Monday 1 September 2014

Currently browsing 'Global Europe'

With the EU growing at the speed of global population while resources melt away, the Union’s interest is increasingly defined on a global scale. Will its Diplomatic Service be able to safeguard these interests? And what future for Europe’s relations across the Atlantic and to the emerging great powers in Asia?


Escalation lurks in Eastern Ukraine

Posted by on 29/08/14

If earlier, the Russian government has tried in every possible way to disown the gravity of the situation in Eastern Ukraine and conceal the supply of arms and ammunition, as well as involvement of Russian military specialists and special units, now apparently Moscow decided to change tactics.

Elena Vasilieva, chairman of the ICC “Forgotten Regiment”, in her article titled “cargo – 200” (coffin with military) from Ukraine to Russia” yesterday on the air to the Moscow radio station “Echo of Moscow”, causing heated debate, stated the whole blogosphere about a funeral of Russian paratroopers of Pskov Division.

“Members of the ICC” Forgotten Regiment “are combatants of various local and international wars and conflicts. However we do know what it means to get a cargo – 200. We still honor the memory of those killed fighting brothers. And it is unacceptable that soldiers sent to fight in another country have been forgotten relatives” – Mrs.Vasilieva says.

“The most difficult thing for the relatives of the dead – is to find and bring home to bury their bodies. No one knows where the military unit shall be redeployed, where his or her son, husband or brother may serve.

Therefore we publish an information about troops pulled back into combat areas in Ukraine. We hope this will become a reference point for certain family members who are worried about the fate of their relatives serving in the army.

This information is for obvious reasons can not be absolutely 100% accurate. But it confirmed fragmentary statements coming from the Ministry of Defense and publications of journalists.”

Russian troops in Ukraine:

From South Military District, ground forces and artillery:

- task force battalion from the 18th motorized Brigade / Chechnya Hankala / Kalynovska (the so-called Chechen battalion);

- task force battalion from the 17th motorized Brigade / Chechnya;

- task force battalion from the 136th motorized Brigade / Botlikh, Dagestan;

- task force battalion from the 205th motorized Brigade / Budennovsk, Stavropol Territory;

- task force battalion from the 19th motorized Rifle Brigade / Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia;

- task force battalion from the 7th military base from the occupied Abkhazia, Georgia;

- task force battalion from the 33th mountain infantry brigade / Maikop, Adygea;

- mixed division from the 291st Artillery Brigade / Trinity, Ingushetia.

- mixed company from the 78th brigade logistics / Budeonovsk, Stavropol region.

From Airborne:

- task force battalion from the 76th Division of Pskov;

- task force battalion from the 98th Division, Ivanovo;

- task force battalion of the 45 separate regiment Specialty / Kubinka;

- task force battalion from the from the 247th Regiment of the 7th Division of Novorossiysk.

- task force battalion and divisions of the Land Forces and artillery units South Military District – from the 20th Motorised Brigade / Volgograd,

- 34th mountain infantry brigade / Karachay-Cherkessia;

- division from the 943rd Artillery Regiment / Krasnooktyabrskoe Adygea (MLRS “Hurricane”)

- division from the 1st Missile Brigade / Krasnodar (PTRC “Tochka-U”, “Iskander-M”).

- 23 th motorized infantry brigade Samara;

- task force battalion from Airborne – from the 56th Air Assault Brigade / Volgograd,

- from the parts of the GRU (General Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Russia) stationed in the South of Russia – the 10th brigade of special operations / Molkino Krasnodar region,

- 22th special operations brigade, Aksai, Rostov region,

- 100th special operations brigade, Mozdok,North Ossetia,

- 346th special operations brigade, Kabardino-Balkaria,

- 25th special operations brigade, Stavropol;

- 2nd special operations brigade, Pskov,

- 16th special operations brigade, Tambov,

- 3rd special operations brigade, Ulyanovsk.

