PDA

View Full Version : Russia Georgia and Europe



Starship
28-08-08, 13:01
Old Europe (France, Germany Italy) are keen to try and keep good relations with Russia after its short war with Georgia perhaps with fuel supplies in mind.

While the New Europe members (Poland, Lithuanian, Latvia Estonia) who fear Russian interference in their countries want a much stronger response to the situation.

When i talk about New and Old Europe I am of course taking the American expression for the membership of the EU.

But I suppose the question I am asking is can Europe ever speak with one voice on the international stage? and is the position of EU foreign minister as in visioned in the Lisbon Treaty really practical?

Maciamo
29-08-08, 09:53
The interest of all EU countries are or should be the same in this situation. What differs is their own experience and history with Russia.

New Eastern members shouldn't fear anything similar happening to them, as any Russian aggression on an EU (or even just NATO) country will prompt an automatic (by treaty) response from other member states.

As for Georgia, if South Ossetia and Abkhazia really want their independence or to join Russia, that is their right. I find it pointless to make war or endure terrorist attacks to preserve a region that strongly wants its independence (other example, the Basque country). It's an aberration similar to a husband going to court in order to fight against his wife's right to get a divorce (and if it fails to sequester her). An UN-sponsored referendum should be held to settle the matter once and for all.

Starship
29-08-08, 11:34
Well I agree with you it is in Europe's interests to speak with one voice but with so many conflicting interests is it practical?

Spain was opposed to giving Kosovo its independence from Serbia but it went ahead and now Russia is using it as a precedence for the two break away areas of Georgia.

Russia could now use its diaspora in neighbouring countries as a pretext for annexing valuable strategic locations. There is a European precedent for this already and Russia knows how to instigate and take advantage of this.
{Have the Russian minority in a neighbouring country agitate for independence, start a conflict with the host country (whether real or purley propaganda) send in the "peacekeepers" and simply refuse to remove them while weathering the international political storm, safe in the knowledge that Europe will dither.}

I know M you feel strongly that if an area wants its independence from a country then referendums should be held and independence granted and its a very noble stand but I'm not sure its always that straight forward. For example if a large Muslim population formed in lets say Brussels and at some point declared it self independent of Belgium, you could see no problem with that?

Maciamo
31-08-08, 21:22
I know M you feel strongly that if an area wants its independence from a country then referendums should be held and independence granted and its a very noble stand but I'm not sure its always that straight forward. For example if a large Muslim population formed in lets say Brussels and at some point declared it self independent of Belgium, you could see no problem with that?

A country should be big enough to have a diversified economy, some natural resources, electricity production, an administration with ministries and foreign embassies... That's why I do not regard mini-states like the Vatican, San Marino, Monaco or Andorra as "countries", just semi-independent states relying heavily on their respective neighbour. There is no way a Muslim community in any European city would become big enough to become a country. If a whole Belgian province (which is still rather small, about like Luxembourg) sought its independence, that would make it possible though.