Here’s the main problem with EU diplomacy — RT World News

Representatives of the Western European bloc no longer try to understand those who disagree with them, but rather give lectures dripping with arrogance

The recent incident in which a group of EU ambassadors refused to attend a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov perfectly sums up the state of European diplomatic culture today. The reason is simple: over the past thirty years, the need for diplomacy in the traditional sense of the word has almost disappeared.

Although the envoys of the EU countries in Moscow have a relatively good level of education and are not stupid, these individual characteristics are no longer of great importance. Everything is determined by their ideological worldview, which has become the opposite of what is necessary for civilizational relations between countries.

Those observers who wonder why in today's world each EU country needs a separate ambassador in Moscow are justified in their arguments. After all, the envoys do not decide anything and cannot perform their duties in the traditionally accepted way. It would be much easier for everyone if these people – the great and not-so-great – returned to their countries for a while.

There are several reasons why Western Europeans have so far ventured down the road into their own different world. First, they experienced massive upheaval just over 30 years ago. Since the 16th century, these countries were neighbors of Russia, and were unable to defeat it.

Dominic Levin, a leading British scholar of the origins of the Russian Empire, wrote that the Russians were the only people with whom Western Europeans had to deal who were able to fight for their own, independent place in the modern world with boundless courage, perseverance, and self-control. -Clean up.

Let us consider these words – we are the only civilization against which the West tried to act aggressively, but failed to achieve its goals. The rest of the world – the Great Empire of China, the ancient civilization of India, and many others – was unable to withstand the decisive attack by the West, which for five hundred years had been expanding the limits of its power with fire and sword. They were beaten, even if they managed to regain their state after some time.

Our country has never been defeated. But let's try to put ourselves in the shoes of Western Europeans and understand their emotional state. For many centuries, they lived with a shock called “Independent Russia.” However, we ourselves have never had the opportunity to understand what it means to have a constant enemy who can never be overcome.

So, when the Soviet Union suddenly collapsed in 1991 and the unified state disintegrated, Western Europe found itself in a situation it had never experienced before. Overnight, the unfulfilled wish of generations of European politicians and military leaders was fulfilled. All alone, without a decisive military engagement, and with the Russians' full desire to join the “European family”, even as disciples. Such a shock cannot pass without serious consequences for the psyche of statesmen and ordinary citizens of Western European countries.

Their entire foreign policy culture was built on the fact that Russia would not be pressured or told what to do. Suddenly, the West felt that it had won the Cold War without firing a shot. In a state of wonderful emotional turmoil, Western Europeans began to build relations with Russia as if it had finally been defeated. For many years, Moscow accepted the rules of the game imposed by the West. It took into account the desires of Western Europeans in the economic sphere and developed its external relations focusing on how this would affect the main goal – gradual “integration” with the European Union.

Under the new circumstances, the bloc found itself in the position of a demanding teacher, offering several “partnership” programs with two simple goals. First, to secure Western European business interests and make the Russian market more open to them. Second, to ensure that Moscow complies with its instructions.

European diplomats became equally demanding teachers. For several generations of EU ambassadors in Moscow, the main task has been to monitor how Russia respects its many commitments. As part of this “honorable” mission, a tradition of communicating with Russians at various levels developed. While there were talks at the level of heads of state or foreign ministers, there was no trace of normal diplomacy below this level.

European Union ambassadors did not become mere executors of the will of their masters in their homelands (which is completely normal), but they gradually became technical workers charged with the task of monitoring Russia and pointing out errors in its behavior.

The level of their intellectual ability is no longer measured by their competence in playing a hidden game of diplomacy. The key measure was the degree of hysteria with which they pushed a very simple agenda. It gets worse as their individual will and intelligence are increasingly integrated into the system of rules and requirements common to all NATO and EU representatives abroad.

As the philosopher wrote last century, “In any group, individual agency becomes the servant of the collective interest.” And we must add that it gradually disappears in the sense that it is primarily a sign of effectiveness – the ability to independently analyze the situation and make decisions. This problem has become so universal for Western European diplomacy and politics that it has gradually ceased to be noticeable.

This is because European politics was also changing rapidly. Having found themselves, through no fault of their own, in the position of “victors of the Cold War,” Western Europeans felt a deep sense of moral superiority over the entire world around them. Except of course towards Americans who are simply afraid of them.

We have repeatedly witnessed examples of EU interference in the purely internal affairs of key partners such as China, or India, which remains very friendly. Not to mention the smaller and more important countries. Last year, for example, French President Emmanuel Macron quarreled with Brazilians over their treatment of their forests.

To be fair, part of the problem is that other countries have long been unwilling to make these Western Europeans aware of the shortcomings of their behavior. As a participant in global diplomacy, the European Union is a long way down the road to a place from which there is no return.

But a reasonable question arises: Why does Russia care at all about our Western neighbors losing their ability to adapt to the world around them? It seems that if the current political-military crisis is temporarily accompanied by a downgrading of our diplomatic relations with EU countries, we might benefit from understanding the reasons.

First, if we exclude dire scenarios for everyone, the bloc will remain Russia's neighbor and we will have to resume diplomatic dialogue with it. Even if we take into account the fact that the main reason for Western Europe's impotence was fundamental in nature – the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union – we could have been more demanding of them earlier. For their sake – and our common interest. It is therefore necessary to understand where they have significant weaknesses that deprive them of the ability to engage in normal diplomatic interaction.

Second, we must recognize the tragic mistakes of replacing diplomacy with political lectures. As Russia works to develop its relations with the Global South and our neighbors in the former Soviet space, it would be useful to be more vigilant and to ensure that we ourselves do not also begin to show signs of European arrogance.

This article was first published by “Vzglyad” Newspaper, translated and edited by RT ream

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