December 4, 2022

Europe – America’s Scapegoat

Source: NPR, File photo

Western sanctions have hit the global economy, including Europe, which is suffering high inflation. The real losers are the poorer countries but the main loser will be the EU in the long run

By Lt Gen Prakash Katoch

Gurjit Singh, former Indian ambassador to Germany, recently wrote, “Germany is the most reluctant in Europe to impose sanctions on Russia and on curbing engagement. It will suffer immense pain with the reduction in Russian energy supplies.” There is no doubt that Germany is the biggest consumer of Russian in Europe with the EU still spends US$1.1 billion daily on energy imports from Russia.

At the beginning of the Ukraine conflict, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz refused an invite by the US till Washington prevailed on him to visit the White House and meet President Joe Biden. Scholz was against imposing sanctions on Russia and supplying heavy weapons to Ukraine as he feared this could trigger nuclear war. Later, Scholz travelled to Moscow, held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and told media on return that he found Putin a very reasonable man.

On February 26 this year, Germany announced supplying 1,000 anti-tank missiles and 500 anti-aircraft Stinger missiles to Ukraine from its own stockpiles. However, in mid-April Germany boosted military aid to Ukraine to the tune of €2 billion. On April 26, German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said Germany will send refurbished antiaircraft cannon tanks (Flakpanzer Gepard) and indigenous self-propelled guns to Ukraine.  

In April, Germany released €2.94 billion for leasing three floating Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminals. In January 2022, 40 per cent of German energy needs were met by Moscow. On May 2, Germany indicated it would back an immediate EU embargo on Russian oil, even though the EU ban is likely to exempt Hungary and Slovakia. Berlin is seeking to import LNG from Qatar, the US and Australia albeit Australia’s oil production in December 2020 was insufficient to meet domestic fuel demand. Interestingly, US President Joe Biden banned Russian oil imports on March 8, but America continues to import Russian crude on the sly.  

Scholz recently entertained prime ministers of Finland and Sweden after they had visited the White House and given necessary ‘incentives’ to join NATO. Finland and Sweden share land and sea borders respectively with Russia. Croatian President Zoran Milanovic has said he would veto Finland and Sweden joining NATO if the issue is decided at the presidential level. But the US will find ways to circumvent this or force Milanovic to make a U-turn like Scholz.

French President Emanuel Macron was also against imposition of sanctions against Russia, and of the firm view that Europe needs its own independent security architecture. But independent European security architecture could imply France and Germany out of NATO. This would be sacrilege for America which has adopted the Chinese strategy to “Kill with Borrowed Knife”. Macron was, therefore, worked upon and possibly assured full support for a second presidential term, which he has now won. France is a nuclear power and faces no threat from Russia but support for second presidential term could not be the only pressure point used on Macron.  

French President Emanuel Macron was also against imposition of sanctions against Russia, and of the firm view that Europe needs its own independent security architecture. But independent European security architecture could imply France and Germany out of NATO. This would be sacrilege for America which has adopted the Chinese strategy to “Kill with Borrowed Knife”.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, who visited India recently, told the media that global community’s response to Russia’s war in Ukraine will define how such violation of international law will be dealt with. She naturally didn’t mention how many times US-NATO have violated international laws over past decades. She blamed Russia for disrupting the global economy without mentioning the arbitrary Western sanctions, acknowledged that the Indo-Pacific is crucial for EU’s prosperity and said that the EU has undertaken to increase its strategic role in the Indo-Pacific. Notably, the US-NATO-EU did not utter a word when China invaded Eastern Ladakh in 2020.

President of the European Commission since December 2019 and a mother of seven, Ursula von der Leyen is a German who lived cumulatively for five years in Britain and the US, and is settled in Germany. Since 2018 an investigative committee of Germany’s Federal Audit Office is looking into how contracts worth tens of millions of Euros were awarded to external consultancy firms. The committee confiscated two phones of Ursula von der Leyen, but data from both phones had been deleted before returning them to the defence ministry. Opposition lawmaker Tobias Linder filed a criminal complaint against von der Leyen for deliberate destruction of evidence relevant to the case.

Angela Merkel viewed Ukraine and Russia as a chance to prove that developed nations should solve disputes at the negotiating table, not with weapons, noting that Russia has an almost infinite supply of weapons it could send into Ukraine. She questioned whether any effort by the West could match that or, more importantly, achieve the outcome sought by Ukraine and its supporters.