According to a rough estimate size of the Russian group (which they cynically called “peacekeeping”) on the eastern border of Ukraine is about 12-15 thousand personnel, which, if necessary, in the shortest possible time can be multiplied by 2. Also, large groups of Russian troops are concentrated in the south of the occupied Crimea and the North-Eastern border of Ukraine “, – reported the ICC” Forgotten Regiment. ”

These forces can severely complicate the situation of Ukrainian troops. Although with all the confidence we can say that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready to continue protecting the territorial integrity of its country and repel the aggression. It would be difficult not to agree that Ukraine has little chance of winning in the full military conflict against Russia.

As time has shown it us mistake to think that economic sanctions against Russia can really stop its aggression against Ukraine. It is needed more effectively methods. In this situation, the West must show Moscow that such aggressive policy in the 21st century will not succeed. It would be logical to declare an extraordinary session of the UN Security Council, as well as to provide financial and material assistance to Ukraine for protection against the ENEMY of RUSSIA.

Ukraine: Building up to a regional clash?

Posted by on 28/08/14
By Dimitris Rapidis A couple of months ago, the crisis in Ukraine could look like a common escalation between the Ukrainian and the Russian forces. Today, the escalation has taken a structural turn both in terms of army mobilization, diplomatic intervention, and timing, possibly leading to a regional war in Ukraine.

Will the economic sanctions of US and the EU against Russia fail?

Posted by on 26/08/14
By Tyszecki The harsh economic sanctions against Russia demonstrated the unity of the European Union and the United States on the issue of stopping the bloody war, unleashed and supported by Russia, as well as their full support for Ukraine. The stakes are high...

The SCO expands

Posted by on 25/08/14

The EU’s expansion into Ukraine obeys the law of unintended consequences. Alliances that were probably decades into the making are starting to take shape in months, if not weeks.

Thus, after ten years of protracted negotiation, Russia agreed to sign the huge gas-supply contract with China last June. The two countries have reinforced their diplomatic and military cooperation within the SCO and are now poised to enlarge this organization to ten members.

Russia and China have recently announced that India, Iran, Pakistan and Mongolia will be accepted as new members at the forthcoming SCO summit in Dushanbe to be held on the 11th-12th September 2014. This is how the enlargement process is perceived in New Delhi:

With Beijing having had a profound rethink on India’s admission as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the tectonic plates of the geopolitics of a massive swathe of the planet stretching from the Asia-Pacific to West Asia are dramatically shifting. That grating noise in the Central Asian steppes will be heard far and wide — as far as North America, says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.

In a not-too-distant future we could expect Turkey to respond positively to President Nazarbayev’s invitation to join the Eurasian Union. There is also a very strong possibility that Turkey’s observer status within the SCO will morph into full membership of the organization.

In hindsight, the EU’s and NATO’s ill-inspired eastward drive and subsequent sanctions against Russia have greatly accelerated the latent integration plans in Asia and have increased the bonds of solidarity and economic cooperation within the BRICS group of countries. 


Shinzo Abe’s Nationalism

Posted by on 25/08/14

Japanese nationalism was first introduced at the end of the 19th century. During the Meiji period, industrialisation, centralisation, mass education and military conscription resulted in a shift in popular allegiances. The Emperor saw through the transition, where devotion to the state took the place of feudal loyalties.

Nationalism of this time comprised a mix of local and imported  political thinking, which eventually grew to a favouring of totalitarian government and overseas expansion during the Taisho and Showa periods. Early nationalists would often demand  tempering of Japan’s ‘westernisation’ achieved by placing limits on industrialisation. However, after the First World War, politicians in the West began to disapprove of Japan’s imperial ambitions, restricting military expansion in 1922′s Five Power Naval Limitation  Agreement.

When the Japanese army invaded Manchuria, the League of Nations condemned the action, prompting Japan to withdraw its membership; international isolation then give rise to increasing support for nationalism in the country. Nationalism in Japan began to decline  post-World War II after Japanese forces  surrendered to American forces in a defeat which ended the war. America’s intention at the time was to root out Japanese militarism through essential reforms in the government, society and economic structure.

