MEP Andrejs MAMIKINS (Socialist, Latvia) reflects on the “stalemate” of anti-Russian sanctions, and strategy chosen by the European Parliament to continue their further imposition. MEP considers a new resolution, proposing to strip Russia from the status of a ‘strategic partner‘, and imposing additional sanctions as a part of the upcoming European election campaign, pleasing a part of electorate, and flaunting the might and significance of the European Union.
“However even the rapporteurs here, in the European Parliament don’t believe that Russians will react on the reports, Russian simply doesn’t read them”, MAMIKINS said. “None of Russian civil servants with self-respect will read them, and nobody believes they will have any effect. The real sanctions, or the construction of the second pipeline of the Nord Stream II to be abandoned, orthe sectoral sanctions to be strengthened, – all this will not happen, because the European Parliament is a big lightening rod, it is blowing off steam, but the real power is with the European Council, and the decisions are taken there by the heads of states and governments. We know that recently Mekel agreed with Macron on the Nord Stream II, and that is all – as soon as there is an agreement in the Council, that will be implemented”, MEP underlined.
Regular Europeans don’t read what is issued by the European Parliament, MEP continued, regretting that politicians don’t hear opinions, and wishes of millions of the EU citizens, affected by sanction war initiated by the EU, defining it as a “philosophic” question to the European political class. He also mentioned fading interest of the Europeans in the Europarliament, referring to the declinign turnout in the 2014 elections: in eastern Latvia 22%, in Slovakia 13%, indicating the attitude to the EU project in member-states. “This shows to what extend the regular people believe in what we are doing here” MAMIKINS lamented.
The failure of the political class is compensated by the citizens, who in “parallel develop their own ‘people’s diplomacy'” MEP explained, mentioning enlarging, and broadening the exchanges of students, scientific and business cooperation, but also growing interest to invest in Russia, illustrating with example of Austria, formally supporting sanctions, but multiplying its investments the same time.
Concluding MAMIKINS reiterated his assessment of the EU sanctions policy as the “stalemate,” a result of a self-imposed ‘mantra‘ repeated last five years dabbing Russia as “foe” and Putin as an “aggressor“, which caused their current awkward posture, they have no clue how to correct.
“Is is very similar to NATO, spending 16 times more than Russia, but repeating relentlessly that “Russia is our foe”, and “danger is looming from the East“, – MEP pointed out. Subsequently or they “steal this money“, which is beneficial to some circles, or they “lie” that Russia is a foe, able to attack any moment, he added.
However even before the Ukrainian crisis, and Crimea, Russia has been an effective ‘scarecrow‘ for quite some time. When President Putin, during his trip to Siberia suggested to join the North Atlantic Alliance, the reaction was absolutely negative MAMIKINS reminded.
Nevertheless counter-terrorism, space programmes, exploring Arctic, energy dialogue, including nuclear energy, and nuclear waste, – cooperation in all these fields between the EU and Russia will continue in spite any sanctions, so will the gas and oil export, MEP ensures. “This is real politics, not the loudmouths here in the European Parliament – the civil servants in the European Commission understand that European can’t without Russia’, – he said.
MEP believes that in the upcoming election forces, promoting normalisation of relations with Russia will be represented by ultra-right and ultra-left parties, as Matteo Salvini, and European Left with portrait of Che Guevara, but not the systemic political congregations unable to get out of the actual impasse.
VIDEO: in Russian language from the European Parliament, Strasbourg 12 March 2019.
MEP Andrejs MAMIKINS (43) “Saskaņa” (Harmony) party, Latvia.