Farther from the Ideal of the Great Europe

By Gabor Stier, observer Magyar Nemzat

Relations between Russia and the European Union can’t be characterized as unclouded. At the moment, as Moscow is turning to Asia at the background of deepening crisis in Europe, the European Union has more acute dilemma: to build relations with Russia on the ground of values and principles or in the spirit of real policy. The last meeting of V.V.Putin with A. Merkel has already demonstrated that one shouldn’t expect sooner warming of lately worsened relations between the two poles of Eurasian geopolitical macro-region. Although objectively energy dependence of the EU, interest of Russia towards exchange of the latest technologies, common challenges in the sphere of security, the need of mutual strengthening of competitive ability, as well as cultural closeness push these two parts of big Eurasian space to cooperate, but still there has been no progress on many practical issues, such as signing of a new partnership treaty, third energy bag and visa relaxation for a long time. 


The situation evidently doesn’t improve as disappointment by the both parties is revealing with greater evidence. West Europe has it hard subconsciously to cope with the idea that the hopes it had towards Russian liberal opposition and remaining Medvedev at the post of the President, turned out to be in vain. Now they are thinking of joining the adopted in the USA so-called “Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act”  which bans entry into the country of individual Russian officials. The situation aggravates also with cautious attitude of the EU towards reintegrational processes within post-Soviet space, although they only cover a part of it, as well as Syrian crisis. Meanwhile, with return of V.V.Putin to the post of the President, Russia, strengthening its identity, seeking for its own way and addressing its traditions more clear doubts the issue of European values, drowned in political correctness. It finds confederates also among Eastern states, which in terms of transfer to multi-polar world observes Moscow as its peculiar counterbalance for the influence of West. Another evident example of deepening cultural gap has become the “Pussy Riot” case, in course of which West, which is distancing from religious traditions, replied painfully on revelation of Slavonic identity.


In the given situation it is hard to count on approach of the two poles, however, we can hope for mutual apprehension by the parties of each other’s lines and the cores of disagreements. Already in a mid-term prospect the circumstances won’t leave Russia and the European Union any other alternative but approach. If Brussels in due time managed to ignore its prejudices towards Latin America, the same it has to do with Russia. Naturally Moscow will not be able always to play the role of the “third Rome”, not saying that it’s deeply wrong if considers that it shall be able to find the way out by turning to East. We have to find balance between these two directions. For Russia it’s like death to copy blindly and without critic Western liberal values. Europe should grasp it the same as Russia should recognize that moving to East it risks to be “eaten” by the Tianxia. Thus, logic dictates the need to develop cooperation, however, it’s still far from the accomplishment of the idea of the Great Europe from Atlantic till Pacific Ocean. Yet, unfortunately, we see that the powers that are not interested in approach of Russia and the European Union, can calmly observe the dispute between the two poles of Eurasian space.