“Herbivorous EU surrounded by predators”: Media about the conflict between Russia and NATO

NTension between Russia and NATO has not weakened since the end of 2021: the West has decided to transfer forces to Eastern Europe, Russia and the United States are trying to agree on security guarantees. How the media react from both sides – in the RBC review

What the Western media write about the aggravation between Russia and NATO

The decision on the additional transfer of NATO troops to the east raised the stakes for both sides, notes The Guardian (UK) in the article, “The growing stakes in the Ukrainian adventure are pushing Russia to make decisions”: “It is more difficult for Moscow to abandon its position after the United States and NATO announced the additional deployment of troops on the eastern flank of the alliance. The unilateral reduction of forces would mean a clear loss of the Kremlin in the confrontation, which provoked the strengthening of the NATO presence, which he so wanted to get rid of.

The current situation has historical prerequisites, the columnist of The Guardian believes,Writer and journalist Simon Jenkins: “In the 1990s, the West made a calculated bet on NATO expansion. He did not even consider the Finnish option – cautious and pragmatic neutrality towards the Baltic neighbors located in the sphere of influence of Russia. Post-Soviet Russia was lying on the floor, and NATO could not resist kickinglying down. NATO’s attitude towards Russia has made retaliatory displays of chauvinism almost inevitable. Moscow’s tentative attempts at the time of Boris Yeltsin to raise the topic of joining NATO were rejected. The possible association with the EU was ridiculed. He did everything possible to wipe Russia’s nose. And Putin’s current antics are a completely predictable result.

Fiona Hill, an intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, an employee of the National Security Council under Donald Trump, agrees with him. Putin “wants to drive the United States out of Europe,” she writes in her column for The New York Times (USA). “Having watched Mr. Putin for two decades, I see that his actions are consistent, and the moment to throw down the gauntlet to Europe and the United States was not chosen by chance.”..> Putin wants to make the US feel the same bitterness that Russia did in the 1990s. He believes that the United States is now in the same predicament as Russia after the collapse of the USSR: the country is weak from within and losing ground on the world stage,” she notes.

The sanctions package under discussion does not seem to everyone to be an effective measure. “It should be remembered that this game will not end with the introduction of sanctions,” says Nicolas De Pedro, head of the research department at the Institute of Public Administration in London, his words are quoted by the Spanish edition El Pais (Spain). Russia is waiting for them, has prepared for them to some extent and is ready to tolerate them, the article notes. “The situation is very complicated. The EU chose to be a herbivore, fine. But we must remember that he is surrounded by predators,” says De Pedro.

The Wall Street Journal (USA) In one of the articles, he reproaches Germany for not proving to be a reliable partner in the current situation: “Against the background of Vladimir Putin’s possible invasion of Ukraine, most Western allies are acting in such a way as to support Kiev and reassure the most vulnerable members of NATO. Germany takes a different approach, putting the interests of Russia above the interests ofOf the West. This is a harsh reality. Faced with the two main threats to the United States and the global democratic rule of law established after World War II, China and Russia, Germany ceased to be a reliable ally. For Germany, cheap gas, car exports to China and Putin’s calmness seem more important than solidarity.

In another article The Wall Street Journal He emphasizes that the leaders of NATO member countries have made controversial statements in the past few days: “French President Emmanuel Macron chose the worst moment to say that Europe should negotiate with Russia on the situation with Ukraine separately from the United States. Joe Biden also stumbled with his remark about a “small invasion”.

On January 19, US President Joe Biden spoke at a press conference about the possibility of a “minor invasion” of Russia into Ukraine, “according to him, “then we will have to argue about what to do and what not to do.” After that, the President of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, wrote on Twitter that “there is no such thing as minor aggression.”

On the same day, January 19, in an address to the European Parliament, Macron called on Europe for greater autonomy, including in relations with Russia. “For the sake of the security of our continent, Europe must strategically rearm, act as a guarantor of peace and stability, especially in dialogue with Russia. I have been defending this dialogue for many years. He is needed for us, for Russia, for security on our common continent,” the French president said, in particular. He called on the EU to develop its own security plan and then submit it to NATO and Russia.

AFP later reported that Macron intends to offer Russian President Vladimir Putin his own version of de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine. A telephone conversation between the two leaders is being prepared and will take place before the end of the week, the Kremlin said.

What the Russian media wrote about the tension in relations with the West

“Playing to aggravate the situation in some circumstances can be very effective, but are the risks inevitably associated with it justified in this particular case? Do Russian strategists have confidence that with a constant increase in rates, Western players will blink first, throw cards on the table and Moscow will take the bank?— reasoned in the material for the Carnegie Moscow Center Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian Council for International Affairs.Here, first of all, it is necessary to determine what is more important for Russia to hurt the unyielding and hypocritical West, to take revenge for defeats and unilateral concessions of the 1990s, or to try to strengthen its own security as much as possible, with all the objective restrictions imposed by the current geopolitical situation.

“The logic of the phase of the Russian-American conflict that we are in is that after the first round of negotiations on security guarantees, which did not lead to a change in positions, there should be some kind of escalation. Demonstrative and noisy. Actually, it happens. Moreover, it happens to a lesser extent from the Russian side, Russia simply continues to stand firmly in the position that it was. And from the West, we see either an imitation of panic, or a real panic,” said RBC The editor-in-chief of the magazine “Russia in Global Politics” Fyodor Lukyanov.

When asked about the likelihood of an armed conflict, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center Dmitry Trenin in an interview with “Kommersant” He replied: “If we talk about a very short term, about the next month, then I think not. As for the longer term, here I have questions for both sides.”

“There is a traditional escalation of verbal threats, which usually ends with a micro-discharge, but the danger of the current situation is that one of the parties may get carried away,” political scientist Vadim Karasev warned in a conversation with RBC .

“The presence of an external enemy in the person of Moscow allows the Americans to strengthen the alliance, which has been participating in wars since 1999 only as a coalition of willing and in the conditions of aggravation of relations with Turkey within NATO,” writes in a column for “Izvestia” political scientist Vladimir Evseev. In addition, this “allows Washington to take a stronger position in negotiations with Moscow when the threat of imposing tough anti-Russian sanctions no longer works,” he believes.

The United States gave Russia its written response on security guarantees on January 26. The head of the State Department, Anthony Blinken, said that he includes US concerns about Russia’s actions and Washington’s proposals. He clarified that the United States will not publish the document in order to leave room for closed negotiations. The content of the document, according to him, correlates with what the American side said publicly.

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