The EU’s call for UN members to join in the Russian sanctions is doomed
The European Union called on March 18 for more countries to impose sanctions on Russia over Crimea joining the Russian Federation two years ago.
In a statement issued on the anniversary of Crimea’s formal accession to Russia, the EU said it will maintain its sanctions that ban European companies from investing in Russian Black Sea oil and gas exploration.
«The European Union remains committed to fully implementing its non-recognition policy, including through restrictive measures», the European Council, which represents EU governments, said. «The EU calls again on UN member states to consider similar non-recognition measures».
Separately, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged the EU and United States to maintain their broader economic sanctions against Russia over its support for self-declared republics in the eastern part of Ukraine. «It is important that we continue the economic sanctions», Stoltenberg told an event in Brussels.
The Crimean Peninsula became a part of the Russian Federation on March 18, 2014 after the referendum carried out on March 16 showed 97 percent of voters supported joining Russia.
The Kremlin responded by saying that the issue of Crimea could not be «a matter of negotiations or international contacts». «Our position is known: this is a region of the Russian Federation. Russia has not discussed and will never discuss its regions with anyone», President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a teleconference with reporters.
«In this case we should treat with respect the expression of the will of Crimean residents and the decision which was taken two years ago», he emphasized.
The 28-nation EU imposed its Crimea sanctions in July 2014 and then tightened them in December 2014, banning EU citizens from buying or financing companies in Crimea. The United States, Japan and some other major economies, including Australia and Canada, also imposed sanctions on Russia, whereas many other economically developed nations, like, for instance, China and Brazil, refused to join.
It should be noted that the extension of anti-Russian sanctions is a very much divisive issue inside the European Union.
Hungary and Italy said last week they would not agree to extend the EU’s toughest economic sanctions on Russia, the EU’s major energy supplier, without discussions before the summer.
Germany’s Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel called on March 17 for the EU to try to create conditions by this summer to lift sanctions.
France’s Minister for the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs Emmanuel Macron said in January that Paris will look to assist in the lifting of Western backed sanctions on Russia by the summer.
Serbia, a nation in talks on joining the EU, has firmly rejected the idea of joining the sanctions regime.
US Republican Senator John McCain has the reputation of hawk calling for getting tough on Russia. But even he had to admit the fact that the sanctions are becoming increasingly unpopular inside the EU. «I think there is clearly a lot of conversation amongst the Europeans about lifting the sanctions… There are many countries that are looking for the exit sign», the Senator said in February. «I have been hearing it for months, that there is enormous pressure in a lot of countries, particularly Germany, to lift the sanctions», he noted.
At that the prominent US politician believes it is up to Washington if and when the sanctions are eventually lifted, saying that the final decision will «to some degree depend on American leadership». Actually, the US right-wing politician openly stated the EU decision on the sanctions is made under US pressure.
Indeed, the EU is following the US. President Obama announced American sanctions against Russia are to be prolonged for another year on March 2.
The EU obediently chimed in 16 days later.
The attempts of the EU to influence other countries into joining the anti-Russia sanctions regime look especially ridiculous against the organization’s failure to make the tiny nation of San Marino, an enclavedmicrostate surrounded by Italy, comply with the EU’s demands. The republic is not officially part of the European Union and does not face Russia's food embargo. According to Rossiyskaya Gazeta, a Russian government daily newspaper of record which publishes the official decrees, statements and documents of state bodies, San Marino and Russia signed an export agreement on March 18 during the International Economic Forum of CIS countries.
San Marino’s Minister of Regional Development and International Economic Cooperation Antonella Mularoni attended the forum. Now this European country will export to Russia a range of products, including Parmesan cheese and premium meat products like local Parma type ham. «There are 24 dairies in the republic, and a lot of enterprises engaged in meat smoking», the executive director of the national wholesalers association Vladimir Lishchuk told Rossiyskaya Gazeta. According to him, imports will take the place of illegal goods bypassing the Russian food embargo. Russia’s food safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said it would monitor food imports from San Marino to prevent re-exports of sanctioned products from neighboring EU countries. Russia introduced the food embargo in August 2014 in response to Western sanctions. The ban applied to meat, poultry and fish, cheese, milk, fruit and vegetables from the United States, the EU, Australia, Canada, Norway, Japan and a number of other countries. According to Russia's Ministry of Economic Development, the import of banned products has fallen by nearly half to $6 billion in the first six months of 2015. Overall imports from the EU have fallen by 45 percent.
