Europe began its “power talk” with Russia
Our country may have a $500 million USD annual loss as a result of Eastern European countries joining the European Union. Yesterday, Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chairman of the EC Romano Prodi attempted to resolve some issues. Political analyst Joseph Diskin provides the following commentaries:
-While discussing his meeting with the Chairman of the European Commission, the president stated that they’ve gone through “all issues of cooperation.” What did he mean by this?
-Certainly I agree, this is a rather amorphous definition indeed. In actuality, the recent meeting with members of the EC was just a preparatory step towards the upcoming summit “Russia-EU” which is scheduled to take place in May. Today, we have managed to achieve much better results than in the course of our talks with those bureaucrats from Brussels.
-What exactly did we manage to achieve?
-The key problem is such that EU has a certain economic agreement with the Eastern European countries. According to the agreement, EU provides the so-called transitional period for those countries in the process of joining the Union. However, their joining the European Union influences Russia as well. They say, “Deal with your economy as you wish.” This however amounts to $300-500 million USD of our annual losses.
-Does this mean that we are being directly pressured?
-Yes, and the European Union is doing its best for it. Take the situation with energy resources for instance. In case they make the world prices on energy resources go up, Russian economy will go down the drain. The European export on the contrary will increase and their economy will blossom like never before. In short, main goal of the European Commission is to grab Russia by the throat.
-So what were the two leaders discussing this time?
-This time, Romano Prodi's main goal was to show Russia that he isn’t that bad after all. True, many problems/issues have been discussed. We were even offered a rather cunning resolution of the visa problem. We were allowed to negotiate the issue directly with the countries.
-So what's the trick?
-The trick is such that Russian citizens can only travel to Turkey and Egypt without any problems. Neither one of these countries however belongs to the EU. Those who have long lasting contacts with Europe also have no problem crossing the border. There are only 10-20 000 people who really need such visa-free traveling. So, as you can see, this appears to be nothing more than a rather cynic game.
-How does Vladimir Putin allow for such games?
-Our president is also capable of leading such games. His main task was to acquire a protocol statement from the delegation of the European Commission assuring that it is ready to consider those issues. The documents will be used in the upcoming summit to attack the EU.
-What sorts of issues will be discussed during the summit?
-Those will be mainly issues concerning energy resources, communications and agriculture.
-Is it possible to claim with an absolute degree of certainty that we will manage to reach equal cooperation?
-No. Mainly because we do not have enough means to pressure the Union.