Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Europea, Russia, Unione Europea

Conflitto russo-ukraino L’Europa si sta spaccando in due.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-06-05.

Lavron e Putin che ridono 001

Il blocco europeo è attraversato da profonde discrepanze che oppongono in modo inconciliabile le proprie visioni politiche, economiche ed ideologiche.

A ciò si aggiunga come alcune ideologie professino la totale incompatibilità con tutte le altre.

Infine, per buon peso, ogni stato membro ha le sue proprie visioni ed esigenze economiche e politiche, le une in contrasto con le altre.

Ursula von der Leyen ha fallito nell’opera di mutuare politicamente una posizione unitaria.

Ma come se questo non fosse ancora sufficiente, si deve tenere presente la quasi impossibilità burocratica di pervenire ad una qualche decisione, più o meno unitaria.

I meccanismi decisionali europei sembrerebbero essere stati fatti per garantire lo stallo.

Tutti questi aspetti si cumulano e diventano un orribile macigno in tempi nei quali la rapidità decisionale sarebbe della massima importanza, come durante un conflitto militare in atto.

Si faccia grande attenzione.

Tutti codesti sintomi di rotture potrebbero portare anche al disfacimento della Unione Europea.

* * * * * * *

«Ukraine war: How long can the Western consensus hold?»

«With Russian forces making slow, grinding progress in the eastern Donbas region and military experts speaking of a long war of attrition»

«In one corner, he sees governments in Britain, Poland and the Baltics calling for his unambiguous defeat»

«But in the other corner, Mr Putin sees leaders in France, Germany and Italy calling for a different approach»

«[Macron] urged the West not to “give in to the temptation of humiliation, nor the spirit of revenge»

«After Mr Macron and the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held an 80-minute phone call with Mr Putin on Saturday»

«It seems that there are a number of so-called Western leaders who possess the explicit need for self-humiliation, in combination with a total detachment from political reality»

«Of course, it’s the US president who really matters to the Kremlin»

«But the US decision announced on Wednesday to send a more advanced rocket system to Ukraine was described by the Kremlin as “adding fuel to the fire»

«With the US president prone to speak off the cuff, it generally falls to his Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, to deliver the administration’s considered position»

«So are cracks beginning to break up the veneer of Western consensus on Ukraine?»

«The West has promised much, Kyiv argues, but delivered less»

«As though we’re saying ‘we want the Ukrainians to win but not to win too much»

«The Kremlin may have taken heart from this week’s British government warning that as many as six million British households could face power cuts if Russia shuts off gas supplies this winter»

«Could public anger in the West undermine support for Ukraine?»

«He [Putin] is probably counting on US and EU resolve to weaken …. as food shortages inflation and energy prices get worse»

«If either side begins to make decisive gains, then they become more of a problem»

«If the Russians completely break through Ukrainian lines in the east and start heading for the Dnieper River, the question of how much territory Ukraine should be willing to sacrifice to achieve a ceasefire is going to move up the agenda»

«when the veteran US diplomat Henry Kissinger suggested at Davos that Ukraine should consider ceding territory in order to make peace with Russia, he met with a furious response in Ukraine and beyond»

* * * * * * *


Ukraine war: How long can the Western consensus hold?

With Russian forces making slow, grinding progress in the eastern Donbas region and military experts speaking of a long war of attrition, have cracks started to appear in the West’s support for Ukraine?

As he directs the fighting from the gleaming white halls of the Kremlin, what does Vladimir Putin make of the swirling Western debates over how best to support Ukraine, and the extent to which Russia should be punished?

In one corner, he sees governments in Britain, Poland and the Baltics calling for his unambiguous defeat.

“We need to make sure that Russia is driven out of Ukraine by the Ukrainians,” the Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said last week.

“There can’t be any compromising over Ukrainian territory.”

But in the other corner, Mr Putin sees leaders in France, Germany and Italy calling for a different approach

Speaking in early May, France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, called for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine and urged the West not to “give in to the temptation of humiliation, nor the spirit of revenge”.

The following day, Italy’s Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, speaking at the White House, said people in Europe wanted “to think about the possibility of bringing a ceasefire and starting again some credible negotiations”.

After Mr Macron and the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held an 80-minute phone call with Mr Putin on Saturday, aimed at exploring ways to enable Ukraine to export grain through the Black Sea, Latvia’s deputy prime minister lashed out on social media.

“It seems that there are a number of so-called Western leaders who possess the explicit need for self-humiliation, in combination with a total detachment from political reality,” Artis Pabriks tweeted.

                         Mixed signals

Of course, it’s the US president who really matters to the Kremlin.

But Joe Biden has given different signals at different times. Calling Putin a “war criminal” back in March and seeming to hint at the need for regime change in Moscow, but also reluctant this week to send Ukraine rocket systems “that can strike into Russia”.

The former Prime Minister and President Dmitry Medvedev called that statement “rational.” But the US decision announced on Wednesday to send a more advanced rocket system to Ukraine was described by the Kremlin as “adding fuel to the fire”.

With the US president prone to speak off the cuff, it generally falls to his Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, to deliver the administration’s considered position.

At a recent Nato foreign ministers’ meeting in Berlin, Mr Blinken said the US and its partners were “focussed on giving Ukraine as strong a hand as possible on the battlefield, and at any negotiating table, so that it can repel Russian aggression and fully defend its independence and sovereignty”.

Strong words, but how exactly do you define “as strong a hand as possible”? And what does “fully” defending Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty actually mean?

So are cracks beginning to break up the veneer of Western consensus on Ukraine?

“You only have to look at the struggle to get the oil embargo,” says Ian Bond, director of foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform, referring to the tortured weeks of negotiation that resulted in this week’s partial EU embargo on Russian oil.

Any notion that the EU will move swiftly on to Russian gas has already been dispelled. The Baltic states and Poland would like this to happen quickly, but Estonia’s prime minister, Kaja Kallas, admitted this week that “all the next sanctions will be more difficult”.

Austria’s chancellor, Karl Nehammer, said a gas embargo “will not be an issue in the next sanctions package”.

                         More weapons needed

The West has promised much, Kyiv argues, but delivered less.

This week’s American and German promises to supply advanced multiple rocket artillery and air defence and radar systems will certainly have gone some way towards meeting the urgent demands of hard-pressed Ukrainian commanders.

But allegations of German foot-dragging over previous commitments and Joe Biden’s insistence that US weapons only be used to hit Russian targets inside Ukraine cause some to wonder why the West seeks to place limits on Ukraine’s war effort while Russia observes no limits at all.

“There’s a kind of calibration going on,” says Ian Bond. “As though we’re saying ‘we want the Ukrainians to win but not to win too much'”.

It’s widely believed that Mr Putin launched this war confident that the West would lack the stomach for a fight. That Nato members, fresh from their humiliating exit from Afghanistan, would shy away from a new international imbroglio.

Some recent reports from Moscow suggest a creeping confidence, engendered by gradual battlefield success and the belief, in the words of one source quoted by the Meduza website, that “sooner or later, Europe will tire of helping.”