The country soon faced heavy restriction in military development because of which Japan would turn to the United States for security for many years, especially during the Cold War. In the coming years, economic progress in Japan would downplay the prevailing pre-war militarist nationalism, instead opting for a rather different form of political slogan: prosperity is achievable without the presence of colonies.

Many people in Japan today perceive nationalism to be on the rise. Some lawmakers in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party even seek to alter the  constitution, especially “Article 9″, which had largely de-militarised Japan after the war. Shinzo Abe came to power last year backed by his nationalist agenda and promises to amend the pacifist constitution to hand the military with more freedom, take a hard line with North Korea and strengthen the security alliance with United States.

Neighbouring countries are still left wondering after Shinzo Abe’s victory however, just how much he will free Japan from the restraining legacy of the Second World War. It is known that the Prime Minister supports revisionist history textbooks which teach students to take pride in their nation, rather than learn a great deal about accounts of Japanese atrocities and aggression. He has even gone so far as to question whether every Prime Minister must repeat Japan’s standard apology for its wartime actions.

Japan started to show signs of leaving pacifism behind under the leadership of Shinzo Abe’s predecessor, Junichiro Koizumi, when he sent in military support in non-combat roles for US-led missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, despite opposition at home. Abe wants to craft a Japan with an expanding naval base, spending more than 1 percent of GDP on defence. This is presently not permitted by the constitution dictated by the US after the Second World War. These sorts of ideas were heretical in post-war Japan but have proved to be popular amongst the Japanese in recent years, as China swiftly developed its military and North Korea began testing missiles and nuclear devices.

Meanwhile, in response to all the nationalist sentiment creating waves in Japan, the American media in particular branded Abe as a risky nationalist, perhaps because of the post-war convention that has often been in display, one of being unilaterally peace-loving. But this would be an incorrect perception of the reality and on-the-ground situation in the country, because nationalism is actually embedded in the very fabric of Japanese society through the prevailing popularity of Marxism, various newspapers and nationalism itself acting as a form of socio-cultural identity.

Nationalism in Japan is well-received in modern times, in spite of decades of pacifism and subdued patriotism. The social strata in Japan nowadays consider nationalism to be more collectively acceptable. The Liberal Democratic party is largely controlled by a nationalist faction and Abe’s eagerness to reassess Japan’s place in the world has won support amongst the conservatives in his party.

Shinzo Abe needs to attempt to repair Japan’s troubled  relationships with both China and South Korea first though, which has not improved with time at all. Nationalists in Imperial Japan during the latter half of the 19th century were exasperated by the weak, inward-looking stance of the previous military ruler, a  sentiment that echoes amongst their contemporaries today with respect to China’s aspirations for  hegemony, since emerging as an economic powerhouse.

Furthermore, although there’s been a growth in the competitive index for Japan’s markets, paving a path out of a decade-long economic slowdown for the country, important domestic issues such as the widening gap between the rich and poor in Japan, which has seen an increase under Koizumi, needs to be addressed as well. Japan has a growing ageing population and much of the fiscal policy in Japan, termed as Abenomics is directed towards building infrastructure rather than increasing welfare spending.

The popular-at-home nationalist point of view for Abe should not stand in the way for regional co-operation, which has thankfully already seen an increse with the latest introduction of idealogies, such as corporate tax cuts, more support for migrant workers and foreign investors – mostly from the country’s largest neighbouring trade hubs, from China to South Korea. Perhaps coupled up with the positive index the stock market has shown because of Abenomics, the nationalist sentiment being projected by Shinzo Abe will reign in patriotism home for Japan too.

NATO Wales Summit: Security Puzzles for Transatlantic Community

Posted by on 03/08/14

Russian invasion of Crimea has partially demolished European security system, as neither international organizations nor super power states could stop Kremlin on its way. Ukrainian crisis showed that the European states still miss security guarantees and there is not any treaty which can be fully trusted. The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurance of 1994 has left Ukraine as a master of its fate during this crisis as the signatory sides are powerless to confront Russia and assure the territorial integrity and political independence of the state. It seems that the West didn’t study much from the previous lesson of 2008 when Russia made military intervention in the state only for the reason that Kremlin wanted to regain influence over disobedient neighbor streaming to join NATO. Besides, some European political groups criticized Georgia for improvident policy in order to please and take Russia dry out of water.