Evidently, the EU’s call for UN members to join the sanctions is an effort doomed to go down the drain. The European Union has no leverage strong enough to make world nations comply.
The organization itself is not in a strong position. Looks like it has seen its best days. Brussels is facing a host of acute problems. Many of them seem to be a tall order, for instance: the flows of migrants, the economic inequality of the Union’s members, debt problem and the conflicting views of the UK and Germany on European integration, to name a few.
Doing away with the divisive issue of anti-Russia sanctions could provide an impetus to making progress in other fields, but Brussels prefers a different approach.
The EU statement shows the Union’s leadership is adamant in its desire to go down the slippery slope risking a revolt among the member-states with tensions running already high inside «the European family».
US President Obama said his three-day state visit to Cuba was an «historic opportunity for the two countries to build relations».
As he arrived onboard Air Force One with his family, Obama announced: «I look forward to meeting and hearing directly from the Cuban people».
Such hubris. One can imagine the uproar in Washington if Cuban President Raul Castro made a similar condescending appeal to the American public, bypassing their rulers.
The New York Times headlined: «Obama lands in Cuba with a pledge to listen to its people».
It all sounds momentous and conciliatory. Sadly, it is not. US media hype belies the fact that Washington’s view of Cuba is one-sided and grotesquely distorted.
The fact is that Washington continues to impose a brutal trade embargo on the impoverished island of 11 million people. That is nothing short of economic warfare and for alleged reasons that many people can’t even remember. The official justifications for the embargo are suitably forgettable because the real reason is simply this: might is right, to crush any form of political dissent in Washington’s presumed backyard.
The US also continues to occupy Cuban territory with its military base-torture center at Guantanamo Bay.
On both counts, these fundamental violations of Cuban sovereignty are not up for discussion, according to imperious Washington.
But Cuba is expected to give way on US allegations of crimping democratic rights and freedom of speech. In any case, those Cuban offenses are relatively minor in the scale of world-class crimes committed by Washington, from its relentless subversion of foreign countries to all-out wars of aggression.
That dissonance in reality captures the nub of the problem: official US arrogance and self-entitlement to trample over weaker nations, without a hint of remorse.
Official US hubris is so rampant that Obama’s tour of Cuba is turned into a farcical narrative of Washington bringing change and hope, instead of it being a moment for Americans to genuinely reappraise their country’s history and its pernicious role in international relations.
Fawning media reports on Obama’s visit tell us it is the first time since a sitting American president visited the Caribbean island state in nearly 90 years. That was when Calvin Coolidge landed in 1928 – aboard a US warship. That little bit of information tends to be overlooked, yet it hints at the sinister background.
US-Cuba relations are indeed replete with historical significance. When the US took possession of Cuba in 1898 after the Spanish-American War, it marked the rise of Yankee imperialism in the hemisphere under which Latin American countries would be routinely carved up and subjugated to Wall Street capitalism. Dictators and death squads abounded and millions were consigned to horrific violence and deprivation.
When Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and Fidel’s brother Raul led the Cuban revolution in 1959 they managed to extricate the country from a US-backed tyrant. Like so many other US-backed despot-regimes, Cuba had been a byword for poverty and barbarity for the masses.
The Cuban revolution defied this fate and became a model for social development, a country where hunger and disease would become abolished, and where free education and healthcare were enshrined. Today, despite more than five decades of a vicious economic blockade, Cubans have a life expectancy better than most US citizens.
Socialist Cuba embraced the Soviet Union only after the island was attacked by the US in the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961. That failed invasion was an embarrassing fiasco for the Central Intelligence Agency. Nevertheless, it was an act of war by the US against its southern neighbor.