The Kremlin may have taken heart from this week’s British government warning that as many as six million British households could face power cuts if Russia shuts off gas supplies this winter.

Could public anger in the West undermine support for Ukraine?

It’s a danger the US Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, spelled out to members of Congress last month.

“He [Putin] is probably counting on US and EU resolve to weaken,” she told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, “as food shortages, inflation and energy prices get worse.”

For all the anxieties about self-inflicted wounds and the hesitation surrounding the supply of weapons, the Western consensus over Ukraine remains remarkably intact.

But the cracks that exist could still widen.

“If either side begins to make decisive gains, then they become more of a problem,” says Ian Bond.

“If the Russians completely break through Ukrainian lines in the east and start heading for the Dnieper River, the question of how much territory Ukraine should be willing to sacrifice to achieve a ceasefire is going to move up the agenda.”

By the same token, if Ukrainian forces start driving the Russians back, Ian Bond says, “there will be voices in the West saying ‘don’t try and recapture parts of the Donbas that the Russians have controlled since 2014’.”

It’s not a debate that seems terribly relevant just yet, but when the veteran US diplomat Henry Kissinger suggested at Davos that Ukraine should consider ceding territory in order to make peace with Russia, he met with a furious response in Ukraine and beyond.

A sign of anguished debates that still lie ahead.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Geopolitica Europea, Russia

Ukraina. Sacca di Severodonetsk. I russi schierano anche i cacciacarri BMP T-15.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-05-25.

2022-05-24__ Severodonetsk 001

La carta geografica indica chiaramente la importanza militare di Sievierodonetsk, nonché di Izyum, Slovyansk e Kramatorsk.

Si sta formando una sacca profonda quasi 250 kilometri che attira le residue forze militari ukraine, lasciandole esposte dal fuoco sia dal nord, sia dall’est, sia dal sud. E con vie di rifornimento lunghe e facilmente vulnerabili.

È il classico tritacarne così caro ai militari russi.

La finalità prossima non è la occupazione del territorio bensì la distruzione delle forze avverse.

Alla luce di queste considerazioni ben si comprende perché i russi schierino solo ora anche i Bmp T-15 Terminator, e perché solo ora abbiano distrutto il ponte che collega Severodonetsk e Lysychansk

2022-05-24__ Severodonetsk e Lysycans Ponte-001

* * * * * * *


«The BMPT “Terminator” is an armored fighting vehicle (AFV), designed and manufactured by the Russian company Uralvagonzavod. This vehicle was designed for supporting tanks and other AFVs in urban areas. The BMPT is unofficially named the “Terminator” by the manufacturers. It is heavily armed and armored to survive in urban combat. The AFV is armed with four 9M120 Ataka missile launchers, two 30 mm 2A42 autocannons, two AG-17D grenade launchers, and one coaxial 7.62 mm PKTM machine gun. ….

On December 1, 2021, the first in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation BMPT company of nine combat vehicles was introduced into one of the tank regiments of the tank division of the Central Military District. The version, unofficially dubbed the “Terminator-3,” incorporates the chassis, hulls, and components of the T-14 Armata tank.

Examples of an “upgraded” version of the BMPT-72 were reported on 18 May 2022 to be in use by the Russian military in the Battle of Sievierodonetsk ….

BMP T-15 (“Terminator 3”)  is a new design model of Tank Support Fighting Vehicle based on the Armata Universal Combat Platform. It will have an automatic gun turret RCWS and in the future may have integrated air defense systems and be fully unmanned.

The T-15 is powered by a new generation 1,500 hp multifuel diesel engine coupled with a hydro-mechanical automatic transmission (unlike the two predecessors), with a maximum road speed of 65–70 km/h (40–43 mph), an operational range of 550 km (340 mi), and a power-to-weight ratio of over 30 hp/tonne.

The T-15 has a new level of armor protection, including improved passive steel, ceramic composite plate armor and a slat armor cage at the rear. It uses Malakhit (Malachite) ERA, claimed to protect against ATGMs like the FGM-148 Javelin, Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP), 120 mm tank rounds like the German DM53/DM63 and American M829A3 APFSDS sabots.» [Fonte]

* * * * * * *


«La Russia ha probabilmente schierato sull’asse di Severodonetsk dell’offensiva in Donbass la sua unica unità operativa controcarro di mezzi Bmp-T Terminator. Lo riferisce l’ultimo bollettino dell’intelligence militare britannica.
“La loro presenza suggerisce che il Gruppo di Forze del Centro, l’unica formazione che mette in campo questo veicolo, sia coinvolto nell’attacco”, prosegue il bollettino, “il Gruppo di Forze del Centro in precedenza aveva sofferto pesanti perdite nel tentativo di fallito di sfondare nella parte orientale di Kiev nella prima fase dell’invasione”. “La Russia ha sviluppato il Terminator dopo aver osservato la necessità di fornire protezione specifica ai principali carri armati da battaglia utilizzati durante le guerre afghane e cecene”, spiegano gli 007 di Londra.» [Fonte]

* * * * * * *


«L’esercito russo ha distrutto il ponte tra Severodonetsk e Lysychansk nella regione orientale ucraina di Lugansk, «questo complicherà notevolmente l’evacuazione dei civili e la consegna degli aiuti umanitari», ha scritto su Telegram il capo dell’amministrazione militare regionale Sergiy Gaidai, citato dalla Cnn. Gaidai ha spiegato che è la seconda volta che il ponte viene distrutto, tuttavia per il momento c’è ancora «un collegamento tra le città». L’esercito russo – ha ricordato – aveva fatto esplodere il ponte mentre si ritirava durante la liberazione di Lysychansk nel luglio 2014. Da allora, le comunicazioni tra le città di Severodonetsk e Lysychansk – entrambe con una popolazione di circa centomila persone – sono state difficili. Il ponte è stato ricostruito nel 2016» [Fonte]

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Geopolitica Europea

Dardanelli e Bosforo. La Turkia chiude al passaggio delle navi da guerra, con qualche eccezione.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-03-06.

Turkia. Ponte sul Bosforo. 001

«Ankara non ha sanzionato Mosca per l’invasione»

«Situato nella Turchia nordoccidentale, il Bosforo, lungo 31 km e di larghezza compresa tra i 740 e 3.300 metri e incorniciato dalla metropoli di Istanbul, unisce Mar Nero e Mar di Marmara»

«Entrambi gli stretti sono in territorio turco e il passaggio attraverso questi è regolato dalla Convenzione di Montreux del 1936»

«Ankara ha la facoltà di negare il permesso a navi militari di Paesi in guerra, a meno che queste non appartengano a uno stato rivierasco del Mar Nero e non siano registrate presso le basi militari dell’area»

«il traffico nel Bosforo è aumentato vertiginosamente, passando dalle 4.500 navi del 1936 alle 48 mila attuali; un via vai costituito essenzialmente da navi cargo, petroliere, navi militari, da crociera e pescherecci, che lo rendono quattro volte più trafficato sia del canale di Suez che di Panama»

«il Bosforo costituisca una delle principali rotte per il trasporto di petrolio al mondo che può così viaggiare dal Caspio e dalla Russia fino a Paesi non solo dell’Europa sudoccidentale, ma anche verso l’Asia»

«Per quanto riguarda la Russia, il gigante tra i Paesi affacciati sul Mar Nero, si calcola che il 65% dell’export verso l’estero e il 38% del petrolio esportato da Mosca passino attraverso il Bosforo»

«→→ Ankara ha al momento vietato il passaggio alle navi da guerra, lasciando il Bosforo aperto alle navi russe registrate presso le basi militari del Mar Nero ←←»

«Se la Nato entra in guerra infatti Ankara sarà costretta a chiudere il Bosforo alle navi russe, con conseguenze che Erdogan non vuole neanche provare a immaginare»

* * * * * * *

Tutti i problemi sono complicati e complessi.

