A night view of Moscow’s financial district in 2012. Photo by Dmytro
Outgoing US President Obama made a big mistake calling Russia a “regional power,” the European Commission chief said in an interview. Europe, instead, should treat Russia as “one big entity and a proud nation,” and there is a lot to learn about it.
“The EU occupies 5.5 million square kilometers, Russia takes up 17.5 million. Russia must be treated as one big entity, as a proud nation,” Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, the EU executive body, told Euronews on Saturday.
He admitted that the EU is “very ignorant about Russia” at this point, and that “we have a lot to learn.”
Juncker, who has been leading the European Commission for the past two years, went on to criticize US President Barack Obama, who in 2014 branded Russia “a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength but out of weakness.”
“Russia is not, as President Obama said, ‘a regional power.’ This was a big error in assessment,” Juncker maintained.
Following his measured tone, he stressed that the EU is not dependent on US foreign policy. Washington “will do what it wants to do and Europeans will have their own interests within their own scope to manage,” he said, referring to the current state of bilateral dialogue between Brussels and Moscow.
Though insisting there is “no argument for the sanctions against Russia being immediately lifted,” Juncker said he would still like to come to terms with Moscow, “bearing in mind that without Russia, there is no security architecture in Europe.”
Juncker’s remarks follow recent conciliatory proposals by 15 European countries, led by Germany, which vowed to restart dialogue with Russia to prevent a possible arms race in Europe. On Friday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told Die Welt newspaper: “Europe’s security is in danger. As difficult as ties to Russia may currently be, we need more dialogue, not less.” […]
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Something happened to liberal/left opinon after the Iraq invasion. All those millions of people filling the streets of European cities protesting against war and for peace, sent a terrible shiver of fear down the spines of the ruling elite in Europe and Washington. This kind of thing could get seriously out of hand. Europe could become independent once more. Russia had retreated and now Europe seemed ready to cast off the dominance of the Untied States too, by refusing to take part in the attack on broken and defenceless Iraq. This danger, the danger of independence and democracy had to be crushed, and it was, for a time.
Contrast that to the extraordinary passivity when we lauched our attacks on Libya and Syria, or the incredible recklessness of organizing a bloody and violent coup in Kiev, right on Russia’s doorstep. Or the silence when Russians were slaughtered in Odessa and burnt alive for protesting against the coup. Or the thousands of civilians killed by bombardments in eastern Ukraine the only part of the country that successfully managed to resist the coup.
We destroyed Libya with barely a murmur of dissent from anyone in Europe. A vicious and bloody war to topple Gadaffi’s regime based on lies every bit as grotesque and false as Iraq’s WMDs. How did this happen? That so many people believed so many lies so unquestioningly? The answer seems to be that since the debate on whether to attack Iraq or not, the media has come under what looks like total state control in relation to foreign policy and our reasons for going to war. Today the oppostion has been totally excluded from the mainstream media and there really is no democratic debate anymore. Also, and I imagine this is incredibly important too, we haven’t sent our own armies to attack Libya and Syria, but have created a foreign, proxy army of Islamist fanatics to do the killing and dying for us, so that we can plausibly deny that we are directly involved in the slaughter and destruction.
The liberal left has an awful lot to answer for, by going along with these wars because we were attacking the right people and apparently supporting freedom, human rights and democracy… sure we were. What they genuinely don’t seem to understand is that by turning a blind eye to the bloody realities of neo-imperialism over seas, they are also empowering the same people domestically and make their neo-liberal economic policies easier to impose at home.
Reblogged this on Worldtruth.
So What was the past two years about?
What was sanctions about?
Juncker now says he doesn’t know much about Russia
Yet they have almost tipped the world into another war.
The ordinary people of the UK who voted brexit know instinctively the EU is a danger to us all
They (and the Deep State) got their BrExit and the Deep State got their permanent(*) recording of all their electonic communications. That law would have been challengeable under the ECHR, but good luck with that under the British legal system.
supposedly retained for some fixed term but do you trust them to erase anything? After all, the whole point of the data collection is for its retrospective use against ‘trouble makers’.
Obama’s one talent was his ability as a public speaker, as long as the tele-prompter was turned on, and as long as one didn’t actually pay too much attention to what he was actually saying. And that was it. That was Obama. Not really a lot, but enough to satisfy virtually the entire liberal left and traditional conservatives, who adored him for what his words made him seem. The reality, so different, the achievements, so paltry; well they didn’t really matter, not when the words were deliverd so well. That Obama’s ignorance and arrogance were interpreted as profundity by the the media and the political elite is grotesque. Interestingly Juncker’s assessment is about the most critical any mainstream European politician has dared to make during eight years of Obama’s rule, which I think shows how decadent European politics has become and what power really is. The power to control a narrative despite the almost total lack of understanding or substantive content. The power to make people believe, often in direct contradiction and opposition to their own obvious interests. That is real power. The power to make the ‘unreal’ real. It’s scary because it’s so close to magic.
Your post really sums up the past 8 years of obama
To my mind he was worse than bush in that he has taken us into a new Cold War
Troops on Russia’s borders, the surrounding of China in the South China sea
Yet no one criticises him because the neo liberal media are all on board with this.
They criticised bush got less
One “eye” (No. 2 – UK) is leaving EU – that is the best news for EU since it was established. Being free of any of the “five eyes” (Anglo-Saxon genocidal tribe trying to rule this planet) is the last chance for EU. Following America is simply self-destructive for EU. Only blind (and CORRUPT) cannot see that.
Obama,’ yesterdays man’, who promised “Change you can believe in” and failed totally to deliver, won’t be missed. It’s now up to Trump to stabilise the extremely dangerous situation with Russia, surrounded by American bases, NATO on Ukraine’s doorstep, and the American MSM mounting a propaganda war against Putin. It is in everyone’s interest, particularly the EU, to defuse the lies and the bullshit that have been piled on Putin and Russia,
And we (yes I am Aussie MATE) are going to close Pine Gap I suppose? Maybe once Australia stops being a colony somewhere down under. Our “regime change” happened loooong before Obama mate – overthrow of Gough Whitlam government. Now, we are an “eye” No. 4 (thanks God for Kiwies to take the last position) that supports “our boys” murdering somewhere on this planet as ordered by the masters who moved from London to Washington. Americans voted for change but Aussies have no idea what is that about.
Australia obediently does what ever the USA tells us what to do. It’s pathetic, but our leaders are completely under the spell of our Masters. Our Prime Ministers go to Washington and, on bended knees, give the President succour……And the President of the USA, whoever it is, gives succour to Beni Nutjobyahu…………