Over the next decades, there would be countless other acts of war committed by the US on Cuba, including dozens of attempted assassinations on President Fidel Castro, acts of terror and sabotage, such as the blowing up of a Cuban civilian airliner in 1976, as well as large-scale poisoning of agricultural crops and animals.
Another historical connection conveniently omitted by mass media is that Cuba was pivotal in the rise of the modern US «deep state». The real, shadow government of the US – dominated by the military-industrial complex, Wall Street banks and corporate power – was born out of the obsession to crush the Cuban revolution.
The CIA under director Allen Dulles and the US ruling clique never forgave President John F Kennedy for refusing to send in a large-scale military invasion to salvage the Bay of Pigs debacle. JFK’s subsequent policy of rapprochement with Castro, as with other Third World revolutionary governments at the time, was seen by the CIA, the bankers and industrialists as a betrayal of American capitalism. It would cost Kennedy his life when CIA snipers blew his head off in Dallas in November 1963.
It is arguable that for the past 50 years, US democracy has ceased to exist. Presidents come and go like so much puppets, while the unelected, unaccountable deep state exercises the real power. Is it any wonder that US social conditions continue to deteriorate year after year, with poverty and inequality at runaway record levels? Because since the CIA coup in 1963, US democracy is a window-dressing charade to conceal the wielding of corporate power against the interests of the people.
Cuba is central to the hidden history of the demise of US democracy. But you would never know from reading mainstream media coverage of Obama’s «historic» visit to the island this week.
The refusal to end the US trade embargo on Cuba and return Guantanamo Bay are key indicators that Washington remains an unrepentant offender regime.
Afghan Drugs Supply the World – Thanks to Washington
There is compelling evidence provided by a recently-resigned assistant secretary general of the United Nations Organisation, the estimable Mr Anthony Banbury, that «thanks to colossal mismanagement, the United Nations is failing». He writes that the UN «is filled with smart, brave and selfless people» but that «unfortunately, far too many others lack the moral aptitude and professional abilities to serve».
From personal experience and observation, I can only agree with that criticism, but also concur unreservedly with his assertion that «for the world’s sake we must make the United Nations succeed».
Hearteningly, there is at least one department of the UN that does seem to be trying very hard to succeed.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is a diligent organisation which tries to coordinate international efforts to combat some of the worst evils that beset the world. Its efforts to reduce the illegal flow of drugs are admirable, although its most recent report is depressing, in that it records among much other data that «there has been little change in the overall global situation regarding the production, use and health consequences of illicit drugs... the increase in global opium poppy cultivation and opium production to record levels has yet to have major repercussions on the global market for opiates».
That last phrase is ominous. The problem appears massive to the point of disaster, and if «major repercussions» are yet to be felt, then drug-production and trafficking present an international crisis of staggering dimensions.
The UNODC’s Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, is a distinguished diplomat of many years experience and is ideally suited to the task of guiding international efforts to control and reduce the drug menace, but he isn’t receiving much assistance from some of those most directly responsible for national efforts. Meeting with the Afghan Minister of Counter Narcotics, Salamat Azimi, in June last year he «noted that Afghanistan is the primary victim of illicit drug cultivation and suffers high numbers of drug users, crime, insecurity and corruption», and while obviously sympathising with the Afghan government’s difficulties in regard to the country’s drug-production bonanza, commented that «it was also important for Afghanistan to show measurable and concrete results in the reduction of the number of drug users, as well as opium cultivation and production».
To be fair, some people in Afghanistan (mainly those in foreign aid agencies) are trying to make some effort to care for the drug addicts whose number has increased so enormously since the US invasion of 2001. But as it is the second most corrupt country in the world, with most of its money coming from illegal production of drugs, and the areas in which opium poppies are produced are entirely in the hands of criminals of one sort or another, there does not appear to be the slightest hope that there will be any movement towards control of drug production in that chaotic and ungovernable country. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned recently that «the volume of drug production in Afghanistan is growing at a threatening pace and the income is being absorbed not only by terrorist groups in the country, but also beyond its borders».
