Would the EU be better off with Russia, or should they stay close to the USA?
Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016–present)
The question implies that the EU must either accept Russia or the US. But that is not the issue. It’s like saying: Should the US choose Canada or Mexico. Well, both of course.
Some Westerners think Russia is of no use to Europe. Some even claim that Russia has a non-European language and culture and its history had nothing in common with Europe.
All of these are fallacies of people with a limited outlook and knowledge of history and culture and suffering from the dread psychological disorder of hyperpatriotism. And these fallacies are nurtured by the US propaganda factory that is based on the NATO raison d’etre, namely that Russia is — supposedly — the enemy of the West. This in turn is nurtured by the myth of “Russian aggression,” which I debunked here:
Want to talk language and culture? As a Slavic language, Russian is part of the same Indo-European family as English. As for culture and history, ever hear of Swan Lake? The composer was Russian. Chekhov? Dostoyevsky? They were Russian. The inventor of television at RCA was also Russian. Lev Tolstoy? His novel War and Peace is about what the Russians call the Great Patriotic War of 1812. The allies of Russia included Prussia and Austria. France lost ignominiously. Later Napoleon would be defeated again, this time at Waterloo in Belgium by a coalition consisting of Britain, Netherlands, some German states and Prussia. Later, the US would ally itself with a group of nations including Russia to fight WW II. Russia killed 3 out of every 4 of the Nazi troops killed in that war and it also liberated Auschwitz, although the West refuses to give it its due credit. Mike Pence, in his speech in Europe commemorating the end of WWII, could not bring himself to say that it was the Red Army that liberated Auschwitz. He only managed to mutter that it was freed by “soldiers.”
Let’s look at Russia’s usefulness. At this moment, Russia and Germany have a signed contract for the laying of a pipeline called Nord Stream 2 from Russia to Germany and for the supply of natural gas at a rate sufficient to supply all or most of Germany’s gas needs. Now Germany is the world’s second biggest exporter after China and it needs affordable gas to run its economy. NOTE: Russian gas delivered by pipeline is 40% cheaper than US LNG.
So let’s see how useful the US is to Germany and the EU, or in other words, how much better off Europe is with the US.
For several years, Richard Gernell, Trump’s ambassador to Germany, has been haranguing that country to desist from buying Russian gas and buy the 40% MORE EXPENSIVE US LNG. The reason? According to Grenell and the Trump administration, buying Russian gas is a threat to European “energy security.” What Grenell won’t admit is that buying overpriced energy is the biggest threat of all the German industry because it would ruin the export business that fuels the German economic locomotive that in turn powers the EU. Without this economic powerhouse, the EU would be in even more trouble than it is already (it is deeply indebted and running a huge budget deficit). Now THAT is REAL energy insecurity. The phony US claims that by relying on Russian gas, the EU would be susceptible to pressure from Russia. But Russia has never tried to use its energy exports to pressure Europe. Yet the US uses the extravagant privilege of its dollar to pressure Europe in ways that threaten its economic competitiveness. This nonsense about Russia threatening its “energy security” is therefore rank hypocrisy! Yet based on this nonsense, the US Congress and Senate have approved sanctions that killed this pipeline project with only 6% of the pipe left to be laid. This US pettiness and mean-spiritedness cost Europe billions.
Worse, Trump has been pressuring Germany for years to pay extravagant amounts of its GDP to NATO. And yet, if we examine this situation closely, we see that NATO is nothing but a protection racket, claiming that Russia is a threat so as to extort money from Europe and force the continent to buy overpriced underperforming US-made arms (a good case in point is the F-35 “stealth” fighter-bomber, which flies slower and has a shorter range than its counterpart, the Russian made Su-35, of which Russia has already sold 20 to US ally Egypt).
Added to this list of economic threats is the absurd US-imposed sanctions on Iran, with which Europe has always enjoyed healthy and profitable relations, and the sanctions on Russia which Europe imposed under pressure and threats to Europe. These sanctions have led to multi-billion euro losses to the European economy. We might also mention the absurd US protection of its wayward ally Turkey, which has sent Syrian terrorists to Europe and is now sending ISIS militants to Libya, which is causing more immigration there that threatens Europe. Of course, let’s not forget the US invasions of Iraq and Libya that opened the floodgates of immigration to Europe in the first place, causing billions of euros worth of damage to various European economies.
The US has also pressured Europe to refrain from using Russia’s arctic shipping route between Asia and Europe, which saves considerable shipping distances and costs over the lengthy and time-consuming route via the Suez Canal. And let’s remember how the US pressures Europe to refrain from its once-lucrative cooperation with Chinese tech companies on the absurd fabricated excuse that the Chinese could somehow use its components to spy on Europe. What hypocrisy, when it was the US, not China, that spied on Angela Merkel’s cell phone a few years ago!
Here again, the US is undermining Europe’s economy by foisting NATO membership on it. Not only that, NATO, which slaughtered, 4,000 EUROPEANS in the 1998–89 Kosovo war, is a very grave exisential security threat to Europe. So how does Russia compare to this? Unlike US-led NATO, the Russian Federation has never once launched an attack or invasion in Western Europe. I have posted a response on Quora outlining NATO’s grave existential threat to Europe: https://www.quora.com/Why-hasn-t-NATO-evaluated-its-peacekeeping-experience-to-identify-and-implement-best-practices-for-transitioning-failed-states-into-functional-democracy/answer/Vince-Dhimos
Thus we see that the US threatens Europe’s economic security and its physical security, while Russia does not threaten either one!
Objectively speaking, there is absolutely no reason that Europe should continue its relationship with the US and refrain from entering into security agreements and economic agreements with Russia. In fact it would save billions if it stopped buying the overpriced US-made weapons and bought all of its arms from Russia instead. This would in turn stimulate the exportation of autos and other European products popular in Russia.
Finally, there is the issue of the US dollar, which, according to renowned economists such as ex Morgan Stanley top economist Stephen Roach and Deutsche Bank top economist Sameer Geol, is likely to be dethroned as the primary reserve currency after the second wave of the COVID pandemic. All of the above makes any alliance with the US economically toxic.