EU-Russian talks end in acrimony.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Nehustan, May 19, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Nehustan

    Nehustan On ROPs

    EU-Russian talks end in acrimony.

    The leaders of the European Union and Russia have traded sharp criticism over human rights, at a summit that exposed the divisions between the two sides.
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed alarm at the detention of activists intending to protest against the Russian government.

    Vladimir Putin retorted that Estonia's ethnic Russians were being persecuted.

    Correspondents said the exchanges just illustrated the souring mood between the EU and its eastern neighbour.


    Isn't maybe the way forward to negotiate EU membership for the Muscovite state, after all I'm sure Putin wishes the 'window to europe' he knows so well to let light in and out...the big fish in the EU pond might not like the idea but surely it would be an excellent way to sycronise what they see as problems with EU rationale...

    Why? There are some problems? They are not too serious. EU-Russia trade is growing. Russia is becoming unreplaceble source of natural gas.

    Kosovo? In fact both sides (Russia and EU) understand that current state will remain unchanged in the near future.

    Violation of human rights in Russia? Chess champion Kasparov was briefly detained? Bobby Fischer was voided American citizenship and arrested for 2 years in Japan. And who in EU did care?

    Problems with Polish meat? It's a technical problem. If Poland is interesting in Russian market it should play for Russian rules, it should prevent illegal reexport of suspicious meat fron Latin America for example.

    Removal of WW2 monument in Estonia? Estonian government recenly did many to soften the situation.

    As we see, there are no serious problems in EU-Russia relations. Now let's ask ourselves who is interesting in bad relations? Apparently it would be somebody in Washington.
  3. Nehustan

    Nehustan On ROPs

    Russia is going to move, its going to continue to be just the other side of the Baltic and thus a real neighbour. My main beef with Russia would be the war in Chechenya, but that is as a direct result of US/Pakistan activity in Afganistan in the 80s, so I'm as ready to point the finger at Langley or Islamabad as I am at Moscow.
  4. Suppose that you are a high ranked EU official and what would you say to mr.Putin about Chechnya?

    Likely mr.Putin would say that history can not be remade and if EU cares about opposition forces in Chechnya then first of all it would be logical to show universal Europen approach on example of country of Basques.
  5. Nehustan

    Nehustan On ROPs

    My answer is right there Sergey, if you read, as before I'd say...

    i.e. Mr Putin my main problem with Russia has been Chechenya, but I consider that the direct fault of the US and Pakistan for destabilising the region in the 80s.

    i.e. bleed from the Afgani insurgency...which began well before the Soviet Invasion.
  6. Russia has no options. If it wants hard currency it must sell to the EU states. If it sells to China we just put import controls on Chinese goods and deny them hard currency.

    Putin has been very clumsy however - blowing up a gas-pipeline in Ukraine was a bad move. Looks like oil makes dictatorships over-confident. When the oil price crashes so does Putinism.

    At the end of the day we can make gas as we used to do, and Russia cannot increase gas extraction because it needs Western technology and investment. Britain could cut gas consumption by switching power stations back to coal and undoing the damage Thatcher, and Enron, did here. We should build giant coal-fired power stations in Poland and Ukraine and wheel power across Europe - it would be a huge boost to their economies and land is cheap.
  7. I don't think that the main cause of Chechen separatis and insurgency was Amrican actions in Afghanistan (during Soviet invasion). Chechnya has a long history of separatism, resistance to Russian (Soviet) contol over Chehcnya. For example, one of many rebelions started in 1941 few months before German invasion into soviet union. Btw, only few kilometers separated German troops from a territory that was under control of the rebels. Stalin rsolved the problem as he used to do - absolutely all Chechens were extradicted into Kazakhstan.

    Nehustan, what mr.Putin should do from your point of view? Remember you are high ranked EU official and mr.Putin would ask you why do you not recommend the same thing to Spain?
  8. Btw, there are plans to built huge gas pipe-line to China. If the Chinese would propose better price the accodring to market rules they would recieve it. Unlikely EU would ban import of chinese good. Likely EU countries would pay market price.

    The explosion is merely an accident I believe. As I'm aware there are no predictions that oil priced would fall sharply.

    All project you mentioned require huge investments and require much time. And from ecological point of view gas is much better than coal.
  9. Nehustan

    Nehustan On ROPs

    I don't agree Sergey, I definitely think, despite obvious historical problems, there has been overspill from the Afgani insurgency against the local regime and later the Soviets. You can still come across echoes today with some 'salafi', even after being played like puppets by the US they still have a hatred for anything approaching a socialist or post-socialist ethic. You'd think that in the scheme of the global stage that the US would be enemy number one, but the cold war indoctrination is still there; personally I think that its to do with hierarchy and the whole structure behind salafist propagation, although not strictly the doctrine itself, like I say puppets and strings.

    If I was a high ranking EU official, Russia would be in the EU yesterday and once they were at the table I think they'd be much more open to cooperation with the organisation, but thats just me. I think that the movement of people, open market etc. would be the best thing to 'bring' Russia round, both inward and outward.