Notably, Ursula von der Leyen had said that giving arms to Ukrainian to defend themselves could have unintended and fateful consequences. “Weapons deliveries would be a fire accelerant,” Leyen told the Süddeutsche Zeitung daily. She agreed with NATO General Philip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) that “it could give the Kremlin the excuse to openly intervene in this conflict”. But the US has done the opposite and continues to pump arms and mercenaries into Ukraine.

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives awarded the Order of Princess Olga, Ukraine medal by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during her recent visit to Kiev, said the US support will continue till Ukraine wins the war. Somewhat distraught over not awarded a medal during his visit to Kiev, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the first prime minister to address the Ukraine Parliament.

Biden, all set to send Ukraine another aid package of US$33 billion, is apparently not in control, judging by his actions caught on camera – shaking hands in air, grinning away at serious issues, talking of arming Russia with javelin missiles and weapons, and the like; senility, dementia or marijuana? But with the US arms industry raking in billions daily, the US deep state will ensure that the war on Russia continues endlessly.    

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, who visited India recently, told the media that global community’s response to Russia’s war in Ukraine will define how such violation of international law will be dealt with. She naturally didn’t mention how many times US-NATO have violated international laws over past decades. She blamed Russia for disrupting the global economy without mentioning the arbitrary Western sanctions, acknowledged that the Indo-Pacific is crucial for EU’s prosperity and said that the EU has undertaken to increase its strategic role in the Indo-Pacific. Notably, the US-NATO-EU did not utter a word when China invaded Eastern Ladakh in 2020.

The secret visit of CIA Director William Burns to Saudi Arabia (begging for more oil like Boris Johnson) ended in another snub by the Saudis. Now the CIA has published invites to Russians for sending them Russian state secrets via Tor and VPN – another measure of desperation.

Western sanctions have hit the global economy, including Europe, which is suffering high inflation. The real losers are the poorer countries but the main loser will be the EU in the long run. With no spare supplies in the world to replace the lost Russian barrels, oil prices have surged after the EU proposed banning Russian crude imports. The EU will keep paying higher prices for American LNG and use taxpayer’s money to buy weapons from US firms and pass these on to Ukraine.  

Britain was always subservient to the US but America appears to have convinced the EU that Russia is out to annex their territories. NATO’s expansion and enlarged strategic role to include China is another lollipop.

Resurrecting the Nazi cult is another American ploy. During World War II, Ukrainians collaborated with Nazi Germany by participating in local administration, as part of German-supervised auxiliary police and German military, plus guarding concentration camps set up by the Nazis. Ukrainian police auxiliaries were involved in preparations for massacres, like the Babi Yar massacre.

Above is the reason why CIA and MI6 have been training neo-Nazis at Azov, Ukraine, and many Ukrainian troops continue to display the Nazi emblem on their uniform. This would have gladdened hearts of the likes of Olof Scholz and Ursula von der Leyen who may not be direct descendents of Hitler, but proud of Hitler attacking the Soviet Union irrespective of how the war ended. Hence, their gratitude to America overrides everything else.  

Europe is aware that if does not follow the American diktat, Washington’s wrath could destroy them; sanctions, terrorism, biological-chemical attacks, cyber attacks, you name it. The US didn’t need to threaten the EU in this context, as these repercussions are understood. Europe will suffer the consequences if the Ukraine conflict escalates, worse if it goes nuclear, but the EU’s first preference is not to cross the path of America’s global autocracy.

Europe is aware that if does not follow the American diktat, Washington’s wrath could destroy them; sanctions, terrorism, biological-chemical attacks, cyber attacks, you name it. The US didn’t need to threaten the EU in this context, as these repercussions are understood. Europe will suffer the consequences if the Ukraine conflict escalates, worse if it goes nuclear, but the EU’s first preference is not to cross the path of America’s global autocracy.

An interesting development is the US establishing the Disinformation Governance Board (DGB), also being referred to as the Ministry of Truth. With the ongoing misinformation campaign about the Ukraine conflict, this is truly hilarious. DGB will probably establish that Putin is not an alien but since Baba Wanga has predicted alien arrival in 2022, they are coming to America’s aid to kill Russia and China.

The author is an Indian Army veteran. Views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of https://strategicaffairsindia.in

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