Friday, December 05, 2008

Basic question

MEP Tunne Kelam, on the dangers of doing "business as usual" with Russia:

There remains a basic question to be answered: What is the reason to assume that both strategic partners are sharing the same goals, not to speak of the same values?

In his memoirs, former external relations commissioner Chris Patten speaks of a fundamental difference – while Europe wants stable, well-off neighbours, Russia does not.

Mr Patten writes: "Russia wants weak neighbours and a sphere of influence inhabited by dependent supplicants". Since August 2008, the latter approach is being demonstrated not just by declarations and diplomacy but by military actions.

The effect of the EU's feebleness in handling Russia is as bad for Russia as it is for us.

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