Friday, February 7, 2014
In an alleged "leaked" telephone conversation of the new American top diplomat for Europe, Mrs. Victoria Nuland with the US Ambassador in Kiev Mr. Geoff Pyatt, Mrs Nuland suggested that it must be the UN who should "glue" the developments in Ukraine and "F*ck the EU!"
This incident throws a light in many issues that are taking place in Europe and the world. It is clear that no development, being in Ukraine, Syria, Brazil, Greece or elsewhere, is meddling free from the great powers of the globe.
Either it is the USA, Russia or Europe, all are trying to serve their interests in the region by pushing an agenda, while opportunistically grabbing any chance or social upheaval in key nations like Ukraine to achieve their goals. The Americans want to push the country into the arms of the West, while the Russians understandably oppose the expansion of American and European influence into what they believe it is their sphere.
In other words the protests now are not just about what the Ukrainian people want, but also about what the big powers and players in the region are after. This will mean that whatever the initial protests back in November were about or wanted to achieve, it will be now much more difficult to accomplish since America and Russia are actively engaging.
The Ukrainian people are not fighting just to overthrow their leaders, but from now on-if not from the beginning- they will be fighting to help establish a new status quo in the region. This can have potentially very dangerous or disastrous consequences for the country and the EU-Russia relations.
Sadly for the Ukraine, it lies in a very strategic location and is a country with vast resources, both natural and human. Those important assets are the main reason of the country's suffering and why the Russians, Europeans and the Americans are so engaged in the protests and developments in the country.
The most obvious threat is of course that Ukraine might split up, or even worse that this split won't be a peaceful one. Secondly if Europe takes the side of America, though it will be stupid to do so after what was said by Mrs Nuland and the recent NSA scandal, it risks a serious blow with its already strained relations with Russia.
We must not forget that Europe still relies heavily on Russia for its gas and besides, the more the EU expands the more shared borders it has with Russia. It is not wise to be always on each others' throats. If Europe starts speaking with one united voice in the global political scene, it can be a serious contestant and player in the world.
The Russians will respect Europe only if we show unity and solidarity among us and do not be afraid to stand up for our interests, either we do so towards Russia, USA, China or any other global power that may arise in the future. The EU and Russia ought to come closer and in the same time Europe should distance itself from America a bit.
Our continent should start actively pursue its own interests, while having its voice heard in the world and its region. It is clear from this new scandal and from the Snowden revelations on the NSA activities in Europe, that America is not always in the same boat with EU, nor that our interests are always best served by being so closely attached to them.
America has its own agenda that is not always in-sync with Europe's. In other words it is time for the EU to affirm itself both as global player, but also against Russia and America and stop them from imposing their will over our territories.
The Americans obviously wanted Europeans to impose sanctions against Ukraine and because of Europe's slow response, the US diplomats get frustrated. They do not understand that the EU has 28 member states, each with a different view and it is hard to come to a decision quickly.
Besides any sanctions against Ukraine could push the country further away from the EU. If these proposed sanctions are targeting Ukraine as a country or the Ukrainian people, in a time that they need our help the most, they could have the opposite result than the desired.
If we target the country's political and diplomatic leadership and place sanctions against them, this could also cement their ties with Russia. Since Europe is punishing them for something they did not really have a choice over, since Russia has still a great economic and political influence over the country, then we give them no choice but to run to "mother" Russia for protection.
The Ukrainian leadership rejected the EU-Ukraine free trade deal, because it had no choice. The Russians basically have blackmailed them to achieve their goal. The Ukrainian people are right to protest and their dedication is admirable and inspiring for the rest of Europe. But if things happen too hastily, the result could be a greater violence escalation.
What Europe could do perhaps, is not trying offer a "carrot" to the Ukrainian leadership in order to lure it into its sphere of influence, rather offer this carrot to the Russians so that they let Ukraine go, or at least ease on them. In other words, good EU-Russia relations are key in solving the conflict and America is not helping by being hasty and acting like a bully.
Finally Europe must stand for human rights, either it is within the EU or in its neighboring countries like Ukraine. If the EU stands for its own citizens, it will always remain a beacon that will attract the citizens of all European nations, including Ukraine. In other words Europe is right to wait before it intervenes, but it should engage with the Ukrainian and the Russian leadership immediately as a mediator though not as America's envoy.
Rather as a friend, neighbor and collaborator of both sides and with the best interests of the Ukrainian people in mind.