Quello degli stretti del Bosforo e dei Dardanelli lo è in modo particolare.

Pur essendo nella Nato, la Turkia si è dotata di sofisticati armamenti russi.

Bruciata di non essere stata accolta nella Unione Europea, la Turkia in altri tempi la aveva inondata di frotte di migranti.

Ma anche con Joe Biden i rapporti sono molto tesi.

Infine, Mr Erdogan ha notevoli problemi interni e di confine con la Siria.

Ma una guerra sarebbe l’ultima cosa desiderabile.

* * * * * * *


Canale del Bosforo, un campo non secondario della guerra tra Putin e Occidente

Ankara non ha sanzionato Mosca per l’invasione, ma con la chiusura del Bosforo alle navi da guerra ha sferrato un colpo molto più duro, non solo simbolicamente, al leader del Cremlino.

Si dice che la vera causa della guerra di Troia non fu Elena, ma la necessità di controllare lo stretto dei Dardanelli che consente l’accesso al canale del Bosforo e infine al Mar Nero. Una teoria più solida di quella dell’Iliade per spiegare l’importanza che da sempre contraddistingue questo stretto, sia a livello commerciale sia militare e geopolitico.

Situato nella Turchia nordoccidentale, il Bosforo, lungo 31 km e di larghezza compresa tra i 740 e 3.300 metri e incorniciato dalla metropoli di Istanbul, unisce Mar Nero e Mar di Marmara, collegato a sua volta al Mediterraneo attraverso lo stretto dei Dardanelli, da secoli un passaggio strategico per l’intera regione.

Proprio nel punto più stretto i sultani ottomani che assediarono Costantinopoli ebbero il tempo di costruire due fortezze, una per sponda, imponendo dazi e tasse di passaggio alle navi bizantine, infliggendo un duro colpo all’impero romano d’Oriente che spianò la strada alla presa di Costantinopoli nel 1453, quando divenne Istanbul.

Entrambi gli stretti sono in territorio turco e il passaggio attraverso questi è regolato dalla Convenzione di Montreux del 1936, che ha fornito le condizioni ideali per incrementare l’importanza di questo snodo garantendo il diritto di passaggio alle navi mercantili. Allo stesso modo, tema caldo di questi giorni, il diritto di passaggio della navi da guerra può essere ristretto.

Ankara ha la facoltà di negare il permesso a navi militari di Paesi in guerra, a meno che queste non appartengano a uno stato rivierasco del Mar Nero e non siano registrate presso le basi militari dell’area. In caso sia la Turchia stessa coinvolta in un conflitto il passaggio potrà essere vietato a tutte le navi da guerra di Paesi che potrebbero costituire una minaccia per i turchi. 

                         Aumento del traffico merci

Nonostante le previsioni relative ai tempi di guerra il traffico nel Bosforo è aumentato vertiginosamente, passando dalle 4.500 navi del 1936 alle 48 mila attuali; un via vai costituito essenzialmente da navi cargo, petroliere, navi militari, da crociera e pescherecci, che lo rendono quattro volte più trafficato sia del canale di Suez che di Panama.

Se è stimato nell’ordine delle 48 mila il numero totale di navi che attraversano il Bosforo annualmente, anche se non sono mancati anni in cui si sono superate le 55 mila imbarcazioni. Nonostante le restrizioni relative al passaggio di petroliere entrate in vigore nel 2002, il traffico si è attestato appena al di sotto delle 50 mila navi l’anno, la maggioranza delle quali, in media circa 35 mila, sono cargo commerciali, mentre le petroliere sono circa 10 mila l’anno.

Un dato quest’ultimo che aiuta a comprendere come il Bosforo costituisca una delle principali rotte per il trasporto di petrolio al mondo che può così viaggiare dal Caspio e dalla Russia fino a Paesi non solo dell’Europa sudoccidentale, ma anche verso l’Asia.

                         Petrolio e grano

Per quanto riguarda la Russia, il gigante tra i Paesi affacciati sul Mar Nero, si calcola che il 65% dell’export verso l’estero e il 38% del petrolio esportato da Mosca passino attraverso il Bosforo. Se al petrolio russo si sommano quello estratto in Kazakistan e in Azerbaigian, tutto convogliato attraverso il canale che attraversa Istanbul, si stima che 3 milioni di barili al giorno, 20 milioni di tonnellate l’anno, equivalenti al 3% del fabbisogno annuo mondiale, attraversino le acque del Bosforo.

Oltre al petrolio è importante il passaggio di grano, che dai mercati di Russia, Ucraina e Kazakistan arriva poi in tutto il mondo coprendone più del 25% del fabbisogno complessivo, oltre al passaggio di un quinto della richiesta mondiale di granoturco e olio di girasole. Si calcola che più del 60% del grano ucraino esca attraverso il Mar Nero. Altri materiali che attraversano il Bosforo e rappresentano una importante voce dell’export dei Paesi dell’area sono ferro e acciaio.

L’acciaio ucraino, in particolare, copre il 10% del fabbisogno europeo e le conseguenze del conflitto non tarderanno ad abbattersi sui mercati dell’Ue, dopo i prezzi record toccati lo scorso anno. A livello geopolitico e strategico l’importanza del Bosforo è tornata recentemente alla ribalta, anche perché 3 dei 6 Paesi rivieraschi, Turchia, Bulgaria e Romania, appartengono alla Nato. Considerato che oltre alla Russia gli altri due Paesi sono Georgia e Ucraina, è facile capire come il Mar Nero sia una delle regioni in cui l’espansione Nato verso est, che il presidente russo Putin indica come una delle cause principali del conflitto in corso, abbia messo in apprensione il Cremlino.

Proprio Ucraina e Georgia sono state nel recente passato teatro di scontri e tensioni che, prima del conflitto in corso, avevano messo in chiaro la posizione della Russia sull’espansionismo Nato verso Est, ma anche ribadito il concetto che per la Russia il Mar Nero è la porta d’ingresso verso il mondo, non solo verso il Mediterraneo, ma anche verso l’Atlantico.

