The German EU Commission chief was strictly against a financial participation of Europe in the Polish border wall to Belarus. Other Europeans have taken the decision out of her hands. That was the right answer to Lukashenko’s, Putin’s and Erdogan’s hybrid wars. A comment by Georg Anastasiadis
You don’t have to weigh every crazy tirade of the Belarusian dictator Lukashenko on the gold scales. His warning that Belarus could block the gas pipeline running through its territory to the EU still made people sit up and take notice. Because the gas pipeline belongs to the Russian state company Gazprom – and thus to Putin. Moscow took a full day to step on the burning fuse and defuse the explosive device.
With the threat from Minsk, Putin showed the Europeans, and especially the gullible Germans, his instruments of torture. Ultimately, the Kremlin boss can have no interest in a gas war against the EU, after all, this would be the end of the European-Russian energy partnership. But Russia is once again making it clear how much Germany should be interested in a quick operating license for the Baltic Sea pipeline. Blackmail often comes on quiet feet. Moscow fears that the Greens, once they rule, might torpedo the gas project after all.
Another mastermind behind the Belarus crisis suddenly acted tame yesterday: Turkish President Erdogan does not want any more planes crammed with migrants to take off for Minsk. One can assume that Erdogan is paying dearly for this concession from the EU. Both Putin and Erdogan have demonstrated their power to Europe. If the EU does not want to be permanently humiliated by the despots of this world, it will not be able to avoid effectively protecting its external borders from smugglers and state terrorists. Gestures of humanity look good on Europe. But if Europe wants to act independently, it needs walls and fences, whether Ursula von der Leyen likes it or not. The EU boss is one of the big losers in this crisis, along with the pitiable migrants: her veto against EU co-financing of the Polish wall was simply cashed in by the other Europeans. The “German” migration policy has thus received the next rebuff.
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