In February the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the estimable Mr John Sopko, presented a report to Congress in justification of future expenditure on his task of ensuring that the vast amounts of money allocated by the US to Afghanistan «are spent as effectively and efficiently as possible and that they are protected from waste, fraud, and abuse».
Mr Sopko’s analyses of US expenditure of «approximately $107.5 billion to rebuild Afghanistan» over 14 years have not met with approval in Washington. Being totally honest, and having revealed gross incompetence in the Pentagon and the State Department involving appalling waste of US taxpayers’ money, he is not popular in official circles. Truth is important in governance, but when it shows the US in anything but a favourable light, the truth is not welcomed in US Congressional circles. And this especially includes Mr Sopko’s sobering conclusion that «by every conceivable metric, we’ve failed. [Drug] production and cultivation are up, interdiction and eradication are down, financial support to the insurgency is up, and addiction and abuse are at unprecedented levels in Afghanistan».
Opium Production in Afghanistan
The US invaded Afghanistan at the end of 2001 and the opium production statistics speak for themselves thereafter. The 2015 World Drug Report notes that Afghanistan accounts for about 80% of global opiate and heroin production. It records that «global opium poppy cultivation in 2014 reached the highest level since the late 1930s» which was «mainly attributable» to increase of production in Afghanistan.
In 2006 the then head of UNODC, Antonio Maria Costa, appealed for «NATO forces to destroy the heroin labs, disband the open opium bazaars, attack the opium convoys and bring to justice the big traders. I invite coalition countries to give NATO the mandate and resources required». But there was no chance that his common sense would be heeded by US-NATO forces which were engaged in a counter-insurgency war.
It is notable that, thus far, the vast increase in Afghanistan’s heroin production does not threaten America, where the US Drug Enforcement Agency noted in its 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment that «most of the heroin available in the United States comes from Mexico and Colombia». But this state of affairs may not continue much longer.
At present it is Afghanistan’s neighbour, Pakistan, which suffers most grievously from Afghan drug production. The number of addicts in Pakistan has escalated appallingly in the last fifteen years, and corruption has increased in synchrony with the increasingly lucrative drug-trade, but the menace has been extending further – much further – into China and Russia and Europe.
The BBC reported last year that «In times past Afghans would only deliver drug shipments to the border and hand them over to Central Asian groups, but now Afghans representing the Taliban and other Afghan groups are living in Moscow and other towns in Russia, according to Tajik drugs officials, in order to get a share of the huge profits that ensue once the drugs reach Russia and Europe».
There appears little than can be done to check the production of illegal drugs in Afghanistan, and their lucrative export, as Afghan security forces are incapable of doing so and the entire country is terminally corrupt. Over a thousand extremely powerful people – warlords, politicians, senior government officials, commercial tycoons – are involved in making vast profits from poppy farmers who have to grow the plants because they provide a living income. The insurgents, too, are beneficiaries of this national affliction.
Foreign troops are impotent and in any case lack direction so far as drug eradication is concerned. The situation is catastrophic.
Mr Fedotov and his UNODC colleagues are trying hard to deal with criminal drug production in Afghanistan, but have no chance of success. The internationally disastrous drug catastrophe in Afghanistan is yet another horrible example of how US military intrusion can have such cataclysmic consequences for the entire world, and especially for the unfortunate countries doomed to destruction by Washington’s self-righteous declaration that it is «the one indispensable nation in world affairs».
«Non-US NATO is to increase its troop numbers in Afghanistan to 15,000, and its secretary-general states that instead of acting as a peacekeeping force it will assume the combat role of US troops, which is insane. Neither NATO nor the US military is to have any role in eradicating drug production or smuggling.
The insurgency in Afghanistan will continue until foreign troops leave, whenever that might be. After a while, the government in Kabul will collapse, and there will be anarchy until a brutal, ruthless, drug-rich warlord achieves power. He will rule the country as it has always been ruled by Afghans: by threats, religious ferocity, deceit, bribery, and outright savagery, when the latter can be practiced without retribution. And the latest foreign occupation will become just another memory».
