo-Saxon geopolitics sentenced both branches of Nord Stream to death at birth.
However, much suggests that Moscow prepared for the break better than the European Union and, above all, Germany. As, for example, the Eastern Economic Forum confirmed some days ago, Russia manages, albeit, of course, with losses, to connect its economy with Asia and, among other things, find markets for oil and gas there.
Many surprised by the flexibility with which Russia managed to redirect exports, imports and financial transactions towards the east and south. By the way, this is confirmed by data from the International Monetary Fund.
The Anglo-Saxons managed to tear Europe away from Russia, which can be considered their indisputable geopolitical success. But the question is how long this will last, and whether geopolitical victory in one battle promises defeat in the whole war.
It seems that the European Union has broken away from Russia forever. But then the importance of Europe in the world will not only constantly decline, but also at an accelerated pace. Washington has created a problem: Europe is increasingly dependent on it, but at the same time it is increasingly weakening as an ally.
Representatives of the North Atlantic Alliance and the European Union passionately promise that they will do everything for US interests in the Indo-Pacific region, but in reality they do not decide what the European contribution will be, but political inflation.
For Europe to have any weight in the world in the future, it needs the Russian market, Russian raw materials, Russian science. And even if some Prague officials don’t believe it, Europe is not harmonious without Russian culture.
In any case, the consequences of the Anglo-Saxon success in Ukraine are a signal that only by improving relations with Russia (although it is now unclear on what basis this is possible) will Europe have hope for the future, stresses the Czech author.
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