European elites are unhappy. Their representatives write articles, make statements and once again talk about the need to ensure their security on their own – of course, if the United States leaves its NATO allies to their fate
But most of the time, calls are made directly to Washington. They all boil down to two interrelated requirements: 1) not to resolve European issues without Europe; 2) “not to retreat” in the face of “aggressive Russia” and to increase the pressure on it.
Of course, there are politicians in the Old World who advocate building good-neighborly and pragmatic relations with Moscow. But they come to power extremely rarely and do not stay at the helm of their countries for a long time. Suffice it to recall the fate of such “friends of Putin” as the former Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and the former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. The citizens of these countries did not vote for the course that the ruling coalitions adhere to today. And even these coalitions themselves – despite the fact that there have been no elections since then – are already mostly composed of other parties. Such is the democracy!
But even if one or several “alternative” politicians managed to cling to the imperious Olympus, there was little they could do. Europe is governed from a single center. The ball is ruled by the Brussels bureaucrats. It is often said in our country that Brussels is not subject, its actions are led by Washington. There is some truth in this – the Old World has indeed surrendered its sovereignty to supranational structures. For the most part, these structures have offices overseas, in Washington, but one should not attribute all European anti-Russian demarches to orders from the United States.
Remember what happened in Europe when Donald Trump just became president. This troublemaker of the Western calm also encroached on the so-called free trade, and even spoke about the nonconditionality of the application of the fifth article of the charter of the North Atlantic Alliance. And then the Europeans pounced on him all together: give a promise to continue pumping up NATO! Give me your word that you will not talk to Putin behind our backs! Now the US President is different, as they say, his own in the blackboard, but the situation is repeating itself. Instead of welcoming the start of constructive Russian-American contacts, the leaders of the Old World made Washington demand “not one step back”. That is, Biden is suspected (or skillfully pretended to be) of the same thing as Trump – that he will “surrender” the interests of the West, retreat to Putin and will not protect against “Russian aggression.”
Yes, Biden is criticized at home too. But mostly Republicans, and this is a common intra-American game – which of the parties “behaves more harshly with Putin.” For colleagues on the other side of the Atlantic, this game has little impact. Moreover, now, when the Europeans, according to the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, “have a friend again in the White House”, in Brussels, Berlin, Paris and other capitals they would have to completely trust their “friend”. But in general – to the “patron”, about which many European officials sometimes speak quite openly.
So where does this suspicion come from? Why is there such zeal to run ahead of the locomotive and shout about the “terrible Russian threat”?
Recently, Jens Stoltenberg demanded that Georgia and Ukraine be admitted to NATO on “special conditions”, that is, to do something that would greatly damage the negotiations between Moscow and Washington. He also did not fail to give some advice to Joe Biden on how to “put Putin in his place.” It would seem that Mr. Stoltenberg’s position is as tough as the head of the military-political bloc. But, firstly, the main thing in this block is the American bosses. And secondly, Jens is, in fact, an ordinary European politician. He worked in the government of Norway, served as prime minister. He became the general secretary of the alliance in 2014. In September 2022, he will step down from his post. A warm spot in the Norwegian central bank is already ready for him. Why on earth should he demand to “crush Moscow,” and even interfere with Washington’s plans?
Here is another example – Annalena Berbock, a representative of the Green Party, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany. She also demands to “contain”, “punish” and “isolate” Russia. What’s the matter? Yes, the “greens” are supposed to oppose various large-scale hydrocarbon projects like Nord Stream-2. But Frau Berbock is obliged to realize that without gas, Germany will have to return to coal and nuclear generation, which – through the efforts of the same “green” – were almost completely sanitized. There is only one way out – for now, use gas, preferably pipe gas, from Russia, it is cheaper and more reliable supplies. In addition, the Green Party in Germany today is simply a branch of the US Democratic Party, whose leader is now negotiating with Vladimir Putin and clearly does not want to disrupt them. So why argue with your boss?
