Editor’s Note: EUROPE FOR WAR by N.Selin SENOCAK
Editor’s Note: EUROPE FOR WAR
By N.Selin Şenocak
June 30, 2022
We’ve spent a very turbulent month of June not only with the present war in the Black Sea region, but also with the various summits such as the G7 and NATO. The declarations of these two summits did not have the objective of easing tensions and opening the way for dialogue and diplomacy but had on the contrary the objective of intensifying the conflict and current hostilities in the region.
President Erdogan, who categorically opposes the accession of the Nordic countries to NATO, has finally signed an MOU with these countries under the conditions of cooperation in the fight against the terrorist groups of the PKK and FETO. President Erdogan no longer surprise us with his “U-Turn Diplomacy” but irritates the patriotic sentiment of the nation. In his official statement regarding this matter, Erdogan declared himself victorious against NATO, emphasizing that “he got what he wanted”. The MOU is not legally binding, and we shall be able to observe in the next few months if Erdogan truly got “what he wanted”. Given that Turkey has been waiting for 60 years to join the European Union, it can most certainly wait for a long time before any of these promises are fulfilled.
From Europe for Peace to Europe for War
Peace is the very essence of the European construct. After two devastating World Wars, Europe’s intent was to transform the plurality and rivalry of states and ensure a peaceful albeit uneasy coexistence that has now become a model of prosperity. Europe, which has spent hundreds of billions of euros to establish peace and mutual understanding with neighbouring countries, alas, has still learned nothing from its past mistakes which cost it two World Wars. The latest actions that have been carried out in recent decades are not in the spirit of peace but on the contrary, they have been provocative and hostile especially towards Russia.
For what purpose did NATO, which has now gone far beyond the borders of the now dissolved USSR and even reached the borders of the Russia Federation, had to expand?
A huge mistake was made in regard to NATO’s enlargement to the East and as beneficial self-criticism should lead to recognize, another mistake was made regarding the extension of the E.U. towards the Eastern countries. The union of 27 has now become an unmanageable entity due to the cultural, political, and economic divergence which in turn weakens its unity. Brexit is the consequence of this excessive ambition leading to ever constant expansion, which is a burden for the member states.
What is the real benefit for European countries, when requests for greater contributions to NATO have been made over the past decades by all American Presidents, repeatedly demanding additional financial contributions for the maintenance of the military alliance?
The Russian Federation would not necessarily count on the dissolution of the E.U., which the USA had shown its enthusiasm for, as seen by President Trump’s jubilant reaction regarding the outcome of Brexit. On the contrary, Russia would be well disposed towards a more geopolitically independent U.E. that is less lenient towards the whims and geostrategic interests of the US and generally more open towards Russia.
It should also be remembered that China itself does not want a disrupted Europe, not only because it prefers a single and non-fractioned market for its goods but also because it has taken steps to establish substantial currency reserves in euros.
The American attitude is hostile to any other form of fruitful collaboration between the countries of the U.E. and Russia. Recalling the “great concerns”, already expressed by President Obama, for the accession of European countries to the “Belt and road” plan, what is called the “New Silk Road“, it is sufficient in order to summarize all other cases. The USA fears the rise in influence of China and Russia on the economy and foreign policy choices of individual European countries and the European Union as a whole.
It is important to recognize that Russia has not declared war “ex nihilo” to Ukraine. The multiple provocations of armed attacks against the Russian population in Ukraine and the encirclement of Russia by NATO military bases are the principal reasons behind this war. Russia has no ambition to create a new Soviet bloc just as Turkiye does not wish to re-establish the Ottoman Empire. Nowadays all these conquests are made by diplomacy, trade, cooperation and not by expensive wars.
This war could have been avoided by dialogue, by diplomacy and by the reasoning of the former Ukrainian actor President Zelensky, who lacks state decency unlike President Putin who is an experienced patriotic statesman.
Eurozone Inflation reached its highest level
The Ukraine war pushes eurozone inflation to a record 7.5%. Inflation in Germany is at its highest since reunification in 1990, as reported by Eurostat. In May, the inflation rate in the USA broke a record with 8.5%, the highest level of the last 40 years. The situation is no different in the UK. Inflation, which was up to 9% in May, reached its highest level in the last thirty years. Energy prices have increased to 44.7% in March, up from 32% in February, according to the agency, as the European Union finds itself embroiled in an oil-and-gas crunch caused by tensions with Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. An estimated 4.8 million jobs have been lost in Ukraine since the start of the war, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Any form of intimidation against Russia will not overthrow Putin from power, on the contrary, it will have the opposite effect, Putin will gain in popularity and the hatred of Europe by the Russian population will become the irreversible consequence of these sanctions. As was the case with Turkiye for President Erdogan, the more he is attacked by the European media and criticized by European leaders, the more he increases his popularity with his electorate.
It is time for Europe to return to its founding principles centred around the ideal of peaceful coexistence and to withdraw from American domination which is pushing towards its dissolution.
BRICS countries have become an important force on global stage, bringing together the major emerging economies from the world, comprising 41% of the world population, having 25% of the world GDP and over 20% share in the world trade. During the 14th BRICS summit which was held last week, Iran and Argentina have submitted applications to join the BRICS grouping. Europe should be open to more balanced and multipolar global order.
Europe should direct its spending on peace, on its institutions which suffer from lack of means, on its hospitals, education, economic cooperation, culture and above all on its population who suffers socio-economically from the devastating effects of the post-Covid period and the war in Ukraine, not to the weapons and the war which will trigger its fall.
“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding…” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).