European crisis and “Eastern Partnership”

EP is still gaining momentum and its main task today is to reduce, to some extent, its dependence on Russian energy. This is why Azerbaijan is involved.

The other day Warsaw hosted the summit on “Eastern Partnership”. The EU initiative is quite exciting in itself and fits into the framework of increased EU participation in processes on the post-Soviet territory. Participation in the program of CIS states, which one way or another have had conflicts on areas out of metropolitan states’ control and dependent on external factors for 20 years now, leads to some similarities with the GUAM, which was initially conceived as a project aimed at resolution of conflicts.

PanARMENIAN.Net - However, GUAM soon proved to be just another stillborn organization, which holds on to only Azerbaijan and Georgia, and Moldova, to some extent. Ukraine looks more towards Europe, not forgetting at the same time to drop a curtsey for Russia for its gas. As for Uzbekistan, it participated in the project, then did not show up much, and, in the end, suspended its membership. In this, there is a close analogy between GUAM and EP. Of all the countries participating in the program only Belarus has no problems with former autonomies and that’s because of their absence. Ukraine has not yet got a handle on the Crimea, but at least it avoided casualties and bloodshed, which is not the case with Georgia, Moldova and Azerbaijan. The war of 1991-1994 became a turning point for these states: they lost control over the territories that had never belonged to them. And if Moldova carries on a sluggish struggle against Transnistria, this is not true about Georgia and Azerbaijan. Let us recall the August adventure of Mikhail Saakashvili, which put the region on the brink of disaster. As to Armenia, like Russia it also, “thanks to” Azeri efforts, appears in the eyes of the world community as “an aggressor and occupier”. It’s not even worth arguing against these absurd fabrications of Baku leadership. International community knows it perfectly well who is who in the South Caucasus. However, certain procedures force Europe and the U.S. to play by the rules, which on closer examination, turn out to be dictated by oil or geo-strategic position of this or that country.

Judging by recent developments in the world, the EU is trying to at least be on equal level with the U.S. on the whole post-Soviet territory. This is why European projects are drawn up, despite the challenging economic situation and threatening instability of the Euro. The crisis in Greece and Spain, and the states of France and Germany somehow coping with the crisis did not play a role in providing financial assistance to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus. The project of European Partnership envisages for the six neighbor countries a common budget of 785 million euros for the year of 2013. Within the project the EU is also to allocate additional 600 million euros for strengthening state institutions, controlling the borders and assisting small businesses. Beyond doubt, the lion’s share of the allocated funds will accumulate in the pockets of the Aliyev clan, will simply disappear in Belarus and Moldova, only a small portion will be used purposefully in Armenia. Things are a little more complicated in Georgia, where President Mikhail Saakashvili announces all over the world about eradicating corruption in his country, but, in fact, the reality is not so bright. No corruption is observed in Georgia among the police officers and petty officials, but the higher the officer’s position, the greater the motivation to take bribes. Eastern mentality also plays a role here. The difference lies between, say, poor and very poor countries. The poorer the country, the higher the level of corruption, unfortunately. And Europe is eager to fight the reality with the help of various programs. However, not always the results are pleasing for European officials, but the fact of an attempt is already praiseworthy.

With regard to EU’s participation in conflict resolution in the South Caucasus, it should be noted that recently Europe has been quite serious about the necessity of its involvement in the negotiation process. It’s natural that none of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs on Nagorno-Karabakh should agree this. The presence of Europeans will only shake the balance and provoke a new war in the region. The EU cannot manage to persuade Baku and Tbilisi to reconcile with the reality and recognize the breakaway states. Consequently, it’s no use speaking about replacement of European co-chair country, i.e. France, with the EU. Nicolas Sarkozy, while in power, will never agree to such a change, as it would mean a total fiasco of mediation. The EU is so extensive an organization that to speak on its behalf means to say nothing. Henry Kissinger when he was the U.S. Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon once said to the point: “Europe? And who do I call when I want to speak to Europe?”

But be that as it may, EP is still gaining momentum and its main task today is to reduce, to the maximum possible degree, its dependence on Russian energy. This is why Azerbaijan is involved. However, there are too many political and economic obstacles on the way of a pipeline from Azerbaijan to Europe: only the Nabucco story is enough…

At the end of the summit a final declaration shall be signed, which will become yet another non-binding document. These are just good intentions, with which, as you know, the road to hell is paved.

Karine Ter-Sahakyan
 Most popular in the section
How collection of horned creatures turned into museum
World’s largest boneyard
New York’s first female crime boss
Drone footage reveals deserted streets
 At focus
FT: Moderna aims to price Covid-19 vaccine at $50-$60 per course

FT: Moderna aims to price Covid-19 vaccine at $50-$60 per course Moderna’s proposed price would apply to the United States and other high-income countries.

 More articles in this section
Compassion is key, no matter what An Italian photojournalist’s journey through the pandemic
Town without newborns and dead Four months without sun
Nine months in the Pacific Supporting women to overcome life changing events