Saturday, October 21, 2006

EU courts Vladimir

Once I read a story, well it was more like an anecdote. “The Scorpion and the Frog” describes the nature of things. The nature of things is how nature is, not what we are made to believe it is. So why did I suddenly remember this story when I saw the EU-representatives with special guest Putin on the summit in Helsinki tonight?
First the story...
A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks:
- How do I know you won't sting me?
- Because if I do, I will die too, the scorpion replies..
The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp:
- Why did you do that???
- I couldn’t help it, it’s my nature...

It must have been todays Putin scandals in Helsinki
First it was on the national news: NRK reported that Putin congratulated the Israeli prime minister for raping several women in his office, and laughed loud as he expressed his envy for such a deed, and wished he could have done the same. The Israeli Prime minister was not at the meeting, but judging from the expression on the Israeli representative at the table it was an extremely embarrassing moment. The microphones was not turned off, as Putin obviously thought, so the embarrassment went public and a nice Russian journalist translated the conversation to the broadcasting community of the world. Maybe this awkward incidence lead to the next embarrassment later today: A direct threat to Georgia, where Putin warned against a possible bloodbath, and stated that it was NOT Russias fault. All together not a star quality performance of Putin today. He even managed to NOT answer question about the murder of Anna Politkovskaya.

And did someone react?
Oh no. The EU ministers are careful, and tries not to upset the almighty Vladimir in any way. After all he is only deporting Georgians, and generally harasses Georgians living in Russia all possible ways. So the EU ministers are quiet. They don’t want to upset the big Russian Bear from it’s sleep, so it can start closing valves or do other terrible economic distressful things to the European community.

“You know what happens when they get in the same room as Putin. They all drop their trousers and say 'I love you Vladimir'”

This is the gloomy and cynical view from a senior EU insider, of the leaders of the European Union's 25 countries. Perhaps it's intended to chivvy rather than insult. But there is no doubt that the EU summit in Finland is a rather odd event. The 25 prime ministers and presidents talk about their policy towards the Russian president over lunch. And at dinner a few hours later their guest of honour is none other than Mr Putin himself. The European Commission is worried this will mean that unity goes out the window as they all jostle to be the Russian president's best friend. It's not just that Russia is a powerful country and Europe's big neighbour. The leaders all believe in the European values of fraternal solidarity but Vlad has something they value more. Gas. (BBC Europe editor Mark Mardell 19 October 2006 on the EU's awkward relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the power Moscow projects through pipelines.)
The main concern of the EU ministers is of course GAS and OIL. They need to be sure that Putin doesn’t blow up pipelines or shut down supplies like he has the nasty habit of doing lately to punish disobeying nations. Then the rest is of no concern. EU is in fact begging on their knees for permission to transport Putin across the river.


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