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Saturday, March 17, 2018

The extension of the sanctions will be a test for the independence of Europe

Europe wants a lifting of sanctions against Russia – in the West more and more often is dissatisfaction with the continued economic war. The war in Syria, a truce in Ukraine and the negotiations on the Transatlantic trade partnership create the conditions under which Europeans will be able to go to the restoration of economic cooperation with Russia.

Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that the Russian government will be based on the scenario of saving in 2016 of the Western sanctions and restrictions of access to external capital markets. This is the right approach – a confrontation with the US will not stop neither in the short nor in the medium term. To abandon the policy of containment of Russia America is in principle not going. But in the common block of West still has two – component, unlike the United States, with Europe the situation is more than ambiguous.

“By early next year, several factors will be that Europe started the procedure of waiver of sanctions”

The conflict between Russia and the United States has several dimensions, beginning with unavoidable contradictions about the model of the world and principles of the organization of international relations to fight in specific regions, for example, in Ukraine or the middle East. Europe is the most important, although a unique place in Russian-American rivalry – as part of the West and the Junior partner of the United States on the Atlantic project, continental Europe has its own, largely non-Anglo-Saxon, interests and even goals.

Although the EU acts increasingly as the Atlantic, that is Pro-American (meaning by the American center of globalization in the Anglo-Saxon), the structure of national elite of European countries still have a greater impact on politics as their States and in the course of Europe in General, the supra-national, globalist. In the conflict with Russia based on the United States Atlantic supranational elites of Europe and appearing as an ally of Washington, and as the subject of the dispute between the Anglo-Saxons and the Russians. Atlanticists used the struggle for Ukraine as the reason for scrapping of the Russian-European cooperation, and for two equally important purposes for them.

The first is the containment of Russia through its weakening, which was supposed to work in isolation, at least partial, of Moscow from Europe. The sanctions were supposed to force Putin to withdraw from Ukraine and to make concessions as a whole – to restore access to Western technology and financial resources.

The fact that this bet might not work out, the US is certainly allowed, but they had a second, very important purpose. It was necessary to strengthen the Atlantic bundle, to take the next step to globalization is to push Europe to more Atlantic integration, to the creation of “economic NATO”. In 2013, the company started talks on a Transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) – unions, creating a common market with almost a billion consumers (and the richest in the world), with more than half of global GDP and with trillion-dollar turnover inside of it.

In order that Europeans have become more accommodating – and not everyone in Europe want to give more power to supranational authorities and global corporations, in whose interests the creation of the TTIP is needed to demonstrate that they have no choice: from the East approaching enemy, a terrible and treacherous Russia, which need as less as possible depend on, primarily in the field of energy.

The Europeans went on to sanctions against Russia are extremely reluctant to major Western European countries did not want to lose lucrative contracts and trade, but the Atlantic solidarity, that is, belts with which the Anglo-Saxons ensure its control of European elites, coupled with promote Russophobia, did the trick. Russia has imposed counter-sanctions and against this background, negotiations on the conclusion of TTIP, it seemed, had to go faster. But the combination came to a halt.

In the past year said that the agreement will be signed this year, now we are talking about 2016. For the Washington administration, it is important to conclude it before the election of the US President, has a year left on all the procedures. Meanwhile, the French state Secretary for foreign trade Matthias Fekl said Paris might block talks between the European Union and the United States, if Washington will not go on mutual concessions by the Europeans. FeCl outraged by the behavior of Americans and believes that the negotiations are held under the dictation of Washington, which wants to bargain for the best conditions:

“Europe has offered many compromises in all areas and has received from the United States in response to serious offers. No access to public markets, no access to their agricultural and food markets remain closed”.

According to the Minister, negotiations can end in failure if the US will not change their attitude and stop thinking only about their interests. FeCl threatened to leave the negotiations in Paris, he said, is considering a variety of options, including complete withdrawal.

It is clear that the behavior of France there is a large element of bargaining with the Americans, but dissatisfaction with the negotiations Express and other European authorities, not to mention opposition forces, some of which have good chances to come to power in their countries elections 2016-2017. The failure of the accord will be a serious blow to the Atlantic elite, and so now would be made all efforts to speed up the process. Here can play your role of anti – Russian sanctions only and not as carrot and stick.

In the beginning of next year will need to make a decision about their next extension – Washington will have to once again put pressure on the EU and national governments. But Europe simply does not want it – she seeks to weaken the sanctions war, which was particularly noticeable before and after the Paris talks, “Norman Quartet.” Before the start of the German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said that the conflict over Ukraine must not lead to the loss of Russia as a partner in resolving the Syrian crisis and “it is impossible to always maintain sanctions and to ask for cooperation.”

Although the Vice Chancellor did not agree in the office of the Chancellor, after the last meeting in Paris and the actual renewal of the Minsk agreements, it became apparent that Berlin and Paris can benefit from the calming of the situation in Ukraine for the gradual abolition of sanctions. It is significant that it drew the attention of financial analysts who make recommendations to investors about investing in certain markets.

“If the sanctions would require only compliance with the terms of the agreements Minsk-2 and given the dissatisfaction with the sanctions among the population of Europe, I wouldn’t be surprised if he increased the pressure against the renewal of sanctions in January – says the President of the American company market research Bretton Woods Research Vladimir Signorelli, quoted by “Forbes” in the article “Russia is close to the lifting of sanctions.” – According to optimistic estimates, it is possible that the sanctions regime would be terminated by March and certainly by June 2016. And because the markets are always focused on the future and this optimistic scenario seems more likely, you need to prepare for it now.”

Of course, Paris and Berlin yet to publicly declare that not going to cancel before the implementation of the Minsk agreements. But, given the unrealistic obligations that are assumed in Paris, Poroshenko, Merkel and Hollande next few months I’ll be able to play on the fact that Russia is complying with the agreement, and Kiev is not – and to insist to Washington on the abolition of the sanctions. Thus, by the beginning of next year when a decision will be made on the extension of sanctions, it will be favorable for the maneuvers of the Europeans the situation. Several factors are behind the fact that Europe started the procedure of waiver of sanctions.

First, the situation in Ukraine. Secondly, the Russian operation in Syria – because the background of the refugee crisis it is, as already noted by the Western press, to improve the image of Russia in Europe: “Putin is at least trying to solve the problem, in contrast to the West. Thirdly, the dissatisfaction of the Europeans on sanctions against Russia will only grow business tired of the losses and lost profit, and the public doesn’t understand why and then you need to “isolate neighbor” that offers a normal relationship. Fourth, negotiations on the Transatlantic partnership will cause increasing dissatisfaction of the public and the elite and the authorities need to demonstrate that they are not puppets of Washington. The easing of sanctions against Russia could be used to divert attention from promoting the TTIP.

How the rest of the whole puzzle, it will be seen by the end of 2015. But it is clear that in all official and unofficial meetings of Putin with European politicians, this topic is perhaps the most important, and not for the Russian President, and for the Europeans. Even the expected arrival in Moscow of the former – and likely future – President Sarkozy of France will be dedicated not only relevant now for all the situation in Syria and the middle East in General, but also bilateral economic relations. To talk about reconstruction and development without the lifting of sanctions is useless and Europe understands this.

Of course, ultimately the lifting of sanctions depends on the strength of will of European politicians and their ability to defend national interests of their countries. Let’s see if they are ready to act to remedy economic relations with Russia, in the coming months.

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