The New Cold War

In “The new EU and its embroilment in Global Ostpolitik”jimsresearchnotes 2 Feb 2010 I already knew that the EU was planning a new political campaign in the east:

As recently as this year, the European Commission wrote “The EU is seeking an increasingly close relationship with Ukraine, going beyond co-operation, to gradual economic integration and a deepening of political co-operation”.

If I knew this in early 2010 then Vladimir Putin must have known at the same time, more likely earlier. I also remembered that Putin had been coming under increasing verbal attack from Western media (including Sweden). Almost daily we were subjected to both songs about no more Put In as well as endless repetitions of the Pussy Riot performances.

Even the title of the Beatles song “Back in the USSR” (from 1968!) was twisted to “Back to the USSR”. The same is true of the 1992 film Back in the USSR released at the height of Glasnost and Perestroika, yet it, too had the same critical theme.

In March 2014, during the EU’s Ukraine crisis, President Vladimir Putin suggested holding a referendum to rename the Russian city of Volgograd as Stalingrad:

Mr Putin made the statement on Friday during a meeting with Russian war veterans in Normandy, where he attended D-Day commemorations celebrating the Allied victory against Nazi Germany. (The Independent)

The opposite meaning was given to it by many of the media. See news.com.au (Australia) and The Toronto Star (Canada). The Las Vegas Guardian headline of 28 March was “Putin longs to be back in the USSR”. The 15 October Telegraph headline was: “Vladimir Putin is trying to take Russia back in time”: quite the opposite meaning to Putin’s D-Day Anniversary Message.

The Times of India, European edition was a rare exception and actually reported Putin’s words and their spirit accurately! You may not “like” Russia but that does not excuse distorting what Putin said so that it appears to be the opposite!

Finally there was the peculiar switching of Putin’s position between President and Prime Minister. Just to make sure, I checked the Wikipedia page on Vladimir Putin. It turns out that the earliest time Putin was switching roles was 2009, when he became Prime Minister, so, as I suspected, it was a year earlier than my post on the EU’s Drang nach Osten. As the Wikipedia item on Putin gives it:

Many of Putin’s actions are regarded by the domestic opposition and foreign observers as undemocratic.[6] The 2011 Democracy Index stated that Russia was in “a long process of regression [that] culminated in a move from a hybrid to an authoritarian regime” in view of Putin’s candidacy and flawed parliamentary elections.[7] In 2014 Russia was excluded from the G8 group as a result of its annexation of Crimea.[8]

I can only conclude that the EU’s Drang nach Osten was the prime reason for this “long process of regression…to an authoritarian regime” undertaken by Putin. In other words, we have the EU to thank for this return to the Cold War era.

There were at least two concerns the Russians had. The most important was to keep their one warm water naval base in the Black Sea, where, in the Crimea its Black Sea Fleet is based, and with air support close at hand in the Crimean Peninsula. There are considerable military forces there as the Wikipedia Black Sea Fleet page lists. The other was to continue to support the Government of Syria in the civil war raging there. Now, as Russian support for Assad is no longer the centre of Russian attention the flight of Syrian refugees is turning into a flood, with many coming to Sweden.

The knock-on effects of the EU’s Drang nach Osten has been dramatic and are beginning to seriously threaten world peace.

The EU also has a “Party of Power” in Brussels, just like Russia has in Moscow, though heaven forbid that they both be treated as the same, or even mentioned in the same Wikipedia page on Party of Power. The blinkered focus is only on Russia. The blindness to the EU as an arm of the global hegemon is just another minor blindness among many others. Again I quote from jimsresearchnotes “The new EU and its embroilment in Ostpolitik”:

“So the Iron Curtain that Churchill deplored at the end of the war was made possible by a combination of the Chamberlain guarantee of Polish independence in 1939, British Army conservative tank doctrines that failed to stop the Ardennes offensive in 1940, enabling Hitler to avoid the two-front war, and the delay in opening the second front until 1944.”

The last of these, the delay in opening the second front until 1944, partly rectified by the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the main purpose of which was to hasten the capitulation of Japan before Russian armies in Europe could re-deploy to eastern Asia as the Western allies had requested they do at Yalta in the Crimea. Again I quote from The new EU and its embroilment in Global Ostpolitik:

The EU’s Ostmark (after 1990)

The expansion of the EU eastwards filled the power vacuum left by the collapse of the USSR in 1991, leaving St. Petersburg little more than 100 km from the northeastern frontier of the EU (Estonia).

This is the classic east-west power balance that has plagued Europe since time immemorial. When the east is dominant the frontiers move west (as happened after 1945). When the west is dominant the frontiers move east (as happened after 1990). When forces are roughly balanced there is often one or more partitions – Germany and Austria being the obvious, albeit short-lived, examples from the aftermath of the Second World War (see also the partitions of Poland). This is not a new phenomena, it has been a fact of European international power for at least the last 400 years.

The expansion of the EU eastward after 1990 left the Baltic coast Kaliningrad enclave (or more accurately exclave) of Russian territory – an oblast of over 200 square kilometres and a population of nearly half a million – deep in EU territory between Poland and Lithuania. Kaliningrad was the Teutonic Knights’ fortress city of Königsberg in Prussia. The geo-political anomaly of the Kaliningrad exclave echoes the status of Danzig and its Polish Corridor that was the final trigger of the Second World War and that, renamed Gdansk after the war, now faces the Kaliningrad exclave on the east side of Danzig Bay.

EU expansion east still continues with nine countries southeast of the EU designated as either “candidate countries” or “potential candidate countries”. Turkey (the USA’s most important military ally), as well as Croatia and Macedonia are candidates. The remaining 5 successor states of former Yugoslavia still not in the EU – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia – are designated as potential candidates).”

As far as I am aware this is the first time the EU has single-handedly been responsible for throwing the world back into the Cold War that we all hoped had ended in 1991, nearly 25 years ago.

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2 Responses to The New Cold War

  1. Pingback: The EU’s Drang nach Osten | EU: Ramshackle Empire

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