Ukrainian crisis shows that nowadays Russia is more prepared for everything then it was in 2008. Unfortunately the West follows the same path and repeats the same mistakes.  Disappointment towards transatlantic unity is on surface. There are questions – which will be the next state? Can NATO guarantee security of the Baltic or Center-East European states? Will German, French or other societies push their national governments to protect societies of other NATO member states? Does transatlantic society have solidarity towards each other?

Still we have not seen NATO in real business of combating aggression against its member states, of course if we don’t take in account 9/11 terrorist attack, when the Alliance the first time in its history used the Article 5. In 2008 and 2013 NATO was not ready to protect its partner states which were confronting Russia for their Euro-Atlantic aspiration. Today we see that USA and EU have only sanctions in their arsenal which has “Chilling Effect” on Russian economy. NATO needs consolidated approach towards threats and every member state should work to increase military spending. Members should analyze that security is public good rather than supplementary burden.

Transatlantic unity needs solidarity between member states and their actions don’t have to oppose common interest. Members should overcome different perception on security; some states look confident that threats will not reach to them; others believe that it’ll be protected by the US. It’s trend that member states reduce military spending explaining it by economic crisis. In this response Alliance needs to ensure fair contribution and participation of all member states.

Some NATO member states oppose accession of Georgia and Ukraine in NATO. They ban not only their accession but also refrain themselves to supply the mentioned states highly need defensive weapons. In parallel of it France made lucrative deal to sell the Mistral Warships to Russia which still is under negotiation. It looks illogic from one hand to confront Russia and from another to give encouragement. NATO needs to face the threats instead of escaping from reality. Member states should boost military spending and elaborate workable plans rather than to focus on “Smart Defense” arguing that with limited sources it is possible to increase operationability.


What Israel and Turkey can learn from each-other

Posted by on 01/08/14

Surely countries can learn from each-other. Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish columnist and author, illustrates this with the Kurdish issue in Turkey (INYT, July 24). During the civil war in the 90-ies between the Turkish state and the Kurdish PKK, thousands of people were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced.

In the past Turkey faced a terrorist threat. However, since two years the vicious circle of violence has been replaced by a peace process towards reconciliation.

Israel needs also to break the vicious circle of violence in its relations with the Palestinians. But this is a challenge which seems more difficult than the one that faced Turkey. P.K.K. has changed and differs obviously from Hamas. Its objective is limited to autonomy in Turkey and civil rights for the Kurds.

But as Akyol writes, the Kurdish issue is still far from resolved, which shows how difficult even an issue which has been reduced to local and regional self-government is difficult to solve in Turkey.

Take for example the Turkish constitution which is still subject to review. The current constitution declares that the fundamental duty of the state is to preserve the “independence and integrity of the Turkish nation”. The Kurds still don’t have the right to study their mother language or use it as a language of instruction in public schools.

Unfortunately, the Turkish prime-minister is hardly the right person to teach Israel any lessons. More than a year has passed since the Israeli apology for the Mavi Marmara incident and diplomatic relations between the two countries haven´t been re-established yet. Mr Erdogan has missed a chance to mediate in the war between Israel and Hamas.

Learning from each-other doesn’t mean that countries copy or emulate experiences and institutions. Lessons learned need to be adapted to national circumstances.

As regards good governance Turkey can learn a few things from Israel. In the fight against corruption, Israel’s independent judiciary has prosecuted a former prime minister who was sentenced to jail a few months ago.

In every liberal democracy there are also strong checks and balances institutions in the form of the supreme audit institution and the Ombudsman institution. Both are badly needed for Turkey if it wants to accelerate the accession process with EU. In both areas Israel has strong institutions.