È attraverso il Mar Nero che Mosca può raggiungere linee di comunicazione marittime e regioni strategiche che altrimenti le sarebbero di fatto precluse. Ankara ha al momento vietato il passaggio alle navi da guerra, lasciando il Bosforo aperto alle navi russe registrate presso le basi militari del Mar Nero.

Al momento risulta negato il permesso al passaggio a tre diverse navi, mentre una è stata autorizzata. Tuttavia è nelle settimane precedenti il conflitto che la Russia ha convogliato una intera flotta, richiamando navi ormeggiate a Murmansk, Severamorsk e nel Baltico, oltre a un sottomarino con testate capaci di colpire a 2.400 km di distanza.

Certo è che il Mar Nero è uno dei campi in cui si sta giocando la guerra in corso. Ankara non ha sanzionato Mosca, ma con la chiusura del Bosforo alle navi da guerra ha sferrato un colpo molto più duro, non solo simbolicamente, a Putin. Un colpo che rompe quell’equilibrio precario che la Turchia, ed Erdogan in particolare, hanno mantenuto nel Mar Nero, tra appartenenza alla Nato e l’ingombrante vicino russo, con cui le relazioni sono state eccellenti negli ultimi anni.

I ripetuti tentativi di Erdogan, rilanciati di recente, ad assumere il ruolo di mediatore nella crisi vanno letti in quest’ottica, perché se le posizioni Nato dovessero inasprirsi e il conflitto prendere la via dell’escalation, allora la Turchia si troverebbe in una posizione critica, che potrebbe divenire impossibile da gestire. Se la Nato entra in guerra infatti Ankara sarà costretta a chiudere il Bosforo alle navi russe, con conseguenze che Erdogan non vuole neanche provare a immaginare.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Europea, Russia, Unione Europea

Unione Europea. Ecco il resoconto del summit tenuto a porte chiuse.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-02-28.

2022-02-26__ Rubinetto del gas 001

I leader della Unione Europea hanno tenuto un summit a porte chiuse, attorno al quale sono subito fioriti numerosi pettegolezzi, spesso contrastanti. Tenere un segreto non è il lato forte della Unione.

Adesso la Bbc ha pubblicato un dignitoso resoconto, credibile, espresso con termini cauti.

Da quando gli stanno cascando i missili russi sulla testa Zelensky ha cambiato immediatamente registro.

«”Chi è pronto a combattere con noi? Io non vedo nessuno”, ha detto il presidente ucraino in un video diffuso questa notte. “Chi è pronto a dare all’Ucraina la garanzia di un’adesione alla Nato? Tutti hanno paura”»

Nei fatti, leggendo tra le righe scritte in modo diplomatico, i leader della Unione Europea si sono litigati e sono quindi usciti divisi tra di loro. Le emozioni hanno sopraffatto il raziocinio.

Ma tutti hanno sviluppato un sano terrore di Mr Putin, che può fare politica estera perché ha delle forze armate allo stato dell’arte. Temono, a ragione, che Mr Putin abbia ben  più ampie ambizioni per rendere sicura la propria patria.

* * * * * * *


«Ukraine crisis: Tough and emotional summit as EU leaders seek unity»

«Just before the emergency EU leaders’ meeting on Ukraine started, a Brussels official told us he thought this would be one of the toughest and most emotional EU summits ever. From what I heard went on behind closed doors, he wasn’t wrong»

«Russia’s actions in Ukraine impact many EU members directly. It feels personal to them»

«Their belief: that Vladimir Putin has his eye on much more than Ukraine – that he wants to redesign the security architecture of Europe in his favour»

«Countries in central and eastern Europe which used to be behind the Iron Curtain – now EU and Nato members – feel very exposed»

«Particularly the Baltic States, which border Russia. They fear the Kremlin intends to destabilise them with cyber attacks and more disinformation campaigns, aimed at their ethnic Russian communities»

«On his way into Thursday night’s summit, the Polish prime minister voiced deep frustration that tougher sanctions hadn’t been imposed earlier on Moscow»

«Enough of this cheap talking …. Europe continues buying so much Russian oil and gas, he said. And he [Vladimir Putin] is turning it into aggression, invasion. He’s destabilising all of Europe»

«But other EU leaders pulled in a different direction. True, all 27 of them unanimously agreed to an unprecedented sanctions package, described by the European Council president as “massive and painful” against Russia»

«But the sanctions, and counter-sanctions threatened by Russia, will hit European economies too»

«Germany and Italy – so reliant on Russian gas supplies and business ties – urged the EU to hold back on the toughest sanctions of all for now, like limiting oil and gas imports and ejecting Russia from the Swift international payment system»

«Hungary, Romania and Poland, meanwhile, voiced other concerns at the summit. Direct neighbours of Ukraine, they worry they’ll find themselves on the front line of a new migration crisis»

* * * * * * *


Ukraine crisis: Tough and emotional summit as EU leaders seek unity

Just before the emergency EU leaders’ meeting on Ukraine started, a Brussels official told us he thought this would be one of the toughest and most emotional EU summits ever.

From what I heard went on behind closed doors, he wasn’t wrong.

Russia’s actions in Ukraine impact many EU members directly. It feels personal to them.

Their belief: that Vladimir Putin has his eye on much more than Ukraine – that he wants to redesign the security architecture of Europe in his favour.

Countries in central and eastern Europe which used to be behind the Iron Curtain – now EU and Nato members – feel very exposed.

Particularly the Baltic States, which border Russia. They fear the Kremlin intends to destabilise them with cyber attacks and more disinformation campaigns, aimed at their ethnic Russian communities.

On his way into Thursday night’s summit, the Polish prime minister voiced deep frustration that tougher sanctions hadn’t been imposed earlier on Moscow.

“Enough of this cheap talking,” snapped Mateusz Morawiecki. Europe continues buying so much Russian oil and gas, he said. “And he [Vladimir Putin] is turning it into aggression, invasion. He’s destabilising all of Europe.”

But other EU leaders pulled in a different direction.

True, all 27 of them unanimously agreed to an unprecedented sanctions package, described by the European Council president as “massive and painful” against Russia.

The package targets more sectors of the Russian economy, including the transport and energy sectors (with a ban on exports from Europe that Russia depends on to refine its oil for sale), as well as the financial sector, and more individuals close to the Kremlin.

EU leaders also agreed to slap sanctions on Belarus, a key Putin ally.

But the sanctions, and counter-sanctions threatened by Russia, will hit European economies too.

Some more than others, making them wary.

Germany and Italy – so reliant on Russian gas supplies and business ties – urged the EU to hold back on the toughest sanctions of all for now, like limiting oil and gas imports and ejecting Russia from the Swift international payment system.

Berlin and Rome argue it’s wiser to keep those “nuclear” measures, as they’re known, up the EU’s sleeve, in case the situation worsens in Ukraine.

Their critics accuse them of self-interest, in a time of international crisis.

                         ‘Emotional but dignified’

Hungary, Romania and Poland, meanwhile, voiced other concerns at the summit.

Direct neighbours of Ukraine, they worry they’ll find themselves on the front line of a new migration crisis, should Ukrainians try to flee the hostilities in large numbers.

