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The EU is built, in part, on the notion that the more you can integrate economies, the greater interdependencies you create, and hence war becomes steadily more unthinkable. I think the EU, and specifically Germany, also tried that approach with Russia, increasing business ties and interdependencies in the hope this would improve relations, reduce tensions,and keep everybody happy.

It may even have worked, to a degree, but in economic terms, Russia was always the poor relation and only the Oligarchs got rich. It didn't take much, in terms of internal tensions in Ukraine, for all those economic ties to come tumbling down.

Now Germany is being lambasted, particularly by Brexiteers for having had close economic ties with Russia in the first place. They appear not to have heard of Londongrad. It's a lot easier to embargo an Oligarch's assets than to switch off the heating and cooking systems for millions of pensioners in Germany and beyond.

But I don't buy the assertion that nothing changed in Russia/EU relations since 1954. The cold war gradually defrosted, and economic relations deepened. You can't blame Germany or the EU for the fact that the Oligarchs cleaned up and ordinary Russians got very little. That is down to the political system within Russia. Think of the opprobrium the EU would have gotten if it were to be seen to be interfering in that!

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 12th, 2022 at 08:51:40 PM EST
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