And Afghanistan’s drug production will continue to flourish. Thank you, Washington.
Leaving Syria, Russia leaves the conviction that a return to previous script written by the West will not.
The recent events around Syria have been so rapid and unexpected that many natural question arises: "what was that"? First, Moscow is ready to accept any choice of the Syrian people, including the federalization, then suddenly declares the termination of the military operation. And yesterday the Kurds, as if encouraged by this, declare autonomy, i.e. actually announce the federalization of Syria with a fait accompli.
Here, of course, you first need to emphasize that the Kurds deserve autonomy — they won, being in fact the only ethnically-administrative unit of the Syrian society that led a full-fledged military action against ISIL. At least autonomy. Suffered.
The same autonomy after the defeat of the Hussein regime in Iraq has been the Iraqi Kurds. For the latter it is the result of years of struggle for their rights, against the forced arabization and to this genocide, when the whole Kurdish settlements were leveled by bulldozers, and their populations were etched by the gas.
Of course, if it were not for the Americans, any autonomy they would have. But history knows no subjunctive mood, and Iraqi Kurdistan, in fact, for several years there as a state within a state with its own laws and with his army, he leads an independent war with the jihadists without the help of the official Baghdad and even claims to be expanding the area that is causing the authorities of Iraq sharp, but at the same time powerless in the civil war discontent. In fact, the Kurds don't care who runs the country: the Sunnis or the Shiites. They have learned to survive independently of Baghdad.
It is this factor that today scares the opponents of federalization of Syria. They point to Iraq as an example of what the actual federalization of the country leads to its fragmentation and collapse, which can already be considered a fait accompli, not legislated. And, of course, you can draw a direct analogy — it is the Kurds first gained real autonomy.
Those who are trying to the Iraqi example to warn against federalization of Syria, somehow forget about the main point: the war in Iraq was the result of federalization, as in Syria — on the contrary: the war has actually destroyed the state, making the federalization seems to be the only exit.
It all began in Iraq? Yes, Yes, Yes, this! First, the authorities suspended the Baathists (read Sunnis), then to power actually came from Shia Islam (what the Americans allowed it, knowing full well where this will lead, does not speak in their favor, regardless of whether it is done intentionally or "so it happened"). Then resentful of Saddam Hussein's generals rallied around at that time still just one of the many radical Islamist groups that are created by means of the USA.
Then this "one and" suddenly "the best", having successfully started to conquer new territories, the benefit in the Sunni regions it has got almost absolute support of the population, plus the supra-national ideology has made it attractive for fighters all over the world, in the end, the organization has become a brand that is already effortlessly, the very fact of its existence is self-employed.
Perhaps if ISIS was able to complete his plan – i.e. to create a Caliphate at least within the borders of Iraq and the Levant, the issue of fragmentation of the country once again would cease to be relevant for decades, as under Saddam Hussein. Iraq, Syria, Libya can be unified only when there is strong Central power, an iron hand suppresses any stray thoughts anyone on at least some independence. And no matter whose hand it was: Sunni, Shiite, or Alawite.
By the way, when was created unshakable until recently, state construction in the middle East, still strong was the idea of pan-Arab unity. Even earlier, when the region was under the protectorate of England and France, he was held back by the Europeans, which, by the way, and held the now existing, but crumbling borders. Prior to this the region with an iron fist kept the Ottoman Empire, which undoubtedly held a more balanced and sensible policy than the current great powers.
It all collapsed with the advent of the "Arab spring". As soon as the iron hand is weakening (as we saw earlier with the example of Iraq, by the way, this example might help cool some hot heads in late 2010 — early 2011, but no), everything starts to crumble. The example of Iraq learned nothing from the operators of the "Arab spring" (unless, of course, to prevent the possibility that they just wanted to create chaos, and uncontrollable), followed by Libya, Syria, Yemen. In Egypt only the coming to power of the military has prevented further development of an already running script.
