Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:
European leaders are sending mixed messages to Russia to stop the war, hinting at the possibility of restoring trade and economic relations and lifting sanctions after the war ends to suggest that the relationship could return to normal. Will Russian President Vladimir Putin accept the European call to move towards diplomatic negotiations to find a way out of the Ukrainian war between Russia and the US-led NATO and fall back into the trap of the west? The EU leaders’ call is presented just when a significant energy crisis is looming for the 2023 winter, running out of weapons and revealing substantial differences between members of the European Union in the face of growing inflation.
At the end of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, French President Emmanuel Macron stressed that “negotiations must be reopened with Russia and that we will most likely make progress and there will be a greater consensus.” Macron confirmed that he “discussed the issue of Ukraine and Russia returning to the negotiating table with the US, Britain, Germany, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines” of the summit.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, “economic cooperation between Germany and Russia could be possible again if the Kremlin ends its war in Ukraine.” However, Scholz had said in previous speeches that “the West will not lift the sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine until Moscow withdraws its forces from Ukraine and reaches a peace agreement with Kyiv.”
“Right now, the relationship between us and Russia is reduced, reduced, reduced,” Scholz told the German Committee for Economic Relations in Eastern Europe, referring to Western sanctions against Russia that have reduced bilateral trade and investment. Also, in a meeting with the Chinese president, the German Chancellor urged Beijing to “exercise its influence on Russia” to stop the war.
Undoubtedly, Europe is the weakest in the proxy war between the US and Russia. Washington is taking advantage of the lack of consensus between Eastern and Western Europeans. Some are unwilling to follow Brussels and the US policy of hostility towards Russia because of the importance of natural resources to their population, which also form the backbone of Western industry. Moreover, Russia, geographically the closest to Europe, fought Nazism in WWII shoulder to shoulder and established trade lines with the old continent. However, the Anglo-Saxon approach and the entrenchment of the colonial mentality among some European leaders positions them in the US yard despite the disadvantage of their consequential economic loss.
Although France and Germany talk about the possibility of peace and stopping the war to start negotiations, they are the first to provide military support to Ukraine. Both leaders are engaged in strengthening NATO in Eastern Europe and involved in special commissions to investigate war crimes in Ukraine, even calling for creating a special tribunal to hold Russia accountable.
Thus, the unwavering US position on the need to continue the war is dominant over any wishes of the European continent. Washington determines the strategy, directs it and implements it with its Western allies. Scholtz and Macron are switching roles and reassuring Russia that they are ready for serious dialogue. The French president went even further when he declared “the need to provide security guarantees to Russia,” which was Moscow’s primary demand before the war began last February.
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Proofread by: Maurice Brasher