Brussels says it’s working both on contingency plans to help refugees and to compensate EU countries worst hit by sanctions and resulting, further spiralling energy prices.

The message the EU hoped to transmit on Thursday was one of unity: externally, with warnings to Russia and assurances of solidarity to Ukraine.

EU leaders heard what’s described as an “emotional but dignified” address by Ukraine’s president via video conference.

But also internally – to show all member states that they’re in this crisis together. For the long haul.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Europea, Unione Europea

Unione Europea. La crisi in Ukraina mostra che la Germania è l’anello debole.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-02-22.

Germania 001

L’articolo di Bloomberg, che riportiamo in calce, è di grande interesse per il suo afflato storico, politico, psicologico e militare.

È del tutto inusuale che un autore americano abbia una simile preparazione culturale e sappia scrivere un ottimo inglese.

È molto esteso, per cui ne stralceremo solo una piccolissima parte.

La sua completa lettura sarebbe altamente raccomandabile per meglio comprendere l’attuale realtà europea e tedesca, nonché le sue profonde radici storiche.

Per quanti non abbiano dimestichezza con la lingua inglese, riportiamo in calce una traduzione in lingua italiana.

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«Ukraine failures show Germany is Europe’s weak link»

«A potential invasion of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin has prompted the U.S. and Britain to make gestures of military deterrence»

«It has generated a parallel crisis, however, for Europe’s dominant state»

«On Tuesday, Germany’s new chancellor, Olaf Scholz, flew to Moscow to try and stem the emergency. But other than a call to return to the moribund Minsk peace talks and a lame joke about Putin’s expected tenure, little was achieved»

«Such is Germany’s dependence on Russian energy that, whatever short-term measures Berlin might apply to punish Moscow, the German government would almost certainly seek a swift rapprochement»

«It represents an extraordinary historical turnaround, after 2,000 years in which Germans were regarded as the most formidable military peoples in the world …. “Other states possess an army. Prussia is an army which possesses a state.”»

«Today Germany has a GDP of $3.8 trillion, or $46,000 per capita. This compares with U.S. GDP of $24 trillion, or nearly $60,000 per capita. But while America spends 3.7% of its GDP on its armed forces, Germany stubbornly resists any serious attempt to reach NATO’s agreed target of 2%»

«When Pabriks spoke of the “reality” of Bundeswehr, Germany’s military, he meant that although the German armed forces have a paper strength of 183,695 uniformed personnel, nobody views them as credible warriors»

«The attempt to form a military union … has been proceeding under primarily American pressure, arising from an understandable desire that Western Europe should waste no time in taking up the military burdens that have fallen to it … The task … is nothing less than changing the status of Germany from that of a defeated enemy under military occupation to that of a free and trustworthy ally in the Atlantic system of defense»

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Ukraine Failures Show Germany Is Europe’s Weak Link

A potential invasion of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin has prompted the U.S. and Britain to make gestures of military deterrence. It has generated a parallel crisis, however, for Europe’s dominant state. On Tuesday, Germany’s new chancellor, Olaf Scholz, flew to Moscow to try and stem the emergency. But other than a call to return to the moribund Minsk peace talks and a lame joke about Putin’s expected tenure, little was achieved.

Last week, Scholz made belated noises to suggest that an invasion of Ukraine would place in jeopardy the new Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which would carry Russian gas directly to Germany and avoid Ukrainian territory, something of high economic importance to Moscow. Yet it is doubtful that anybody, least of all Putin, believes that Scholz was serious. Such is Germany’s dependence on Russian energy that, whatever short-term measures Berlin might apply to punish Moscow, the German government would almost certainly seek a swift rapprochement. 

It represents an extraordinary historical turnaround, after 2,000 years in which Germans were regarded as the most formidable military peoples in the world — see Tacitus, whom Adolf Hitler much admired, or a phrase attributed to the French revolutionary Mirabeau: “Other states possess an army. Prussia is an army which possesses a state.”

Yet today Germany, Prussia’s creation, is the weak link in every attempt to bolster European defense and security. Even before Russia massed troops on the border with Ukraine, it had become evident to most of us who live in Europe that it is critical to do more to defend ourselves — to expect less from the U.S.

Europeans disagreed with former President Donald Trump about many things, but he was justified in attacking them for reluctance to pay a fair share of North Atlantic Treaty Organization defense costs.

In the wake of World War II, the U.S. was so much richer than Europe — and had made a handsome profit out of the conflict — that it seemed just for Uncle Sam to take the strain.

Those days, however, are long gone. Today Germany has a GDP of $3.8 trillion, or $46,000 per capita. This compares with U.S. GDP of $24 trillion, or nearly $60,000 per capita. But while America spends 3.7% of its GDP on its armed forces, Germany stubbornly resists any serious attempt to reach NATO’s agreed target of 2%. Its current percentage is 1.4. In absolute numbers, its $52.8 billion defense spending is less than Britain’s, with our much smaller population. 

The Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin last week urged his host country to “wake up” because “the world is becoming more dangerous and Germany … cannot allow itself to stay neutral and go on sleeping and enjoying a comfortable life.” Yet ordinary Germans calling in to radio programs insistently say such things as “with weapons you cannot create peace.” 

They overwhelmingly support their government’s refusal to follow Britain in shipping weapons to Ukraine — explicitly, German-made howitzers. They reject the mockery heaped on their country for offering the embattled Ukrainians 5,000 helmets and medical supplies. This provoked Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, to comment derisively, “What will Germany send next? Pillows?”

Latvia’s minister of defense, Artis Pabriks, told the Financial Times last month: “Europe’s security cannot be done without a German leading role. At this moment when we’re looking at how they’re acting on European defense and NATO, the reality of the Bundeswehr, the hesitancy to use military force, it’s absurd for the current times.”

When Pabriks spoke of the “reality” of Bundeswehr, Germany’s military, he meant that although the German armed forces have a paper strength of 183,695 uniformed personnel, nobody views them as credible warriors. I have had conversations with senior officers who wring their hands in embarrassment at the unwillingness of their country to contemplate fighting anybody. But this reality — of a German army that rejects war — reflects the will of its nation.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock says primly that Germany acts in a “historically responsible” fashion. She means, of course, that even after more than 70 years, the memory of World War II still casts its dark shadow. How could it not, when a torrent of films, TV shows and books — some written by me — constantly reminds the world of the dreadful deeds wrought by Hitler’s people?

For a few years after 1945, West Germany’s neighbors congratulated themselves on their success in demilitarizing the nation that had caused us all so much grief. The other day I chanced upon a London Times editorial of February 1952, commenting upon impassioned French resistance to the creation of a European defense community:

The attempt to form a military union … has been proceeding under primarily American pressure, arising from an understandable desire that Western Europe should waste no time in taking up the military burdens that have fallen to it … The task … is nothing less than changing the status of Germany from that of a defeated enemy under military occupation to that of a free and trustworthy ally in the Atlantic system of defense.

