The cult of ‘Atlanticism’ has failed the European Union and dragged its members down a blind alley. That’s according to Dmitry Novikov, a senior member of Russia’s foreign policy establishment.
At a time when some of the states of Central and Western Europe are reassessing their place in the world – amid the rise of China, US political flux, Covid-19 and Brexit – Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken about the need for “constructive” dialogue with Russia.
Novikov was responding to comments Merkel made on Friday during an interview with selected liberal European newspapers such as the Guardian and Le Monde, indicating she would continue to “strive for cooperation” with Moscow.
“There are good reasons to continue a constructive dialogue with Russia. In countries such as Syria and Libya, which are in close proximity to Europe, Russia’s strategic influence is enormous,” Merkel told the reporters.
“Germany, like the other key states of the European Union, is now in a dual position: Angela Merkel has priorities in both the energy sector and in general security,” said Novikov, the first deputy chairman of the Russian parliament’s committee on foreign affairs.
“She is interested in developing normal relations with Russia, but because of Euro-Atlantic solidarity, they [that is, Germany and its EU partners] have reached a dead end, and, sooner or later, it will be necessary to get out of it.”
Germany and Russia are Europe’s two largest countries by population, and also have its two biggest economies, when measured by purchasing-power parity, according to current International Monetary Fund estimates.
Keeping the two from finding common ground and getting too close has long been an existential matter for so-called ‘Atlanticists.’ In 2015, George Friedman, founder of the geopolitical intelligence consultancy Stratfor – once dubbed “the shadow CIA” – admitted in an address to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs think tank that “the primordial interest of the United States, over which for a century we have fought wars… has been the relationship between Germany and Russia.”
He explained that this was because “united, they are the only force which could threaten us” and cautioned that the US needed “to make sure that that doesn’t happen.” And his reasoning? The combination of Russian resources and manpower with German capital and technology “scares the hell out of the United States,” he said.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!