Bashar Assad was the most persistent among middle East leaders. Partly, because of any personal qualities, perhaps he was just well studied what is happening in neighbouring countries. Partly because in 2011. when started the war in Syria, the world's attention was diverted to events in Egypt and Libya. And because the Syrian opposition has simply been unable to unite is too colorful "blanket" is an ethno-religious map of this country, the most colorful in the entire region.
In the end, that, as in Egypt and Libya initially looked like a broad civil movement against the undemocratic regime in Syria quickly turned not even in civil, and in most that on is the ethno-religious war, and even brought together a international extremist element from all over the world. In fact, the civil war in Syria has turned into a mini-world, which was attended by people from several dozen countries in Asia, Europe and America, and which came together the interests of almost all the world's great powers.
It is this factor that largely has allowed Assad to hold out longer than others, waging war not with its own citizens, and international terrorism. The emergence of ISIL in that sense it actually became a gift for all parties to the conflict, bringing the war to another level. But the same factor has buried hopes that Syria in the foreseeable future will be revived in its original form.
Now obviously, to return to your starting point and make everything as it was before the war, it is impossible. Just leaving Assad or stay, do come to his place Alawite, Shiite, Sunni, Christian or Kurd. Boundaries of future units indicated by the war — well they can be seen on the map of hostilities. Moreover, the revival of Syria categorically does not need anyone of its neighbors.
Does this mean that Russia has realized the impracticability of the tasks and just ran away from Syria, giving the West an opportunity uncontrolledly to solve their problems, according to some of our "guard-patriots"?
The withdrawal of our troops from Syria, as before the signing of the peace agreement was dictated by many reasons, which I have already wrote. We achieved the main thing — was able to change the course of history, could supply almost knocked out the power this country on its feet, able if not criminal to break the umbilical cord that connects international terrorism with its sponsors and buyers of petroleum, then, at least, damage it.
Yes, we are unable to do something that demanded our "couch patriots" — to destroy all terrorists, Assad to regain control over all of Syria — to return to the state March of 2011. But, I repeat: this was not, because only a madman would put such purpose.
Yes, the reality was much more complicated than many, including senior military leadership of the country expected. Note that in fact last fall we just went to Syria, but were invited there by the West, which until then was the only moderator of the process. The West could not cope with this role, everything was going not only to defeat Assad, which the West initially sought, but also to the emergence of uncontrolled chaos and conflict to the entire middle East. The West needs to draw us into this war. It was a risky game with the Sharpie, but Moscow has played it quite well. We did the most important work that wouldn't nobody but us — bred all the corners, showed who is who.
Don't know whether the withdrawal of Russia from the war (I stress from war but not from the game) as a surprise for Washington, but somehow the West was once again left alone with the problems of the region. Only now his situation is complicated by the fact that Russia has placed all points over "i", proposing to deal with specific terrorism and not with Assad, who remains a legitimate ruler for the West even though he has to admit it, gritting his teeth.
Now the honor of fighting with ISIL goes to America, but who told you that it would be easy? But they wanted it! They caused this problem — so let them be disentangled, but not at the expense of our soldiers.
And, of course, out in the cold were Turkey. Especially now that Erdogan should begin to understand the trap into which it had lured. Remember, at the time, talked a lot about so-called "plan juppé", according to which Ankara was invited to take an active part in the destabilization of Syria in order to anticipate the emergence of an independent Kurdistan and, in fact, to lead him, pointing in the right direction and protect yourself? If so, then Turkey with his own hands planted the bomb under their own statehood. Today Ankara louder Damascus outraged Kurdish autonomy. Damascus, in fact, have nothing to lose, but Ankara...
Nightmare of the Turks is beginning to come true. Civil war in Turkey erupted like a flame of fire in a dry forest, another area of Diyarbakir has been recently tank cleanup, Kurdish militias, as promised, moved the war into the cities, the violence is approaching a critical point. And then there's the autonomy of Rojava close. Soft sideways. Autonomy with very sharp needles. Only here is a chance to solve the problem by military means has already been lost — today, if you want to be a fighter against terrorism, and not the aggressor, will have seriously to fight with ISIL, and not to imitate. With ISIL, "an-Nusra" and other uncompromising, and not with Assad or the Kurds, who, thanks to the actions of Russia actually received immunity from external interference.