Here we all are, seven decades later, and that task is still uncompleted — no longer because of French paranoia about a menace from Germany, but because today’s Germans are stubbornly unwilling to see their soldiers fight — or even threaten to fight — anybody, in defense of anything.

It is striking to compare the differing legacies of the two World Wars. Following the first, the former Kaiserreich had suffered almost no material damage, and only the Rhineland was occupied by allied forces. This later made it easy for the Nazis to perpetrate the myth that the German army had never been defeated — that only enemies within had caused the nation to seek an armistice, and obliged it to accept the humiliating terms of the 1919 Versailles Treaty.

The Germany of 1945 presented an absolute contrast. I believe that the Anglo-American bomber offensive, especially in the last months of the war, contributed more to punishing Hitler’s people for their crimes than to allied victory. Whether or not this is true, the condition of the country was indisputable. The great Australian war correspondent Alan Moorehead wrote that he found among Germans no sense of guilt, but an overwhelming sense of defeat, such as had not existed in 1918. 

The whole country, he reported, “presented a scene that was almost beyond human comprehension. Around us 50 great cities lay in ruins … Many had no electric light or power or gas or running water, and no coherent system of government. Like ants in an ant-heap the people scurried over the ruins, diving furtively into cellars and doorways in search of loot. Everyone was on the move … Life was sordid, aimless, leading nowhere.” 

This is the folk memory that has passed down to modern Germans from their parents and grandparents: The whole thrust of the World War II experience, which they acquire from most of the modern books they choose to read, presents German people as victims, rather than perpetrators. Whereas I, as a historian of war rather than an apologist for the Third Reich, assert that the German army of those days — and, indeed, of the preceding century or two — was perhaps the most formidable fighting force the world has ever seen. Today’s Germans show no pride in their warrior heritage. And absolutely no desire to revive it.

I often hear British army officers offer an ironic, rueful lament, when we discuss the need to strengthen Europe’s defenses: “We overdid the demilitarization of Germany.” The country has become one of the most successful and prosperous societies on earth, and sees no need to compromise that achievement by once more forging ploughshares into swords. 

The Social Democrats, who dominate the new German coalition government, have long promoted rapprochement with Russia, even in the days when it was still the Soviet Union. The party includes many “Putinversteher,” or “Putin understanders,” headed by former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who shamelessly denounced the Ukrainians — not the Russians but the Ukrainians — for “saber-rattling” the week before he was nominated for a lucrative seat on the board of Gazprom, the Russian energy giant. 

The frustration, for some of us, in contemplating the weakness of Schroeder and his compatriots amid the brutish ugliness of Russian behavior is that in so many respects we admire modern Germany immensely. British journalist John Kampfner, who spent years as a foreign correspondent there, recently published a book entitled “Why the Germans Do It Better: Notes From a Grown-Up Country.” I was among those to review it enthusiastically.

Kampfner argues that, contrary to a widespread perception of German arrogance, the people of today’s nation are self-critical, much more willing to learn than are the British. As a society, Germany shows an impressive gift for consensus, reflected in the success of worker representation on corporate boards. A million people belong to local voluntary fire brigades. German productivity is the envy of the world, despite shorter working hours than in most countries. 

Kampfner notes that half of modern Germany’s life span — since the state was forged in 1871 — “has been a tale of horror, war and dictatorship.” Yet the more recent half has been a narrative of atonement, stability and maturity: “No country has achieved so much good in so little time … Germany stands as a bulwark for decency.”

All the above seems true. Germany’s success also owes much to its having a realistic understanding of its own middling place in the world, in contrast to Britain’s persistent and foolish ambition — to quote a long-serving American correspondent in London — to be a “pocket superpower.”

Angela Merkel, the former chancellor, showed herself the most impressive statesman on the European stage throughout her more than 15 years in office. Henry Kissinger posed his famous rhetorical question “If I want to talk to Europe, who do I call?” a generation before Merkel assumed power, but the answer — to the chagrin of Westminster politicians — has long been Germany’s chancellor, not Britain’s prime minister.

And yet, and yet. It is a source of dismay to many of us Europeans, including the British, that Germany consistently declines to accept a role on the international stage, to bear a share of responsibility appropriate to its wealth, power, democratic status and continental primacy.

Scholz has called Nord Stream 2 a “private-sector project” that has nothing to do with Ukraine. Only in the past 10 days have there been signs that he is embarrassed by the exasperated Western reaction to his refusal to quarrel with Moscow. He has toughened his rhetoric and sent 350 troops to Lithuania albeit only, we assume, to rescue cats stuck up trees. Putin’s yacht sailed prematurely on Wednesday from the Hamburg shipyard where it was being refurbished, presumably because he feared its sequestration.

There are reasons still to nurture a flicker of hope that the Kremlin will hold off invading Ukraine, less from fear of reprisals than because keeping the West in nervous suspense may suit him better, for a time at least, than precipitating a showdown. 

We Europeans nonetheless face an intractable difficulty. We need — not for tomorrow or the day after, but to survive the decades ahead — a toughened common defense posture, which recognizes the unlikelihood that the U.S. will forever take the strain. Such a posture can only be credible if Germany shows itself willing to fight, as today it is not.

A heretofore implausible scenario is evolving, in which President Emmanuel Macron of France could secure re-election in April and emerge as the preferred European partner of the U.S., in view of the indecision and activism-aversion of the German government. Washington dislikes dealing with the mercurial French, but they seem a better bet than the enfeebled Berlin government.

There is here a huge overarching irony, mirror reversal of that of the 20th century. Before World War II, Britain and France were long blind to the menace posed by Nazi militarism, and our forefathers paid a heavy price. Today, Britain and France are willing to stand up to Putin, but the German government and its people have dug their heads deep and determinedly into the sand. Thus, in a perverse fashion, does Europe still pay a price for Adolf Hitler.

* * * * * * *


I fallimenti dell’Ucraina mostrano che la Germania è l’anello debole dell’Europa

Una potenziale invasione dell’Ucraina da parte del presidente russo Vladimir Putin ha spinto gli Stati Uniti e la Gran Bretagna a fare gesti di deterrenza militare. Ha generato una crisi parallela, tuttavia, per lo stato dominante dell’Europa. Martedì, il nuovo cancelliere della Germania, Olaf Scholz, è volato a Mosca per cercare di arginare l’emergenza. Ma a parte un appello a tornare ai moribondi colloqui di pace di Minsk e una battuta zoppicante sul previsto mandato di Putin, si è ottenuto poco.

La settimana scorsa, Scholz ha fatto rumori tardivi per suggerire che un’invasione dell’Ucraina metterebbe in pericolo il nuovo gasdotto Nord Stream 2, che porterebbe il gas russo direttamente in Germania ed eviterebbe il territorio ucraino, cosa di grande importanza economica per Mosca. Eppure è dubbio che qualcuno, meno di tutti Putin, creda che Scholz fosse serio. Tale è la dipendenza della Germania dall’energia russa che, qualunque misura a breve termine Berlino potrebbe applicare per punire Mosca, il governo tedesco cercherebbe quasi certamente un rapido riavvicinamento.

Rappresenta uno straordinario capovolgimento storico, dopo 2.000 anni in cui i tedeschi erano considerati i più formidabili popoli militari del mondo – vedi Tacito, che Adolf Hitler ammirava molto, o una frase attribuita al rivoluzionario francese Mirabeau: “Gli altri stati possiedono un esercito. La Prussia è un esercito che possiede uno stato”.

Eppure oggi la Germania, creazione della Prussia, è l’anello debole in ogni tentativo di rafforzare la difesa e la sicurezza europea. Anche prima che la Russia ammassasse le truppe al confine con l’Ucraina, era diventato evidente alla maggior parte di noi che viviamo in Europa che è fondamentale fare di più per difenderci – per aspettarsi meno dagli Stati Uniti.

Gli europei non erano d’accordo con l’ex presidente Donald Trump su molte cose, ma lui era giustificato nell’attaccarli per la riluttanza a pagare una quota equa dei costi di difesa dell’Organizzazione del Trattato Nord Atlantico.

Sulla scia della Seconda Guerra Mondiale, gli Stati Uniti erano talmente più ricchi dell’Europa – e avevano tratto un bel profitto dal conflitto – che sembrava giusto che lo zio Sam si prendesse la colpa.

Quei giorni, tuttavia, sono passati da un pezzo. Oggi la Germania ha un PIL di 3,8 trilioni di dollari, o 46.000 dollari pro capite. Questo si confronta con il PIL degli Stati Uniti di 24 trilioni di dollari, o quasi 60.000 dollari pro capite. Ma mentre l’America spende il 3,7% del suo PIL per le sue forze armate, la Germania resiste ostinatamente a qualsiasi tentativo serio di raggiungere l’obiettivo concordato dalla NATO del 2%. La sua percentuale attuale è 1,4. In numeri assoluti, la sua spesa per la difesa di 52,8 miliardi di dollari è inferiore a quella della Gran Bretagna, con la nostra popolazione molto più piccola.

L’ambasciatore ucraino a Berlino la scorsa settimana ha esortato il suo paese ospitante a “svegliarsi” perché “il mondo sta diventando più pericoloso e la Germania … non può permettersi di rimanere neutrale e continuare a dormire e godersi una vita confortevole”. Eppure i tedeschi comuni che chiamano ai programmi radiofonici dicono con insistenza cose come “con le armi non si può creare la pace”.

Sostengono in modo schiacciante il rifiuto del loro governo di seguire la Gran Bretagna nella spedizione di armi all’Ucraina – esplicitamente, obici di fabbricazione tedesca. Rifiutano la presa in giro del loro paese per aver offerto agli ucraini in difficoltà 5.000 caschi e forniture mediche. Questo ha provocato il sindaco di Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, a commentare derisoriamente: “Cosa manderà la Germania dopo? Cuscini?”

Il ministro della difesa della Lettonia, Artis Pabriks, ha detto al Financial Times il mese scorso: “La sicurezza dell’Europa non può essere fatta senza un ruolo guida tedesco. In questo momento in cui stiamo guardando come stanno agendo sulla difesa europea e la NATO, la realtà della Bundeswehr, l’esitazione ad usare la forza militare, è assurdo per i tempi attuali”.

Quando Pabriks ha parlato della “realtà” della Bundeswehr, l’esercito tedesco, intendeva dire che sebbene le forze armate tedesche abbiano una forza cartacea di 183.695 persone in uniforme, nessuno le vede come guerrieri credibili. Ho avuto conversazioni con alti ufficiali che si torcono le mani per l’imbarazzo di fronte alla mancanza di volontà del loro paese di contemplare la possibilità di combattere contro qualcuno. Ma questa realtà – di un esercito tedesco che rifiuta la guerra – riflette la volontà della sua nazione.

Il ministro degli Esteri Annalena Baerbock dice, con tono primitivo, che la Germania agisce in modo “storicamente responsabile”. Intende dire, naturalmente, che anche dopo più di 70 anni, il ricordo della seconda guerra mondiale getta ancora la sua ombra oscura. Come potrebbe non esserlo, quando un torrente di film, spettacoli televisivi e libri – alcuni scritti da me – ricorda costantemente al mondo le terribili azioni compiute dal popolo di Hitler?

La sua percentuale attuale è 1,4. In numeri assoluti, la sua spesa per la difesa di 52,8 miliardi di dollari è inferiore a quella della Gran Bretagna, con la nostra popolazione molto più piccola.

L’ambasciatore ucraino a Berlino la settimana scorsa ha esortato il paese ospitante a “svegliarsi” perché “il mondo sta diventando più pericoloso e la Germania … non può permettersi di rimanere neutrale e continuare a dormire e godersi una vita comoda”. Eppure i tedeschi comuni che chiamano ai programmi radiofonici dicono con insistenza cose come “con le armi non si può creare la pace”.

Sostengono in modo schiacciante il rifiuto del loro governo di seguire la Gran Bretagna nella spedizione di armi all’Ucraina – esplicitamente, obici di fabbricazione tedesca. Rifiutano la presa in giro del loro paese per aver offerto agli ucraini in difficoltà 5.000 caschi e forniture mediche. Questo ha provocato il sindaco di Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, a commentare derisoriamente: “Cosa manderà la Germania dopo? Cuscini?”

Il ministro della difesa della Lettonia, Artis Pabriks, ha detto al Financial Times il mese scorso: “La sicurezza dell’Europa non può essere fatta senza un ruolo guida tedesco. In questo momento in cui stiamo guardando come stanno agendo sulla difesa europea e la NATO, la realtà della Bundeswehr, l’esitazione ad usare la forza militare, è assurdo per i tempi attuali”.

Quando Pabriks ha parlato della “realtà” della Bundeswehr, l’esercito tedesco, intendeva dire che sebbene le forze armate tedesche abbiano una forza cartacea di 183.695 persone in uniforme, nessuno le vede come guerrieri credibili. Ho avuto conversazioni con alti ufficiali che si torcono le mani per l’imbarazzo di fronte alla mancanza di volontà del loro paese di contemplare la possibilità di combattere contro qualcuno. Ma questa realtà – di un esercito tedesco che rifiuta la guerra – riflette la volontà della sua nazione.

Il ministro degli Esteri Annalena Baerbock dice, con tono primitivo, che la Germania agisce in modo “storicamente responsabile”. Intende dire, naturalmente, che anche dopo più di 70 anni, il ricordo della seconda guerra mondiale getta ancora la sua ombra oscura. Come potrebbe non esserlo, quando un torrente di film, spettacoli televisivi e libri – alcuni scritti da me – ricorda costantemente al mondo le terribili azioni compiute dal popolo di Hitler?