To promote transparency and accountability the Turkish state audit would need to carry out performance audits which it has done in the past. The new Ombudsman institution in Turkey would need to strike a balance between independence and accountability in the judiciary system and start investigating complaints against judiciary maladministration.

Israel: When is enough enough?

Posted by on 31/07/14
By Financial Guy It has been relatively easy for the international community to start imposing economic sanctions against Russia. So what about Israel? One hopes that national governments and international organisations can come together soon to try and end the bloodshed in Gaza soon.

US Senate urges the President to liberate Republic of Moldova

Posted by on 31/07/14

The US Senate has recently urged the President to take all the necessary measures in order to determine Russia to withdraw its military troops.

In a Resolution backed by the American Senate, the Russian Federation is summoned to respects its commitments made in Istanbul in 1999 according to which Russia promised to withdraw its occupation troops from the Transdniester region, in the East of the Republic of Moldova.

The US Senate „urges the President to consider increasing security and intelligence cooperation with the Government of Moldova”.

„Calls on the Government of the Russian Federation to refrain from using economic coercion against the Republic of Moldova, cease support for separatist movements in the territory of the Republic of Moldova, and fulfill its commitments made at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) 1999 summit in Istanbul to withdraw its military forces and munitions from within the internationally recognized territory of the Republic of Moldova”, it’s just one of the many points of the declaration.

„Affirms that lasting stability and security in Europe is a key priority for the United States Government which can only be achieved if the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all European countries is respected”, it is written in the document.

In this moment the OSCE is handling this conflict but we are talking about an entity that is under total control of the Russian Federation. In fact, Russia is at the same time occupant, negotiator and judge. The last 20 years have proved that OSCE cannot solve this conflict and it does not want to because Russia does not.

The USA doesn’t want to wait for the European Union to react and will secure the Eastern European frontier, even if it will have to use force. Here an important role will be played by the Eastern flank of NATO, mainly Poland-Romania-Turkey.…



Spaltpilz von 28

Posted by on 30/07/14

Es war ein mühsamer, nein, ein quälender Prozess. Seit März ringt die Europäische Union um den richtigen Kurs gegenüber der aggressiven Ukraine-Politik Russlands. Viel zu lange fand die EU keine überzeugende Antwort auf die ständigen Provokationen aus Moskau. Trotz der völkerrechtswidrigen Annexion der Krim, trotz der militärischen Aufrüstung der pro-russischen Separatisten, trotz der offenkundigen Hinhaltepolitik durch den Kreml. Viele haben deshalb wohl nicht mehr damit gerechnet, dass sich die EU tatsächlich noch zu echten Sanktionen durchringen kann…

Darauf hat auch lange Wladimir Putin spekuliert. Auf den Spaltpilz von 28 unterschiedlichen Interessen. Die Franzosen, die um ihre Rüstungsgeschäfte bangen; die Deutschen, die um ihre Exporte fürchten; die Südeuropäer, die an den russischen Öl- und Gaslieferungen hängen und die Briten schließlich, die auch weiterhin mit den russischen Banken gute Geschäfte machen wollen. Doch der mutmaßliche Abschuss von MH17 über der Ostukraine und das menschenverachtende Auftreten der Separatisten, gedeckt durch Moskau, waren aus europäischer Sicht eine Zäsur. Spätestens hier wurde selbst den Zauderern in Berlin, Rom und Paris klar: Die EU muss handeln, wenn sie nicht ihr Gesicht, ihren restlichen außenpolitischen Einfluss endgültig verspielen will.

Es ist für die Europäer sicherlich eine bittere Lehrstunde in Sachen Außenpolitik. Die Befürworter des bisherigen Kurses werden argumentieren, man habe bis zuletzt alles versucht, um den Konflikt diplomatisch und im Dialog zu lösen. Aus Sicht der Kritiker waren die Europäer viel zu zögerlich, war erst ein Abschuss eines Verkehrsflugzeuges mit fast 300 Toten notwendig, um die EU zum Einlenken zu bewegen. Und selbst jetzt werden die Wirtschaftssanktionen nicht konsequent verhängt. Bereits abgeschlossene Rüstungsgeschäfte sollen von der neuen Entschlossenheit der Europäer ausgeklammert bleiben, aus Rücksicht auf französische Interessen.

