One of the leaders of the European Union will come to Russia – and it will happen for the first time since cooling between Moscow and the West. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker went against the whole group in the Western elite, which believes that such a visit inappropriate. Why Juncker has decided on this and what it might mean for our relationship with Europe?
“The European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, has agreed to participate in the annual St. Petersburg international economic forum on June 16,” – said on Monday, Radio France Internationale, citing the official representative of the Chapter EC.
“Juncker wants Europe to subjective, and not completely ripped apart, which it today to a greater extent and is”
Juncker uses this opportunity to convey to the Russian leadership, as well as to a wider audience the EU perspective on the current state of relations between Russia and the European Union”, – quotes “Interfax” the representatives of the President of the European Commission.
If Juncker will arrive in Saint Petersburg, it will be the first representative of the European Union of this level, who have visited Russia since then, as in March 2014 against Moscow sanctions have been imposed.
SPIEF in 2016 will be a jubilee, it will be held for the 20th time in St. Petersburg from 16 to 18 June. Their participation in SPIEF confirmed about 3.5 thousand people, according to organizers, half of the participants are foreigners. Including its intention to participate in the forum, Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi.
“Can you imagine that there will be a separate meeting?”
Visit cadets at the SPIEF is seen as a sign of willingness to dialogue, encouraged this attitude, commented on reports about the arrival of the head of the EC press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov.
“I would not, perhaps, to indulge in excessive optimism and look for each of the steps some signs of fracture. Of course, the incident slope to sanctions rhetoric, descended the slope to the rejection of dialogue and cooperation in many aspects – they certainly have their negative consequences, and to get rid of these effects overnight, it will be impossible”, – quotes its words of RIA “news”.
Peskov stressed that “pretty shaky mutual trust will also need to restore some time”. Press Secretary of the head of state reminded that Vladimir Putin repeatedly spoke about the interest of Moscow in maintaining and enhancing dialogue with the EU.
Press Secretary of the head of state, answering a question about a possible meeting between Putin and Juncker on the sidelines of the forum, noted that this question is not entirely appropriate. “Can you imagine a situation where, for example, Mr. Juncker will attend the forum and he will have separate meetings? So the question is not quite appropriate,” – ironically remarked Sands.
Press Secretary of the President added that relations between Russia and the EU will also be discussed at the special panel, which in the framework of St. Petersburg international economic forum is organized by the international discussion club “Valdai”. “The theme of relations between Russia and the EU will be very active on the agenda of the upcoming forum,” – concluded the press-Secretary of the President.
The intention of the President of the European Commission to take part in St. Petersburg economic forum has caused dissatisfaction among the closest allies of the EU. The US state Department officially stated that the presence of American officials at the SPIEF excluded, in addition, the state Department warned American companies about some “risks” from participation in the forum in Russia.
In addition, dissatisfaction with the decision of Juncker is observed in some EU countries, and even in the office of the European Commission, says Politico, citing diplomatic sources. One of these sources said, some members of the staff of the monarch advised him to refuse participation in the St. Petersburg economic forum due to the “sensitivity” of the sanctions issue.
A symptom of this can be considered an explanation of the official representative of the EC Margaritis Shinas. The European Commission sees no connection between the fate of economic sanctions against Russia and the visit by the cadets in St. Petersburg, explained Chinas.
It seems that the view “of some EU countries, dissatisfied with intention of the head of the EC to meet with the Russian leadership, expressed the Minister of foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius.
“The meeting only for the sake of meetings do not add value to the relations between the EU and Russia. The Kremlin is using the meetings to create the impression that business is conducted as usual, projecting it’s own impression to the public,” said Lithuanian Minister of foreign Affairs in an interview with Politico.
This is the American edition notes: critics fear that the visit of Juncker would strengthen the position of Putin just before you make an important decision on the extension of sanctions against Moscow in the conflict over Ukraine. “They point out that the St. Petersburg economic forum, which annually attracts politicians, businessmen and experts, often seen as a counterweight to the world economic forum in Davos” – quoted by Deutsche Welle article in Politico.
The personal factor
As noted by the newspaper VIEW, in June 2014, with the election of former Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker to head the European Commission, the experts drew attention: this policy is considered simpatizantes European countries, which do not quite share the views on the absolute dominance of the Anglo-Saxons in the world. “In particular, he has a good relationship with the Russian establishment,” said then Director of the Center for political studies, Financial University under the government Pavel Salin. It was noted that the appointment of Juncker, actively supported the closest ally of the U.S. in Europe, the United Kingdom.
Reaction to Juncker’s intention to come to SPIEF 2016 says more about his personal play, not the symptom changes to the Brussels bureaucracy to Russia, says associate Professor of political theory at MGIMO Kirill Koktysh. “On the one hand, it is possible to speak about his personal plans, desires, which are dictated by European interests, but to talk about the turning point in the European Union as a whole still early,” – said Koktysh of the newspaper LOOK.
Juncker may be the forum without any particular purpose, package offers, because the event does not oblige to the making of any decisions, and involves discussion, there was convergence. “But if Juncker would say something, it will be good. The decision-making mechanism in the EU – collective” – said the analyst.
“To a much greater extent Juncker will need a strategy that Europe, not the performance of some roles. He wants Europe in the subject, and not completely ripped apart, which it today to a greater extent and is”, – said Kirill Koktysh.
“In the EU no individual opinions”
The head of the Center for economic research Institute of globalization and social movements Vasily Koltashov sees great value in what will Juncker speak on the forum.
“Many Western experts, heads of States, business leaders from year to year, and said on this forum about one thing: Russia should not isolate itself from the rest of the world, must not oppose itself to the Western civilization. They ignored the comments that no one in Russia does, that you yourself started the conflict, sanctions. If Juncker will repeat the same thing, I would say that Russia must cease to close, to clash, then his visit will show Western businesses, investors: the conflict persists. If he behaves otherwise, I would say that it is time for dialogue and to terminate the existing difficult relations, this visit will have a completely different meaning – a signal that perhaps the removal of the conflict between Russia and the EU”, – said Koltashov the newspaper VIEW.
The expert expects Juncker intermediate position, that is, he will talk about the isolation of Russia, while the West wants only the best for her. The head of the EC will be making hints that reconciliation is possible, but “will not demonstrate any real bridge in order for this convergence took place”.
According to Koltashov, any European official can not afford to have no views, except of the respective lines of the European Commission and the ECB. “There is no as such dissent. No dissenting opinions. Therefore, cadets of this opinion no. When there were normal relations with Russia, Juncker showed that relations with Russia should be non-confrontational. And now, when the speech to repair relations with Russia, many in the European ruling circles are estimated as the audacity, as a violation of the General order of thought, Juncker is unlikely to afford a strong stand, even if the soul sympathizes with Russia and would like to see cooperation”, – believes Vasily Koltashov.Related posts: