Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An offer Europe couldn't refuse

"It seems the Russian company Intersputnik made Eutelsat an offer it couldn't refuse on 15 January, holding out the possibility of millions of dollars in business with the media holdings of Russian gas giant Gazprom on the condition that Eutelsat stop doing business with First-Caucasian."

Garry Kasparov has written a great article about Europe's strange "loveaffair" with the totalitarian Russia in todays Guardian. In this article, wich is signed by many dissidents, he asks why Europe supports the criminal regime in Cremlin with arms, like France do, and why Eutelsat, Europe's largest satellite broadcaster decides to deny the First Caucasian Channel place on the channellist after pressure from Gazprom. Is this how we want Europe to react to the systematic violations of human rights in Russia?
I think this article is worth reading.


Anonymous Oleg said...

As welcome as Clinton’s recent words were on the need to defend the right of countries to decide their own fate, you don’t have to go very far in Europe to hear whispers that some kind of new “Finlandization” might be a reasonable compromise for countries like Ukraine and Georgia.

It is time for the West to openly debate what its strategy is — and what it is not. Two decades ago, the West rejected “spheres of influence” because Europe’s bloody history taught us that compelling nations to align themselves with others against their will was wrong and a recipe for future conflict.

If we still believe that today, we need an updated moral and strategic vision for such countries and to back it up with a real strategy. We need to be clear that Moscow has a right to security, but that it does not have the right to interfere in the affairs of its neighbors, to topple their governments or to deny them their own foreign policy aspirations.

Obama is right to try to reset relations with the Kremlin and engage a revisionist Russia. But we need to do so knowing what our strategy is on this key issue. As the United States and Russia close in on a new arms control treaty, it is time to face the question of how we deal with Europe’s contested neighborhood.

Ronald D. Asmus is executive director of the Transatlantic Center of the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Brussels and author of “The Little War That Shook the World: Georgia, Russia and the Future of the West.” © Project Syndicate

Wednesday, March 03, 2010 8:19:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Two decades ago, the West rejected “spheres of influence” because Europe’s bloody history taught us that compelling nations to align themselves with others against their will was wrong and a recipe for future conflict."

The West never actually abandoned sphere of influence politics, it just took new forms. The gradual expansion of NATO eastwards is one of them. It is also interesting when Americans like Seamus champion the rights of "nations" like Georgia to sovereignty and voluntary foreign policy alignment, while simultaneously denying the nations of Abkhazia and South Ossetia the rights to do the same.

Monday, March 08, 2010 10:04:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction; his name was Asmus, but the content of the commen t still goes for the same.

Monday, March 08, 2010 10:06:00 pm  
Blogger Eistein G. said...

Anonymous: First, I don't recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia as nations. Neither does UN ( with the exeption of 2 countries, one miniature island and HAMAS. Second, I think the NATO expansion eastward is not the correct way of putting it. The fear of Russia makes NATO membership the only way to protect Georgia. Third. Spheres of infulece is another word of control over a souvereign nation just because you happen to be larger. The fundaments of democracy, albeit not particularly appreciated in Russia, is the ability to decide over your own future. I think the Georgians feel they have had enough of "influence" from Russia over the years.

Spheres of infleence should also then apply to the relationship between Russia and Norway. That implicates that we should ask god allmighty KGB-Putin if we could please drill for oil, or live civilized. As should the Baltics. I think all of us are very happy with NATO. Like the Georgians would be if they got the chance to be members, which I doubt.

Monday, March 08, 2010 11:06:00 pm  

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