The EU-Russian relations seems to be worsening despite efforts of constructive European powers to avoid further escalation.
The European Parliament believes that it’s needed to curtail the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, according to the report on the state of EU-Russia political relations approved on March 13.
The alleged reason is that the Nord Stream 2 will boost the EU “dependency on Russian gas supplies”.
“Russia and the EU will remain key economic partners in the foreseeable future, but Nord Stream 2 reinforces EU dependency on Russian gas supplies, threatens the EU internal market and is not in line with EU energy policy, and therefore needs to be stopped,” the report says.
The report said that the dependency of the EU on Russian gas supplies “has increased since 2015.”
“The deepening of EU integration and coherence between its internal and external policies is the key to a more coherent, effective and successful EU external and security policy, including vis-a-vis Russia,” the report reads.
Furthermore, the document says that the European Parliament will no longer consider Russia a strategic partner.
“[The EU Parliament] believes <…> that the EU-Russia relationship requires a new framework of cooperation only in those areas that are necessary and in a common interest, and with a view to guaranteeing security in the EU’s neighbourhood and a European peace order; is of the view that the PCA [Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation] should be discontinued,” the document claims.
Besides this, the document calls to consider the following measrues:
- to impose more personal sanctions on Russian citizens;
- to limit Russia’s access to finances and technologies.
It’s interesting to note that just recently the US administration revealed plans to spend $500m aid to combat Russian “malign” influence around the world, in particular Europe. These funds will likely be delivered to US ‘key partners’ involved in combating ‘Russina influence’ In other words, these funds will be spent on further fueling activity of those European powers, which work to undermine the EU-Russian economic, technical and diplomatic cooperation.
Regarding the economic impact, the wrosening EU-Russian relations would mean less relatively cheap energy resources from Russia. Therefore, the US will be able to get an additional part of the EU energy market with own, more expensive, products. This will impact negatively some key EU economies like Germany, France and Italy. At the same time, small pro-US states [for example in the Baltics], which have almost no own industry, have little to lose and are fiercely defending iterests of the Euro-Atlantic establishment and oligarchs working against the EU-Russian economic cooperation.
Another factor is the recent US decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which also endangers Europe – launching sites of US missiles will become an obvious target in the event of US-Russian confrontation. Therefore, it becomes evidence that the EU is not intereseted in a further confrontation with Moscow. Despite this, some powers are steadily pushing it in this direction.
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