Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Geopolitics of the Eastern Partnership.

History and geopolitics matter. These brutal realities are often concealed by idealistic rhetoric about the seamless unfurling of Liberty eastwards and phrases harking back to the struggle against Soviet totalitarianism. Polish elites seem stuck in an obsolete timewarp in which Putin represents some 'Neo-Soviet' threat.

That Polish politicians have been able to act 'in solidarity' with those standing in direct continuity to one side in the Nazi-Soviet struggle over Eastern Europe,that is the far right western nationalists  in the pro-Nazi tradition ) is no less cynical than the idea all the Euromaidan Protesters are fascists or have led a 'fascist coup'

Euro elites such as Barroso and van Rompuy remained unaware of the visceral passions inflamed in this brutal geopolitical contest both on the ground and with those keen of playing a power game over the heads of protesters in the streets.

But a good number have simply ignored the presence of the Ukrainian far right because ( objectively ) they are on 'our side' against Russia.From the outset of the Ukrainian crisis both Sikorski and Bildt have been obsessively trying to pre-empt the outcome by upping the stakes in a way that would outflank the plodding and ineffective techocrats.

As early as December 1, the Joint Statement by Sikorski and Bildt anticipated the fact that Yanukovych would most likely reject the Association Agreement with the EU and were positioning themselves for the reaction that would come.

The “Eastern Partnership” represents an initiative that wants to pull EU states towards aligning the emphasis on improved trade relationships with accession to NATO in the wake of the Russo-Georgian conflict of 2008.

Increased trade ties with those states are in the interests of all states, including Russia. However, the constant push towards having them as part of NATO is part of a design for military expansion to outflank and defeat Russia from control over Syria and the Eastern Mediterannean ( to the south of Gree and Bulgaria )

Ukraine is the key part of a wider geopolitical competition to have dominance and control over the Black Sea and oil and gas supplies from Central Asia. This key fact is omitted from most current accounts of the power struggle over Ukraine or else hidden beneath sententious rhetoric about heroic western democracy needing to unfurl forever eastward.

Whether it is liked or not, Russia is not going to cede control over energy supplies nor give up its stake in potential oil and gas reserves from the Eastern Meditteranean to the Back Sea any more than western powers are going to stop intervening in foreign lands such as Libya, Iraq and Syria where supplies of oil and gas are at stake.

It is in the mutual interests of both Russia and the west to cooperate. Those wishing to 'win' some conclusive historical victory over the Russian imperium and avenge the outcome of the Battle of Poltava in 1703 are playing a dangerous and messianic power game in which Russia's emergence as a Power is the one bulwark to European global dominance

That battle,which confirmed Russian control over the Baltic and spelt the end of Sweden's hegemony in Northern Europe, as well as confirming Poland's decline is a historical verdict to be reversed 300 years later with NATO expansion.

By pursuing a foreign policy which clearly has as its aim the destruction of Russia's status as a Great Power, Bildt and Sikorski are necessarily going to antagonise Putin in a way that is going to make the Kremlin ultra defensive.

Sikorski is too intelligent not to realise this, one reason he resorted to projection in condemning Putin for his dangerous game. . After all, Ukraine without Crimea represents  a major loss of all that for which the New Great Game over Ukraine had been fought.

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