Home Insights Clash in the Sea of Azov  : What the GEAB stated five months ago (GEAB N°126 – June 2018)

Clash in the Sea of Azov  : What the GEAB stated five months ago (GEAB N°126 – June 2018)

Ukraine continues to create a significant barrier between Europe and Russia, forcing EU member states to abandon the dynamics of community to preserve interests intrinsically linked to the fluidity of their relations with Russia. Individually, these countries (Italy, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Germany, France, etc.), in a more or less ostentatious way, are ignoring the Ukrainian question, but as soon as they get together, the intangible rule of ‘the defence of the territorial integrity of Ukraine’ prevents any progress. The famous G7 Communique provides yet another example of this pathological lack of imagination: ‘We reiterate our condemnation of the illegal annexation of Crimea and reaffirm our enduring support for Ukrainian sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders.’[1]

Map of Crimea. Source: Geolinks

There are, however, other more consensual predicates that could lead to an agreement to unblock the situation rather than stay locked in this sterile trap. Russia will never agree to let go of Sevastopol, full stop![2] This new hypocrisy in international diplomacy could turn Europe and Russia into what the Middle East has become as a result of the similarly hypocritical so-called ‘unconditional support to the Palestinians’ with no means of enforcing the consequences of that support.

The Ukrainian problem does not seem any close to being resolved, even though ‘shameful’ relations are gradually being re-established between Europeans and Russians. And the last Normandy-style meeting has not contradicted us on this point.[3] It is good that they met, but the conclusions are inept. The Ukrainians remain the Palestinians of Europe, whilst Europeans assume the role of Arabs (supported by former world power) and the Russians (supported by the new world power, China), manages better to get by.

We had anticipated an easing of Euro-Russian relations in the last GEAB issue. Now it’s here. However, a real resolution of the problem remains illusory at this stage. We will review our expectations as we approach the Ukrainian presidential election on 31st March 2019…

We have all rights to anticipate scuffles in the Sea of Azov[4] or even in the Baltic Sea …

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[1]   Source: European Council, 09/06/2018
[2]   Source: Wikipedia
[3]   In fact, we found no trace on the Internet about those discussions. On the meeting itself, here: German Foreign Affairs Ministry statement, 12/06/2018
[4]   Source : RFERL, 06/06/2018


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