The War and Peace in Europe

No formal policy statements, no resolutions or declarations were issued. However, what was achieved in one day, would have taken years to resolve.

2 mins read
A destroyed Russian vehicle in Bucha, Ukraine. Battlefield failures have exposed what some Russian bloggers are saying is incompetent leadership.Credit...Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

Russian troops foundering in Ukraine, a Russian TV Presenter, Vladimir Solovyou, on “Russia 1 Show” unlike President Putin described the conflict as a war as opposed to a “special operation”. He was speaking at a time when bit by bit Ukrainians are recapturing village by village. They have surrounded town after town, cut off Russian troops, running out of ammunition, abandoned Russian weaponry.

It looks as if the bid to force into combat the 300,000 reservists is falling flat, as we hear the Russian youth stream towards neighbouring Republics’ borders in desperation. The surrounding Republics like Kazakhstan do not know where to house all the Russian escapists.

At a time when Ukrainian forces are making significant gains in the east of their country, reaching a key town like Lyman at the weekend, President Putin is hardly unnerved. He has said that the West wants to destroy the very existence of his country. He said on Wednesday, 5 October 2022, “We always and even today despite the current tragedy, hold great respect for the Ukrainian people, Ukrainian culture, language and literature.” However, he has vowed to “stabilise” the situation in the four regions of Ukraine whose annexation he proclaimed on the same day as above, as they accordingly are citizens of Russia. We also know that the transition period will last until 2026.

French President Macron’s ambitious European Political Community

Not wanting to upstage the European solidarity with Ukraine, and to tie up the loose ends as it were in Europe, with the demands of a two stage development in European Union, with Hungary, Poland and Italy, all desiring greater freedom, and with Brexit Britain, outside, President Emmanuel Macron’s new “Political Club EPC” had its inaugural meeting in Prague on 6 October 2022.

Leaders of 44 European countries, including 27 EU members, plus 17 others, some seeking EU membership, like Turkey and others like Azerbaijan, in Eastern Europe, plus long-time foes like Serbia gathered in Prague. All they had in common was they wanted to ease tense relations amongst themselves, economic situation, climate, migration and mobility.

The other common factor was they were all against Russia and Belarus, both of whom were uninvited to the Political Club of Europe.

No formal policy statements, no resolutions or declarations were issued. However, what was achieved in one day, would have taken years to resolve.

Although it is too early to judge, the EPC, like most alliances of likeminded democracies now demanding to form a united front against Russia. At the same time, it is not a replacement for existing defence alliances, like the NATO. It gives credence to what President Putin has maintained all along, an expansion of European influence on the borders of Russia. Here, we note President Putin’s fears have been answered,

At the same time, it has united the leaders of all of Europe, including Brexit Britain and P.M. Liz Truss and President Macron who used the occasion to have a bilateral meeting at the side-lines to trash out their differences. After criticising President Macron as “friend or foe” during her election rallies to become Prime Minister, Liz Truss stated yesterday, “President Macron is a friend of Britain”. President Macron replied in kind, stating it would mark a new start for relations between Britain and the EU after Brexit. Did you know that all along they were playing politics, while there is much good will between each, with President Macron going the added mile by sending his border guards to “the beaches of

Normandy,” to stop illegal migration across the Channel.

All of Europe, or rather most of Europe is laughing at how President Putin has united once enemies, the countries of Two Speed Europe, Hungary and Poland, who threatened to veto the EU Multi-Year Budget in late 2020 over plans to create a “rule of law mechanism”. Besides, it has given much recognition to Turkey in its admission to EU Membership. More than anything, it has made Poland satisfied for the time being, in its demand for nuclear arsenals to be located to protect itself from Russian invasion.

Vive la France!

Victor Cherubim

Victor Cherubim is a London-based writer and a frequent columnist of the Sri Lanka Guardian

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