    As to the Basque region, taking you seriously for a moment I don't see anything comparable apart from their wish for leaving spain from Spain. I haven't witnessed or heard report of tanks in the hills. I think that Britain is probably closer with the Irish troubles than Spain, and even then not sure that its comparable.
  10. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    It is not about Chechnya specifically - its is about human rights and the EU position on that issue. The EU is an ideology based on human rights, not just a trading zone don't forget.
    The EU will support Russia fighting terrorists, as it would any other country, but not when some of the methods used in Chechnya are common practice.
    A. Merkel given her age and origin can also be expected to be fairly "to the point" when negotiating with Russia.

    I spent some time in the Caucasus, on both sides (and on top of some) of the mountains. I found the people among the best I have ever encountered - I really hope the problems get sorted out, but it will take a different approach from the one Putin is pursuing.
  11. Nehustan. Of course our American friends tried to encourage Chechen separatists but but I believe, problem with Chechnya is mainly internal Russian problem with deep historical roots. It should be said that the Chechens are very tough fighters. In comparison with them Iraqi insurgents are rather armed children.

    Russia is moving toward open market 'full steam' and wealth of those that have good work is growing so rapidly that many prefer current authorities, current power-keepers, thinking this way: with so good life why would we need changes? So too few care about 'open and transparent elections', about 'freedom of speech and opinions'. Russian people is too lazy to spend time for so uselees thing.

    By contrast the poor (there is a lot of them) haven't material resources to realise their rights (freedom of speech for example). Mainly they prefer to drink vodka and hate the 'thieves' like mr.Abramovitch.

    So one part of Russia is well prepared to be a member of EU (from all points of view) but another part stays too far from EU standards. And both parts don't see what would be benefits from EU membership.

    In 90's Russia would be happy to be adopted into EU. But now it looks as something senseless. Yes, for EU unrestricted accesss to Russian resources would be very profitable. But what would Russia recieve in return? Nothing or almost nothing.

    However, there are separatists in the country of Basques. Batasuna party is barred from participation in elections. So Spain (an EU-country) violates (at least form formal point of view) fundamental democratic principles. And EU keeps silence in this situation.

    Suppose now that high ranked EU official would say that he is very much concerned with restrictions of political rights in Chechnya then in return he would be told about the country of Basques. I fancy, that whatever EU official would say about Chehcnya he would be asked about the same or similar problem in the country of Basques.
  12. Nehustan

    Nehustan On ROPs

    I absolutely agree. Personally I think we should have made approaches to the CIS as soon as the Warsaw pact broke down. I think that there was some sort of ideological punishment of Russia happening, almost pulling tongues in a 'we won' kind of way. As to the EU having access to resources, of course it would be in the EU countries interest to have first refusal, no doubt. But let me tell you while the EU is a free trade block, it isn't that free. I'm happy if you tell me that I'm wrong on that but last time I checked we still had to pay for commodities and products; if that not the case I'll get my name down for a free BMW M3 ;)

    As to what is there in it for Russia, well that's the same thing that a good percentage of Britons say. However Europe is more prosperous, stable, and peaceful that it has been in centuries. The question is surely do we extend that to its obvious inclusion of Russia as a powerful nation within the EU. Or do we leave Russia in some pseudo C19th/20th echo of a Europe now past?

    The free movement of people, the technological cooperation of industry and academia, the access to the Russian workforce, the vast tracts of farm land, as well as the cultural continuity that is the landmass of Eurasia, will be beneficial for all involved.

    I mean we are tied to the US (i.e. the UK) by little more than a language, we have no shared heritage really (i.e. cultural, unless you want to include post war nonsense, Glenn Miller??? Big deal), we are not part of a trade block, nor are we geographically linked or in proximity. Eurasia is the way forward...
  13. Nuhustan, I understand you point and absolutely agree with you.

    Just some additional remarks. Volume of Russian economy now is about Italian one. In near future it will grow to the size of French and British economies. So for Russia, Italy, Frace, the UK and Germany are equal (almost equal) partners.

    So in many projects Russia has a choice. If the British don't want then the Italians or the Germans would be happy to co-operate in this or that area.

    By contrast EU is much bigger than Russia from economical point of view and there is no any alternative.

    So as I understand it Russia tries to diminish the role of EU in economical relations. Russia apparently prefer bi- tri-lateral relations with main EU counties.

    For example, recently a short but very important oil pipe-line was agreed between Russia, Greece and Bulgaria (to bypass Turkish straights). Russia has a control stake in the project. But imagine that the deal would be signed trough EU structures. Then it would be not so profitable for Russia.

    Summunig it up, in fact Russia is not interesting in the development of relations with EU, though is very interested in relations with some European countries, of course including the UK.

    So, really the Poles, blocking EU-Russia negotiations, play exatcly according to Russian interests (interesting are Polish twins at power understand it? Unlikely).