And where does this hysteria in the press come from? Left-wing and right-wing publications compete in alarmism in the Russian direction. Read them, so tomorrow Russian tanks will be not only in Kiev, Tbilisi and Chisinau, but straight mo in Warsaw, Prague and Berlin. Any Tallinn doesn’t even count. It is curious that in reputable (and therefore not readable by the general public) publications, Western military, economic, geopolitical analysts write that such a development of events should definitely not be expected, but it would not be worth tugging at the Russian bear’s mustache either. But the European media mainstream seems to be obsessed with fear of aggression from the east.
This behavior of the Old World establishment seems completely illogical. Any serious conflict between the United States and Russia will primarily endanger Europe.
The inadequacy of politicians in Poland, the Baltic states and some other countries could still be attributed to “innate Russophobia” and “historical phobias”. But what about Western Europe, South, North? It is in its interests to mitigate the conflict as much as possible, to make compromises and even concessions with Moscow. They put up with the enormous influence of the Russian Empire and the Warsaw Pact during the Soviet era! There was trade, cultural exchange, dynastic marriages happened. Wars, of course, too. But all of them ended with the full realization that Russia cannot be thrown out of Eurasia, cannot be driven beyond the Urals and cannot be removed from Europe. Will not work. Better peacefully.
So why are there demands today not to give an inch of Ukrainian land to Putin? If this is fear of Russia, then some kind of painfully suicidal, delusional. It is unlikely that he overwhelmed the elite of the Old World. They are ideologized, corrupted, depraved and have lost their grip on many things. But they certainly haven’t gone crazy. They understand the real state of affairs. And therefore they are not afraid of any “Russian aggression”. It is not that they trust or sympathize with our country, but they certainly don’t believe in the existence of plans to enslave Europe. And they understand everything about Ukraine. And about her inevitable, not according to Brzezinski understood, the future. Therefore, the hysteria that begins every time the White House tries to come to an agreement with the Kremlin is clearly not connected with the “concentration of Russian armored vehicles” on the border of Independent and not with the “aggressive essence of Moscow.” Here the fear is deeper, existential.
Since at least the late 1940s, Europe has depended on the global financial system developed in Washington. This system, which became the guarantee of European prosperity, came in one package with NATO, with the American strategic “umbrella”. The Marshall Plan and financial reforms carried out under the leadership of monetary gurus from the United States, trade preferences in the market of an overseas superpower – all this was inseparable from the containment of the USSR, from the fight against the threat from the east. Later, new injections appeared. Part of Southeast Asia, primarily China, joined what is called the international division of labor in the mid to late 1970s. Not only American, but also European companies began to move their production facilities to the Asia-Pacific countries. The economies of the countries of the Old World began to become more and more “postindustrial”. And this process only accelerated after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
And then the eastward expansion of NATO and the EU began. These two processes proceeded almost simultaneously, with small lags in time, and sometimes even without them. By that time, almost all the prosperity of the West was based on the debt emission of the dollar. The new currency – the euro – was just an additional contour of the money machine, which provided everything that the Europeans had already become accustomed to. But they began to wean themselves from hard work to get their daily bread. The rule remained the same – financial well-being came with the strategic umbrella of the United States, NATO. There is no need to maintain this umbrella – there is no need to supply the citizens of the Old World with money, the constant emission of which in the early 2020s brought a lot of problems to the United States Federal Reserve. Why NATO if there is no “Russian aggression”?
As long as Europe was a front-line buffer between the two superpowers during the Cold War, it made sense. It persisted even when the EU and NATO expanded eastward, increasing the market and the emission bridgehead of the united West. The post-Soviet space remained not fully developed. But then Russia harshly declared the inadmissibility of such development. So it turns out that if there is a “front” in Ukraine (in Kazakhstan or elsewhere), then the remnants of the European prosperity, established after the Second World War, remain. And if it disappears as a result of agreements between Moscow and Washington, then there is no point in the Old World. Some part of it will undoubtedly be needed in the Alliance of Democracies being built by the White House. China will take something for itself. And this will not be an American-style emission domestication, but simply a technological and infrastructural-logistic suppression. China, however, does not need everything the United States needs. And what to do for the unclaimed population in the absence of emission feed is completely incomprehensible.“Less than a week”: French intelligence surprised the readers with the plan of the Russian invasion of Ukraine