Russia could get involved and stuck in this war, as the USSR mired in Afghanistan, both in Afghanistan and then in Iraq bogged down the United States. We were lured into the same trap, which caught a Turkey. But we came out of it virtually unscathed. As abruptly and unexpectedly as he came. Leaving a new map of the area and the belief that a return to previous script written by the West on their own initiative without coordination with the legal authorities, will not.
Unfortunately, or not — and will not return to Syria, but, again, it's a long time no one believed. Syria will be Federal and unified. There's no other way to save the unity of the country. The same story is repeated in Ukraine. Any attempts of Kyiv to prevent the federalization even more undermine statehood. The war in Syria is, again, outlined the new boundaries, the war changed the fate of Nations. You just need to accept objective reality. That's about it, now there are negotiations — how to look like a future reality.
And only after adopting her, you can participate in the political process. In fact, no one but played with fire Erdogan, there is no reason not to accept it.
The newspaper "the guardian" published an editorial comment on the problems of Europe in General, "heart of Europe", which it believes Germany, and Angela Merkel, which he calls "the heart of Europe", in particular.
Discussing an uncomfortable position, in which came German Chancellor, media refers to the following items:
1. Recent elections in three Federal States showed the growing popularity of anti-immigrant and euroskeptic party "Alternative for Germany", supported by right-wing radicals from anti-Islam movement "Pegida". That is, the voter is increasingly opposed to the policies of Merkel, and the most annoying is that he's not to blame in the marginality and bellechester as the main reservoir of supporters "ADH" consists of experts and intellectuals with doctorates.
2. The agreement concluded by the European Union (i.e. the same in the face of Merkel) with Turkey on extradition recent billion euros, about the exchange of Syrian refugees one-on-one, etc. — as critics say, do the fate of Europe "critically dependent on two vicious and undemocratic leaders."
Speech of R. T. Erdoğan and Vladimir Putin — "Sultan and king".
According to the author the "guardian", with Erdogan Europe will have to deal and partnerstate, even if he will continue to violate democratic freedoms (recall: only in recent weeks the Turkish army has destroyed one of the Kurdish cities in the Southeast of their own country, in addition, the regime made "masks-show" in the editorial office of the major opposition newspaper, closing it for a while and leading to obedience, etc.)
As vicious and undemocratic Tsar Putin has his hands on the throat of Europe and Merkel because it depends on the preservation of "fragile truce in Syria".
How to understand this
...What catches the eye. As can be seen, there is a deep difference in European approaches to two vicious undemocratic leaders.
Vicious undemocratic Erdogan may at any time to access the full capacity of the crane with refugees and the European Union will have bad. Therefore, despite the small civil war on Turkish territory, some of the shortcomings in Turkish democracy and other stuff —Europe will negotiate about the accession of Turkey to the EU.
Vicious and undemocratic Putin can insidiously leave the situation in Syria take their course, mean removing its troops, and then the fragile truce will be violated, and no Erdogan will not be able to keep the flow of migrants and refugees and terrorists and anybody in the EU.
Therefore, Europe has developed "the five principles of interaction with Russia", including the requirement to transfer the Crimea to Ukraine, the requirement to subjugate the Donbass and Kiev "civil society" in the face of Vilnius freak show, demanding the dismemberment of the Russian Federation.
To understand this logic it is possible only in one way: you must consider that Europe is a politically independent Association. And change his anti-Russian position she is not even at all desire — the curators from the metropolis is not commanded.
...In this sense, a curious affection, more often seen in the right of Europeans to Russia. They are not due to any spiritual kinship (Europe has traditionally been anti-Russian mentality, and changing it is hardly possible without a long period of centralized media processing, which don't exist), but simply realistic the fact that Russia is the only state that currently proponents of "saving the appearance of the European continent" could count.
So the flags of Russia on the "Alternative for Germany" is more like "anti-American" or "anti-EU" flags.