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#8 - JRL 7063
Russia Seen in 'Triple Alliance' With France, Germany Against US 'Domination'
Rossiyskaya Gazeta
13 February 2003
Article by Vitaliy Tretyakov:
"Russia Will Join the EU by 2010 -- If the Tactical Triple Alliance Becomes Strategic"

The events of the past two weeks in Europe have surpassed even the boldest predictions (which many people thought were totally unrealistic) concerning the possible unification of Europe with Russia. Let me remind you that many politicians and political experts literally just a month ago were continuing to assert that Russia will not in principle be able to join either the European Union or NATO in the foreseeable future. Because, first, Europe does not need us inside of it (it only needs our energy resources and raw materials). Second, the Europeans are afraid of us even outside the pale of the EU -- they would be even more afraid to allow Russia inside the pale. Third, the Americans will not allow it (because they do not want to see the EU gaining strength through Russia and Russia gaining strength through the EU). Fourth, over there in Europe their bureaucratic procedures are such that it is impossible even from a purely technical point of view.

There was also another view. True, only a small minority held it. It amounted to the following. Both the "first" and the "second" exist, but that is simply because Europe has not yet made its strategic choice with regard to Russia. If it does make that (positive) choice, then even US pressure need not be a serious obstacle. And the technical and bureaucratic aspects will be no problem at all. If the political choice is made, Russia will be admitted to the EU by an accelerated procedure.

The situation regarding NATO is more complex, of course, because there the United States has the decisive vote. Although not, as recent events have shown, in everything.

I personally have always been a supporter of the reunification of the "divided people of Europe," which consists of European Europeans and Russian Europeans. And Russia was ready for that a long time ago. It was the European Europeans who were not ready until now. So the choice was theirs.

The mind-boggling firmness with which Paris and Berlin continue to resist American plans for military action against Iraq has many explanations: the proximity of the Iraqi theater of hostilities to the borders of Europe, the Old World's dependence on Near East oil, the Europeans' reluctance to quarrel with Arabs (both their own and those of other countries) and Muslims (again, both their own and those of other countries), European Europe's unfortunate experience of the forced overthrow of Yugoslavia. But now something new has appeared: the fear of absolute US domination and of the need to submit to it always and in everything, that is, to lose European face, has apparently come to exceed fear of insubordination to Washington.

The Americans themselves are to blame -- with their "humanitarian violence" they have broken (almost broken) the backbone of European and Christian solidarity.

Of course, everything could still change. If the United States does carry out a strike on Iraq, Europe will be forced to support it, even through clenched teeth, even if only formally. But all the same, without having brought down the Iraqi dictatorship yet, the Americans have already brought down European unity.

But the whole point is that, by splitting Europe, the United States is only accelerating the processes of its renewed unification.

US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was right, on the whole, when he said that France and Germany are "old Europe" but there is a young, new Europe that is in step with the United States. The small Eastern and Central European countries are accustomed to submitting to stronger ones (Austro-Hungary, Germany, France, Russia). Since the United States is now the strongest, the young Europeans will submit to Washington.

But the mistake made by Rumsfeld in particular and the US Administration in general is that without the "young" Czech Republic, Estonia, or Bulgaria, Europe would still be Europe. But without the "old" France and Germany, it would not. Moreover, France and Germany for a long time tolerated US domination only under the threat of counter-domination of the Soviet Union. And since that threat has now disappeared, this Europe -- the original, properly European Europe as a historical and geopolitical entity -- has begun to consider reviving its sovereign autonomy. That, in principle, was the reason for the formation of the EU, which after the breakup of the USSR lost the pressure from the East but continues to experience a pressure that is no longer balanced by anything else -- pressure from the West, from the United States and its main aircraft carrier in the Atlantic -- Britain.

Europe needed an important reason to begin to "rise from its knees." The reason was provided by the Americans themselves, with the threat to plunge Europe -- which certainly does not dream of bloodthirsty battles in the desert (and moreover close to its own Mediterranean borders) but is accustomed to conflict, peace, and tranquility -- into just such a battle.

If the Soviet Union had not broken up, if Germany had not reunited, if the Americans had realized in time that the EU is also an alternative to the United States, if Washington had not constantly rocked the chief skyscraper of present-day world architecture -- the United Nations -- then by now it would have had all the necessary European votes for war in Iraq.

Today a de facto tactical Triple Alliance of Paris, Berlin, and Moscow against the anti-Iraq policy of United States has formed. In intention it is a strategic alliance against American hegemony over Europe. The classical "old" Europe is prepared to allow Washington to dominate the world, but not itself. This is almost an established policy. It lacks only the final touch -- the admission of Russia to the EU. Washington cannot permit that. Two conclusions stem from this. If old Europe (France, Germany, Russia) continues to dig its heels in, the United States will certainly carry out a strike on Iraq -- only now not to show Saddam Husayn, but to show Chirac, Schroeder, and Putin who is boss in the world.

After bombing Iraq, the Americans will start on Europe. They will have no choice. The Americans will start on Europe not with the help of missiles, of course, but politically, economically, and diplomatically. And it will be a tough battle.

Are the Europeans ready? Will the tactical Triple Alliance collapse?

Will it turn into a strategic alliance?

Much -- practically everything -- depends on the answers to these questions.

In particular, whether Russia will become a member of the EU in 2010 or even before.

Europeans of Europe, unite! To restore the sovereignty of our continent.

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