Letztlich bleibt man sich also an manchen Stellen weiter treu und geht doch ganz neue Wege. Niemand kann derzeit seriös vorhersagen, wie sich dieser Konflikt mit Russland, der nun eine neue Sanktionsstufe erreicht, weiter entwickeln wird. Und ob die Europäer einig genug sind, um auch dem sicherlich wachsenden Gegendruck aus Moskau standzuhalten. Doch zunächst einmal gilt: Die EU geht mit den heutigen Strafmaßnahmen ein beträchtliches Risiko auch für die eigene Wirtschaft ein, um Moskau doch noch zur Vernunft zu bringen. Damit beweisen die 28 Staats- und Regierungschefs am Ende eine gehörige Portion Mut und die Entschlossenheit, die ihnen viele schlicht nicht mehr zugetraut haben. Europa hat seine vermutlich letzte Chance gerade noch genutzt und endlich auch außenpolitisch Handlungsfähigkeit bewiesen.

28 EU-Staaten

Posted by on 29/07/14

Wladimir Putin hat 28 EU-Staaten gegen sich aufgebracht. 28 Staaten mit unterschiedlichen wirtschaftlichen Interessen, aber, wie es aussieht, einem politischen Willen: die Annexion der Krim, das Schüren des Krieges in der Ost-Ukraine und die Mitverantwortung Russlands für den Abschuss der malaysischen Passagiermaschine nicht unbeantwortet zu lassen, allen ärgerlichen Einschränkungen, wie dem Ausscheren Frankreichs in der Frage eines Waffenembargos zum Trotz. Man kann Sanktionen kritisieren. Man kann aber auch die Frage stellen, die sich aufdrängt: Was wäre der Preis des Stillhaltens?

Ukraine: it’s High Time for Plan B

Posted by on 29/07/14
By Florian Pantazi It is high time therefore to search for a diplomatic way out of the Ukrainian quagmire. One such solution has been offered by two American historians and geopoliticians, who outlined the so-called Plan B to the current sanctions campaign against Russia.

Le HCR appelle l’Europe à intensifier ses efforts

Posted by on 28/07/14

Le Haut Commissariat aux réfugiés de l’ONU (UNHCR) a demandé le 24 juillet dernier à l’Europe d’agir de toute urgence face à la forte hausse de nombre de migrants traversant la Méditerranée. Dans un communiqué l’organisation indique qu’au cours des 10 derniers jours, plus de 260 d’entre eux sont morts ce qui porte à plus de 800 le bilan des morts pour l’année 2014.

La mort de 260 personnes en moins de dix jours, dans des circonstances horribles, montre que la crise en Méditerranée s’intensi fie » a déclaré le Haut commissaire aux réfugiés, Antonio Guterres. »Les Européens doivent agir d’urgence pour éviter cette catastrophe ne s’aggrave d’ici la fin de l’année ». Il a demandé aux gouvernements de renforcer leurs opérations de secours, de faciliter un accès rapide aux procédures d’asile pour ceux ayant besoin de protection et de trouver des alternatives légales à une traversée dangereuse de la Méditerranée. Il souhaite aussi que les capacités d’accueil soient améliorées et que des solutions à long terme soient recherchées et trouvées.

Le bilan de 800 morts depuis le début de l’année est supérieur à celui de l’an dernier (600 morts) et 2012 (500 morts. Au cours du premier semestre, plus de 75000 migrants sont arrivés par la mer en Italie, en Grèce, en Espagne et à Malte, soit 25% de plus que les 60 000qui ont fait le voyage sur toute l’année 2013 et trois fois plus que les 22 000 recensés en 2012.

