Thierry MARIANI Member of the European Parliament (France, Identity & Democracy group) compares the EU policy of support to Islamist groups in Crimea to the U.S. failed strategy in Afghanistan, using the Taliban as a weapon against the USSR. The MEP’s reaction followed the European diplomacy demand of the immediate release of seven men arrested in Crimea on July 9, accused by Russian prosecution of terrorist activities as members of the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami.
Mariani places the reaction of the EU within the context of Brussels policy vis-à-vis Russia, reminding the procedure of the audition of Josep Borrell at the European Parliament, when the future head of the European diplomacy devoted a considerable amount of time to Russia, assigning to it the status of number one foe for the period of his future mandate.
“Russia is primary, and the terrorism is secondary, that what M.Borrell thinks“, Mariani underlined, characterising the position of the EU chief of diplomacy. The demand of the immediate liberation of the presumed Hizb ut-Tahrir members, the organisation banned in Germany and the majority of Arab countries, MEP described the as the “continuous obsession” with Russia. Subsequently within this political frame everything that happens in Russia is to be “condemned“, and this goes beyond Russia, reflecting in EU global politics in assessment of different militant groups, par example, in Syria, which in spite of the open terrorist orientation, have been supported by the EU, just because they were enemies of Russia.
“It is the same dangerous game, the Occident has been playing in the 1980-s, when via Pakistani secret services they have been supporting the Islamist organisation in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. As soon as they were armed, they have not stopped, and look what happens to Afghanistan today” Mariani resumed.
“It is a dangerous mentality considering the enemies of our enemies being by definition our friends” MEP continued. But in reality the “enemies of our enemies” are even more dangerous than our enemies of the first ranks. However the handicap of this policy is also losing out of sight the threat of Islamists, and new challenges, for example rising power of China, Mariani underlined. As the result of this policy the “obsession” with Russia prevails over the proper interests of Europe.
Mariani referred to the consequences of his policy of favouring “enemies of enemies” seen by French recently in a wave of urban violence caused by clashes between Maghreb and Chechen gangs in the streets of Dijon (Burgundy). The events became a moment of revelation, when French discovered that Chechens, who were received as “political refugees” for decades, omitting the fact that some of them were fighting for establishing the Caliphate in Caucasus.
“To my regret today the minority of Crimea is used for political purposes” Mariani said.
Considering the situation of the Crimea Tatars, it is clearly improved in comparison to the Ukrainian period, Mariani said, underlining that after the referendum (16.03.2014) all three languages of the three communities of the peninsula – Russian, Ukrainian, and Tatar, – have received equal official status, while during period within Ukrainian sovereignty the uni lingual policy had been conducted.
MEP Mariani has visited Crimea more than twenty times in his capacity of the Member of French Parliament (Assemblée nationale) during 25 years to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers (1872) there. Near Sevastopol lies the biggest military cemetery outside France, and the memorial to more than 90 thousands of slain warriors. As a Member of the parliament Mariani supervised the restoration works at the cemetery, and had an opportunity to observe the situation on Peninsula during the Ukrainian period. Chair of a group of “Friends of Russia” at certain moment Mariani has “stopped to count” the trips to Crimea.
AMENDMENT: Original video in French language from European Parliament Brussels
AMENDEMENT: Statement by the Spokesperson on human rights violations against and the illegal detention of Crimean Tatars by the Russian Federation.