Is EU ready to give up on Russia because of Navalny?

Will there be a new Berlin Wall between Russia and Europe?

Will there be a new Berlin Wall erected between Russia and Europe? Russia can go East, but for Europe, the only way out is the USA.

EU imposes symbolic sanctions against Russia

On March 1, the EU is to formalize new sanctions against Russia for "human rights violations" made with regard to Alexei Navalny.

A week ago, foreign ministers of 27 EU member states agreed on a move to impose new sanctions on Russia.

The list of persons, who will not be allowed to either enter or leave the European Union, will include:

  • the head of the Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin;
  • Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov;
  • Commander of the Russian Guard Troops Service, Viktor Zolotov;
  • Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN), Alexander Kalashnikov.

Their assets in the EU will be frozen, even though these people are legally prohibited from having any assets abroad, let alone the fact hat Bastrykin has been under sanctions for a long time already.

The EU decided not to impose restrictions on Russian businessmen who allegedly support the Vladimir Putin regime, which Navalny earlier suggested himself.

Such sanctions can be appealed in European courts, since Russian big business is not directly related to the Navalny case.

The sanctions policy, according to European officials, may support the changes that are brewing in the Russian society. However, it is not very clear how they may support changes, given that they are based on the person that is not very popular in Russia.
Moscow strips Brussels of political dignity

It should be noted that the Europeans got extremely excited in connection with the "attempted assassination of Alexei Navalny. There was a similar wave of concerns in Europe after the killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, but it did not lead to sanctions. It was 2006, and there were no Georgian, Ukrainian, Syrian and Karabakh wars back then.

Russia overcomes those waves one after another and manages to build up its strategic potential, even after such high profile cases as doping in sports, the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and now Navalny. At the same time, the West runs those and many other anti-Russian campaigns in a hope that Russia would soon see the events that would be similar to those that took place in Belarus in August of 2020.

However, the Western attack, which started so well, does not seem to be working, which is evidenced by the visit of the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, to Moscow on February 6.

Analysing the results of that visit, Germany's Deutsche Welle wrote that Borell appeared to be a student who did not prepare for the exam. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov even deprived him of political dignity, DW concluded.

As a matter of fact, Borrell and his professional qualities have nothing to do with it. The reason lies in the lack of unity within the EU due to the ideological crisis.

Borrell is not a scapegoat

Today's EU bears little resemblance to the EU that used to be 15 years ago. It has suffered through Brexit, the pandemic and the loss of a strategic ally in the face of the United States. Paris and Berlin have realised that Joe Biden's administration will not change this trend, so they keep repeating that, despite Russia's "aggressive" behavior, the European Union should not terminate relations with Moscow.

Germany and France are not just two EU member states - they are the two leading countries of the bloc. Since they automatically mobilize the majority, the reaction from Brussels will be cautious. Therefore, there is absolutely no need to throw stones at Josep Borrell - he translates the opinion of European heavyweights.

World outlook crisis in the EU

Meanwhile, a number of EU capitals strongly disagree with their position. Poland is not just dissatisfied with Germany - it raises the issue of war reparations, recalling German President Walter Steinmeier, who said that the Nord Stream project was a bridge to Russia because it had suffered a lot from Hitler's Germany.

"On June 22, 1941, Germany attacked the USSR, and more than 20 million people in the former USSR became victims of that war. This does not justify wrong-doings in modern Russian politics, but we must not lose a broader perspective out of sight either. After the continuous deterioration of relations in recent years, energy relations have become almost the last bridge between Russia and Europe," Steinmeier said.

"Didn't that statement recognise that the losses that the Soviet Russia had suffered in the war need to be compensated for? What about us? We suffered too," the Poles said and put forward a request to Berlin for reparations worth more than 800 billion euros.

This is not just a disagreement - this is a slap in the ally's face, given that it is German investments that have made Poland EU's showcase.

This is just one example to illustrate that EU's conflict with London is not an exception. One can notice similar disagreements both in relation to the events in Belarus, and the Russian vaccine against coronavirus. The moment Hungary decided to "open the door" to "Putin's vaccine", the EU unity had to take another blow. However, the decision that Hungarian President Viktor Orban made was only a consequence of the new situation.

Disagreements between the leading EU countries and the countries of second and third echelon have been growing both economically and politically. Against the background of such conditions, refusal to cooperate with Russia will not be able to bring the desired consensus. The Europeans will need to solve a number of key ideological issues. First off, they need to decide whether the continent, which is divided into several worlds, has any prospects at all.

The EU has no choice but to improve relations with Russia

Will the construction of a new "Berlin Wall" with Russia throw the EU back for decades? Russia can go East, but the EU can only go towards the USA, and it is clear that this maneuver has already become practically unusable.

Paris and Berlin understand this, but they do not know how to rely on their own strengths. They are always trying to come to an agreement with Washington, but for Washington, the EU is just a buffer between the USA and Russia.

Undoubtedly, Brussels officials, when they were getting involved in Navalny's case, understood that Moscow would not fulfill the requirement of the Strasbourg court to release the blogger. They still had to react to all that Navalny case, otherwise the "ally" would not have understood them.

The reaction was symbolic.

Is the EU ready to turn its back on Russia because of Navalny? The answer is obviously negative.

EU's best choice would be to abandon the policy of confrontation with Russia, otherwise the population of European countries will not forgive the deterioration of their living standards. Western Christians live according to the following principle: if I am rich, then God loves me. They are not willing and able to endure hardships and difficulties, because it comes contrary to basic religious paradigms in the minds of European people.

Without Russia, Europe is incomplete and cannot be fully functional. What would the world be like if, for example, Russian energy sources, the Ukrainian food industry and the German industry united to work together? There would be no room for the American empire in that world.

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Author`s name Lyuba Lulko