Un orso iroso

[Nota: USA
preoccupati per sempre più stretti rapporti EU-Russia

Editoriale WSJ 7/10/05:
Contro “deferenza” UE
verso Russia, che riprende politica imperiale.

  • Nell’incontro con
    Putin, Blair presidente UE di turno, è stato “delicato” su Cecenia e
    Iran, centrando il vertice sul business.
  • Col petrolio a $60,
    UE sempre più disposta a passar sopra ai temi politici.
  • Russia fornisce a UE metà
    del gas e un terzo del petrolio.
  • Ma, “se vi è
    dipendenza, è reciproca”: UE potrebbe condizionare Russia, invece UE si mostra
    sempre più deferente.
  • Putin ha così potuto affermare che il rapido
    rafforzamento economico “ci permette condizioni favorevoli ad una politica
    estera indipendente”:
  • riprende la politica
    “zarista-sovietica” di dominio sul “vicino estero”, sostenendo gli alleati
    Belarus e Uzbekistan, punendo la Georgia con l’appoggio ai separatisti.
  • Gasdotto baltico .firmato da Schroeder serve a Russia per sottrarre
    fornitura gas a EU al controllo di Polonia e Baltici (UE, NATO), cui
    domani potrà tagliare le forniture senza minare rapporti con Germania.
  • Auspicio che
    “probabile” uscita di scena di Schroeder, che ha sognato un asse
    Parigi-Berlino-Mosca, apra la strada a una politica russa UE “più robusta".
  • In M.O. Russia pronta
    a porre il veto al deferimento dell’Iran al CdS ONU, mentre Russia
    continua la costruzione del reattore nucleare di Busher da $1MD e vende armi a
    Iran per centinaia di milioni di $. Ė anche maggior fornitore armi alla Siria.
  • Ciò fa della
    “cooperazione anti-terrorismo” UE-Russia, proclamata da Blair, una presa in
    giro, dato che Iran e Siria sono probabilmente i due maggiori sponsor del
    terrorismo, e Russia potrebbe influenzarli, se volesse. Dimostrando deferenza
    verso Russia, Iran non ha però mai appoggiato i terroristi islamici nel Nord

7, 2005


energy, tourism top Russia-EU summit agenda,
" read a Dow Jones
Newswires headline Monday. Nothing better illustrates Europe’s failure to
engage on serious issues with Moscow. The "Russia policy" is all
business, no policy.


course Iran, Chechnya and other human-rights issues were discussed as
well, British Prime Minister Tony Blair — who hosted Russian President
Vladimir Putin this week as the current head of the European Union — assured
journalists. But these matters were raised very delicately, only behind
closed doors
— as far as anyone knows, that is.


serious effort, in reality, was made to challenge the recent worrying changes
in Russian policy at home and abroad. Why? With $60 oil, energy, more than
ever, trumped all other concerns
. "We want to work to take the
relationship between Europe and Russia to a new and more intense and
strengthened level," Mr. Blair said Tuesday. "This is a relationship
in economic terms that can only grow and prosper and strengthen."


half of Europe’s gas and one-third of its oil supplies come from Russia.
That, in turn, makes many EU countries, chiefly Germany, bend over backward
to please Mr. Putin and strike deals with him
. But the Europeans miss a
simple fact of the energy trading biz, particularly in gas. If there is a
dependency, it is mutual.
Russia might be Europe’s biggest energy provider
but the EU’s is Russia’s biggest export market. To whom is Russia going to sell
its oil, much less its gas, if not Europe?
yet, the EU was even more deferential to Moscow than usual this week. So
much so that Mr. Putin confidently proclaimed that his country’s rapidly growing
economy "allows us favorable conditions for an independent foreign policy
Of course it’s like that."
problem is that Russia’s "independent foreign policy" again has a
distinctly "Czarist-Soviet" flavor to it. In what Moscow likes to
call the "near abroad" — the countries that once belonged to
the Soviet Union — Russia aims to dominate. Moscow props up loyal
authoritarian rulers as in Belarus and, of late, Uzbekistan, while punishing
those countries that prefer to be more independent from the Kremlin, such as
where Mr. Putin supports separatist movements.
an effort to gain leverage over the pro-Western peoples of Poland and the
three small Baltic countries, Russia plans to build a gas pipeline under the
Baltic sea that doesn’t pass through their territories. This will let the
Kremlin cut off gas supplies to those countries at its whim
. German
Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who calls Mr. Putin a "flawless
democrat," couldn’t be happier to sign on to this deal that undermines
his country’s NATO and EU allies to the east
. Together with French
President Jacques Chirac, Mr. Schröder once dreamed of a Paris-Berlin-Moscow
axis as a counterweight to Washington. One can only hope that Mr. Schröder’s
likely departure will open the possibility for a more robust Russia policy in
as Moscow’s ambitions extend beyond the near abroad, reaching as far as the
Middle East, where it continues the traditional Soviet policy of working
against Western interests. Moscow refuses to send Iran to the U.N. Security
for failing to prove that its nuclear program is peaceful. No
wonder, since Russia continues to build a $1 billion atomic reactor in
Bushehr while profiting from the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars worth
of weapons to Iran. Russia is also a main arms supplier to Syria
dealings make a mockery of Mr. Blair’s claim that the EU and Russia have
pledged to increase their anti-terror cooperation. Iran and Syria are probably
the world’s two major terror-sponsoring countries and Russia could influence
them if it so chose. Tehran has never extended support to Islamic terrorists in
Russia’s North Caucasus
, a mark of its deference.
the hard truth is that under
Mr. Putin Russia has abandoned the early goal of coming closer to the West. The
old, surly bear is back. Europe seems not to want to notice

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