Tuesday, February 17, 2015

BRICSPOST: EU and Russia - War or Peace?

The BRICSPOST runs this opinion piece written by a former Deputy Speaker of the Belgian Parliament. The article looks at the prospects for the newly signed ceasefire agreement for the Ukraine and the longer term outlook for the relationship between the EU and Russia. Some quotes and a comment below.

"At the moment of writing, the ink on the second Minsk agreement has not yet dried.

On February 15, fighting is supposed to come to an end in Ukraine. What are the chances for success of this agreement and what’s in it for the EU and Russia?

Are we on the path to a new peace or to a new cold/hot war? That is the question that will be on the minds of many in the days to come."

. . . . .

"For Russia, a peaceful resolution to the conflict means ending the sanctions and facilitating closer economic cooperation with the EU.

But tighter economic relations with Russia, the natural hinterland of Europe, goes against the core of the transatlantic NATO alliance. This has been a nightmare scenario for the Washington elite since 1945.

Pointedly, neither the US nor the UK were involved in the Minsk negotiations, so for Washington all options are still on the table. Considering the warmongering majority in the US Congress, that is not a good omen for peace."

. . .  .

"Yet, despite all these challenges, history shows that worse situations have led to lasting peace.

The second Minsk agreement might just work. It is only a first step, and a peaceful long-term resolution of the conflict is still to be negotiated, but it is the only way out for the EU, Russia and Ukraine.

One of the reasons it might just work is precisely that the EU alone brokered it, or rather Germany and France, and not the US. That might seem contradictory given the different variables mentioned above, but it’s not. It all depends on who and what will prevail."
My added comment:

Note that this article emphasizes that the US was not part of the Minsk agreement. On the one hand, the ariticle suggests that might mean the US is more likely to keep open the option for war. On the other hand, the article says the reason peace might prevail is because the US was left out of the talks. 

This will be interesting to follow. Will the EU move more away from the US and towards Russia? If they do, the US effort to make Russia and Putin look isolated will not work. If the EU moves towards the US, the prospects for war with Russia on their own soil increase. Much the same could be asked about Greece. Do they move towards the EU or closer to Russia and China?

How this all plays out will definitely have an impact on the future of the monetary system and the role of the US dollar as sole global reserve currency.

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