Can Moscow save Europe?: Beating the TTIP is becoming Russia’s #1 geopolitical task


July 12, 2016 – 

Crimson alter, PolitRussia – 

Translated by J. Arnoldski

We need Berlin. Reactions to this point are a wonderful barometer, so I will repeat it again and again. The Kremlin’s tactic towards Europe is simple and clear to anyone who has mastered the history of the 20th century. We are now witnessing the third (!) attempt to use continental Europe as a battering ram against Russia, and Washington once again hopes to do a simple trick, the essence of which lies in the following: the Russians should die and the maximum number of points from an (allegedly) inter-European conflict should be won by the Americans who will successfully sit on the sidelines across the ocean and make movies about how they beat everyone. 

Those whom this scheme suits can be written down either as idiots or as being on the list of the State Department’s mercenaries. Fortunately, this doesn’t suit anyone in the Kremlin. The consistent policy pursued by the Russian leadership, despite the dissatisfaction of “schizo-patriots”, is yielding visible results which a significant portion of the audience simply prefers not to notice since they don’t fit their picture of the world or relate to things that are esoteric in their view.

The results of working with the independent part of the European elite which doesn’t like the prospect of a fixed colonial status for Europe and its manipulation by the Americans as a battering ram against Russia, primarily manifest themselves on the most important – economic – plane. It is worth recalling that the main geopolitical conflict today is not Syria and, moreover, not Ukraine, but the conflict surrounding the transatlantic partnership treaty (TTIP)  that the US is imposing on the EU. This partnership includes literally thousands of elements describing economic, technical, and even legal interactions between the US and the EU. It is presented to audiences as some kind of enhanced version of a free trade zone, but in fact a key element of the proposed agreement is the total liquidation of European sovereignty. Under the pretext of defending the interests of American corporate investors, it is suggested that private arbitration courts should be given the right to block laws passed by European parliaments if they threaten the interests of American companies. And their interests are always interpreted very broadly. In fact, after the signing of the TTIP in its current form, the EU will become a US colony with less rights than Costa Rica. It is obvious that the Americans are using all methods of influence in order to achieve the signing of the agreement as soon as possible.

The fans of the theory that Europe is a spineless colony of the EU have suffered a rupture in their thinking pattern, because the EU, represented by Germany and France, has already successfully evaded signing the agreement for two years, and all attempts to push it through the European Parliament have come to nothing, the same as has happened in direct negotiations between the US and EU. 

For two years already with remarkable regularity, those experts and “public opinion leaders” on social media who believe in the omnipotence of the US have claimed that the TTIP is inevitable and that, as soon as Obama demands that it it be signed, it will be signed and Europe will not be going anywhere. In this view, placing any hope on the independent, influential part of the European elite is entertaining unrealistic dreams. 

However, the TTIP has not only not been signed; it is moribund, especially since Washington has already publicly acknowledged the existence of a deadline: the contract must be signed before the end of Obama’s term or its signing will be postponed indefinitely for objective political reasons.

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The Americans’ luck began to fall immediately after the European Parliament adopted a set of demands regarding the TTIP among which figured the elimination of supranational courts and the subordination of American companies to European law and judicial system. But now, the independent part of the European elite has decided to strike at the US with yet another blow. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that the conclusion of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement between the EU and USA is impossible if it will not take into account the EU’s interests. He said:

“From now on, no free trade agreement should be signed if it does not comply with the EU’s interests. Europe must be firm. France will watch over this. And I will tell you frankly that there can be no such Transatlantic trade agreement. This agreement goes in the wrong direction.”

American media are saying with grief that Great Britain’s exit from the EU will further undermine the chances of the agreement being signed, since London was one of the main supporters of the TTIP within the EU itself.

It is telling that in this content Angela Merkel decided to return the idea of a common economic space from Vladivostok to Lisbon to the infosphere. Despite the skepticism of Russian commentators, this gesture should be taken very seriously, as at least a step in the well-known political strategy that consists of gradually accustoming society  (and even part of the elite) to the most incredible scenarios for the future. 

The resolutions of Italy’s regional parliaments on recognizing Crimea (it is telling that these resolutions were adopted in the regions where the assets and political influence of the old European aristocracy and Venetian-Lombard bankers are concentrated), the statements of German Foreign Minister Steinmeier who spoke out agains NATO exercises in the Baltic states, and the visit of Eurocommission chairman Jean-Claude Juncker to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum despite protests by the US State Department, all fit into this picture.

The joint work of the presidents of Russia and China, who are trying to offer the Europeans (and not only) an alternative image of the future which does not imply universal subordination to the United States, also fits perfectly into this context. This attempt to “tear” Europe away from the US, or more precisely attempt to aid the independent part of the European economic elite to break from the US, is a joint Russian and Chinese project which is equally needed by both Moscow and Beijing. It should not be forgotten that China’s main geopolitical project, the Silk Road Economic Belt, is absolutely meaningless if Europe is not involved in it and the rules of the game on the European continent remain set by the United States.

It’s easy to understand why Russia needs this development. On the one hand, the Kremlin can act as a guarantor of European security, while on the other it can act as the manager of the “logistics bridge” between Europe and China, a bridge which can never be cut off by any battleship group. 

Judging by recent events, the chances of successfully tearing Europe away from the US are increasing, and if everything goes well, then the American “hegemon” will have to spend the next epoch forcibly shut off from the largest continent. This scenario is worth a try. 

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