L’Italie en a reçu le plus grand nombre(63884) devant la Grèce (10 080), l’Espagne (1000) et malte( 227). Depuis le 1er juillet, l’exode s’est encore accéléré, avec l’arrivée de 21000 réfugiés en Italie, dont 8000 au cours du weekend dernier des 26 et 27 juillet. Ils viennent principalement d’Erythrée, de Syrie et du Mali et sont passés par la Libye dont situation absolument chaotique est bien connue depuis un certain temps. Parmi eux se trouvent plus de 10 000 enfants, dont 376 en provenance de Syrie. Quelque 6500 enfants surtout des Erythréens, n’étaient pas accompagnés par des adultes .

Pour en savoir plus :

     -. Texte du communiqué du HCR

     -. Dossier de Nea say sur les enfants, mineurs non accompagnés


Classé dans:conditions d'accueil des réfugié_s, DIGNITE HUMAINE, DROITS FONDAMENTAUX

Vivimos en una Europa incolora, insípida e indolora

Posted by on 27/07/14
Por Jesús González Aire irrespirable para muchos millones de ciudadanos europeos que no creen en la construcción, ni en el proyecto más exitoso de nuestra historia. Estamos entre todos, unos por acción y otros por omisión de no participar en el cambio de rumbo, agotando las opciones de seguir constituyendo el espacio de libertad humana más sólido en el tiempo y en el espacio.

Wirtschaftssanktionen durch Europa?

Posted by on 27/07/14

Es ist richtig, dass sich die Regierungen der EU grundsätzlich auf Wirtschaftssanktionen gegen Russland geeinigt haben; dass sie dem Land, das den Krieg in der Ostukraine befeuert, Zugang zu europäischen Finanzmärkten erschweren. Und, dass künftig keine Waffen und andere Kriegsgeräte aus der EU nach Russland verkauft werden dürfen.

Dieser Schritt war überfällig. Die EU hat sich in letzter Zeit mit ihrer Salami-Taktik sanfter Sanktionen gegen Russland unglaubwürdig gemacht. Es reicht einfach nicht aus, dass EU-Politiker debattieren, sich vertagen, wieder debattieren, um dann nichts Konkretes zu entscheiden. Es reicht auch nicht aus, dass EU-Politiker Sanktionslisten gegen einzelne Personen, die sie für den Krieg in der Ostukraine verantwortlich machen, aufstellen und immer wieder verlängern und nur einzelne Unternehmen auf die schwarze Liste setzen, die in Russland eher unbedeutend sind und der Regierung in Moskau deshalb nicht wehtun.

All das machte deutlich, dass politische Ziele der EU und wirtschaftliche Interessen der Einzelstaaten bislang total quer lagen. Das funktioniert auf Dauer nicht. Die EU hat sich entschieden, in diesem Fall eher eine politische Einheit als ein Wirtschaftsverbund zu sein. So richtig die Wirtschaftssanktionen der EU gegen Russland sind, ärgerlich ist, dass sie nur für neue Verträge gelten und nicht für Waren, für die bereits Lieferverträge unterschrieben wurden. Juristisch mag das richtig sein, moralisch deshalb aber noch lange nicht. Dadurch können die Franzosen nun trotzdem ihre zwei Kriegsschiffe in aller Seelenruhe fertigbauen und an die Russen ausliefern – Krieg in der Ostukraine hin oder her.

Auch die Briten können zunächst aufatmen: Premierminister Cameron hatte ja am lautesten nach harten Wirtschaftsstrafen für Russland geschrien. Der internationale Finanzplatz London, wo auch Russen viel Geld im Spiel haben, ist erst einmal vor großen Schrammen geschützt.

Nach monatelangen Wattesanktionen haben sich die Europäer nun also zu einer härteren Gangart gegenüber Russland durchgerungen, um zu erzwingen, dass die russische Regierung endlich aufhört, die pro-russischen Separatisten in der Ostukraine zu unterstützen und um die Machthaber in Moskau dort zu packen, wo es richtig wehtut, beim großen Geld.

Schön ist anders, diplomatisch auch, aber es ist ein notwendiger Schritt, den die Russen hoffentlich als Ausrufezeichen verstehen.