So, despite the apparent truce following Moscow’s insanely over-the-top response to Georgia’s silly South Ossetian venture, it sounds like Russia’s still “peacekeeping” in Georgian territory. This is otherwise known as “invading a sovereign nation just for the hell of it”.
Here’s a handy solution to all our problems: Georgia – stop playing the victim, you brought it on yourself; Russia – stop acting like a dick.
Meanwhile, the possibility of a common EU foreign policy becomes more remote by the hour. Which idiot was it who thought that an EU Foreign Minister and diplomatic service was a good idea again? If we can’t agree among ourselves, how the hell are we going to convince other world powers?
Eastern Europe used to be the Soviet Union’s buffer zone against the West; it’s now become the West’s buffer-zone against Russia. Unsurprisingly, those countries that make up said buffer-zone aren’t best pleased – especially when they see so little constructive action from the West when a country they consider one of their own is being bullied by the Russians. Because now the ex-Warsaw Pact EU member states are firmly supporting Georgia while many Western European states, keen not to piss off Moscow, are treading more carefully. The fault-lines within the EU – that have been there ever since 2004’s expansion thanks to the continued failure to come up with new post-enlargement rules and regulations – are becoming painfully apparent.
I’ve long been saying that EU relations with Russia are one of the Union’s most pressing concerns. They seem to be becoming more so. If the EU can’t agree a solution to this – or at least a unified approach – then the potential for disaster is immense. Russia will be pissed off. Georgia will be pissed off. The former Warsaw Pact EU member states will be pissed off. Europe’s only non-Russian energy supply route will be jeopardised. And the EU’s impotence on the world stage will be painfully apparent to all.
And, while the EU dithers on the sidelines, the people of Georgia and South Ossetia are still hiding from tanks, ducking from jets, and picking through the rubble to recover their shattered belongings and their dead. A situation that requires quick action has been allowed to continue unchecked in part thanks to the wasted time of trying to find a common European solution. Nice one, guys.
This is why the EU needs to decide – collectively and decisively – what it is for. Episodes like this one – following so closely on the heels of the disunited front put up over Kosovo’s independence – show that one thing the EU is definitely not for is collective foreign diplomacy. So let’s give up on the idea already. It’s getting embarrassing.
Update: Yup. This pretty much sums it up:
“at every level, Europe appears to be in the thick of events, doing its best to stop the bloodshed. But, on closer inspection, this is the traditional sort of European activity: grand proposals, the clocking of plenty of frequent flyer air miles, yet little of substance.”