‘US keen on having Europeans on the hook’
The EU’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini says the Union must look harder at ways to compromise with Moscow over the situation in Ukraine. She also said that the sanction pressure must be kept up and that action must be taken together with NATO.
RT discussed this with Wimmer, OSCE Assembly vice president in 1994-2000, and a former deputy Defense Minister of Germany.
RT:Federica Mogherini says the EU must engage in dialogue with Russia – which is something her predecessor wasn't too keen on.Are things improving in Brussels-Moscow relations?
Willy Wimmer: I think it is little bit too early to say this, but the first remarks of this Italian lady who is now responsible for the European Union foreign policy were interesting because she didn’t continue the words [her] predecessors used and especially words which are today still used in NATO. So this was first sign of a new position and everybody in Europe now looks on the situation: what might be its outcome and what might be the result. Because everything that we have heard until today is not as good as it should be.
RT: Mogherini says that she wants more dialogue. That is not something that we’ve seen too much of so far. A lot of pressure, though. Why is it has been like that?
WW: Because we face a critical situation in Europe. When we talk about these issues we usually don’t think about Washington. By these days it is even more complicated to think of Washington because of the elections and the results of the elections. It might be a totally crucial question whether we should talk with President Obama or with… John McCain. This is already creating difficulties…in Europe because we know that when it comes to Europe alone, I think our policy would have been completely different in the last nine months of this year. Everybody knows here that the US is very keen on having us, the Europeans, “on the hook,” and that is the way it is.
RT:The US is widely seen as the driving force behind the EU sanctions against Russia. Are they really in Europe's interest?
WW: When we look on the industrial aspects of these sanctions we know that we are killing ourselves because of the financial figures which are related to this, not only when it comes to the farming area but also to other industrial areas. It is not in our favor, it is not in Russia’s favor, it is only perhaps in the US’s favor…But the other critical question which is related to sanctions - these are usually ways to war. Now they are talking about the third round, the fourth round, the fifth round. And…when will they start sending tanks? That is the reality and this creates totally disastrous image in Europe.
RT:If it’s not in the EU’s interest why is not it resisting Washington's pressure when it comes to acting against Russia?
WW: I think it was a very complicated situation when they decided to join the sanctions. I think the Europeans have to make other decisions when it comes to the situation after the US elections which were held on November 4.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.