Per alcuni anni dopo il 1945, i vicini della Germania occidentale si sono congratulati con se stessi per il loro successo nel demilitarizzare la nazione che aveva causato a tutti noi tanto dolore. L’altro giorno mi sono imbattuto in un editoriale del London Times del febbraio 1952, commentando l’appassionata resistenza francese alla creazione di una comunità di difesa europea:

Il tentativo di formare un’unione militare … sta procedendo sotto la pressione principalmente americana, derivante da un comprensibile desiderio che l’Europa occidentale non perda tempo nell’assumere gli oneri militari che sono caduti su di essa … Il compito … non è altro che cambiare lo status della Germania da quello di un nemico sconfitto sotto occupazione militare a quello di un alleato libero e affidabile nel sistema di difesa atlantico.

Eccoci tutti qui, sette decenni dopo, e quel compito è ancora incompiuto – non più a causa della paranoia francese su una minaccia della Germania, ma perché i tedeschi di oggi sono ostinatamente riluttanti a vedere i loro soldati combattere – o anche solo minacciare di combattere – qualcuno, in difesa di qualcosa.

È sorprendente confrontare le diverse eredità delle due guerre mondiali. Dopo la prima, l’ex Kaiserreich non aveva subito quasi nessun danno materiale, e solo la Renania era occupata dalle forze alleate. Questo in seguito rese facile ai nazisti perpetrare il mito che l’esercito tedesco non era mai stato sconfitto – che solo i nemici interni avevano spinto la nazione a cercare un armistizio, e l’avevano obbligata ad accettare gli umilianti termini del Trattato di Versailles del 1919.

La Germania del 1945 presentava un contrasto assoluto. Credo che l’offensiva anglo-americana dei bombardieri, specialmente negli ultimi mesi della guerra, abbia contribuito più a punire il popolo di Hitler per i suoi crimini che alla vittoria alleata. Che questo sia vero o no, la condizione del paese era indiscutibile. Il grande corrispondente di guerra australiano Alan Moorehead scrisse di non aver trovato tra i tedeschi nessun senso di colpa, ma un travolgente senso di sconfitta, come non era esistito nel 1918.

L’intero paese, ha riferito, “presentava una scena che era quasi al di là della comprensione umana. Intorno a noi 50 grandi città giacevano in rovina … Molte non avevano luce elettrica o elettricità o gas o acqua corrente, e nessun sistema coerente di governo. Come formiche in un formicaio la gente si muoveva sulle rovine, tuffandosi furtivamente in cantine e porte in cerca di bottino. Tutti erano in movimento … La vita era sordida, senza meta, non portava da nessuna parte”.

Questa è la memoria popolare che è stata tramandata ai tedeschi moderni dai loro genitori e nonni: L’intera struttura dell’esperienza della seconda guerra mondiale, che essi acquisiscono dalla maggior parte dei libri moderni che scelgono di leggere, presenta il popolo tedesco come vittima, piuttosto che come carnefice.

Questa è la memoria popolare che è stata trasmessa ai tedeschi moderni dai loro genitori e nonni: Tutta l’esperienza della seconda guerra mondiale, che essi acquisiscono dalla maggior parte dei libri moderni che scelgono di leggere, presenta il popolo tedesco come vittima, piuttosto che come carnefice. Mentre io, come storico della guerra piuttosto che come apologeta del Terzo Reich, affermo che l’esercito tedesco di quei giorni – e, in effetti, del secolo o due precedenti – era forse la più formidabile forza combattente che il mondo abbia mai visto. I tedeschi di oggi non mostrano alcun orgoglio della loro eredità guerriera. E assolutamente nessun desiderio di farlo rivivere.

Sento spesso gli ufficiali dell’esercito britannico offrire un ironico, triste lamento, quando si discute della necessità di rafforzare le difese dell’Europa: “Abbiamo esagerato con la smilitarizzazione della Germania”. Il paese è diventato una delle società di maggior successo e prosperità sulla terra, e non vede la necessità di compromettere questo risultato forgiando ancora una volta vomeri in spade.

I socialdemocratici, che dominano la nuova coalizione di governo tedesca, hanno a lungo promosso l’avvicinamento alla Russia, anche nei giorni in cui era ancora l’Unione Sovietica. Il partito include molti “Putinversteher”, o “Putin understanders”, guidati dall’ex cancelliere Gerhard Schroeder, che ha spudoratamente denunciato gli ucraini – non i russi ma gli ucraini – per “saber-rattling” la settimana prima di essere nominato per un lucrativo posto nel consiglio di Gazprom, il gigante energetico russo.

La frustrazione, per alcuni di noi, nel contemplare la debolezza di Schroeder e dei suoi compatrioti in mezzo alla brutalità brutale del comportamento russo è che per molti aspetti ammiriamo immensamente la Germania moderna. Il giornalista britannico John Kampfner, che ha trascorso anni come corrispondente estero lì, ha recentemente pubblicato un libro intitolato “Perché i tedeschi lo fanno meglio: Notes From a Grown-Up Country”. Sono stato tra quelli che lo hanno recensito con entusiasmo.

Kampfner sostiene che, contrariamente alla percezione diffusa dell’arroganza tedesca, il popolo della nazione odierna è autocritico, molto più disposto a imparare di quanto non lo siano i britannici. Come società, la Germania mostra un impressionante dono per il consenso, riflesso nel successo della rappresentanza dei lavoratori nei consigli di amministrazione delle aziende. Un milione di persone appartengono ai vigili del fuoco locali volontari. La produttività tedesca è l’invidia del mondo, nonostante un orario di lavoro più breve che nella maggior parte dei paesi.

Kampfner nota che metà della vita della Germania moderna – da quando lo stato è stato forgiato nel 1871 – “è stata una storia di orrore, guerra e dittatura”. Ma la metà più recente è stata una storia di espiazione, stabilità e maturità: “Nessun paese ha raggiunto così tanto bene in così poco tempo … la Germania si erge come un baluardo per la decenza”.

Tutto ciò sembra vero. Il successo della Germania deve anche molto alla sua comprensione realistica del suo mediocre posto nel mondo, in contrasto con la persistente e sciocca ambizione della Gran Bretagna – per citare un corrispondente americano di lunga data a Londra – di essere una “superpotenza tascabile”.

Angela Merkel, l’ex cancelliera, si è dimostrata la più impressionante statista sulla scena europea durante i suoi più di 15 anni di mandato. Henry Kissinger ha posto la sua famosa domanda retorica “Se voglio parlare con l’Europa, chi chiamo?” una generazione prima che Merkel assumesse il potere, ma la risposta – per il dispiacere dei politici di Westminster – è stata a lungo la cancelliera tedesca, non il primo ministro britannico.

Eppure, eppure. È una fonte di sgomento per molti di noi europei, compresi i britannici, che la Germania rifiuta costantemente di accettare un ruolo sulla scena internazionale, di portare una parte di responsabilità adeguata alla sua ricchezza, al suo potere, al suo status democratico e al suo primato continentale.

Scholz ha definito Nord Stream 2 un “progetto del settore privato” che non ha nulla a che fare con l’Ucraina. Solo negli ultimi 10 giorni ci sono stati segni che è imbarazzato dalla reazione occidentale esasperata al suo rifiuto di litigare con Mosca. Ha inasprito la sua retorica e ha inviato 350 truppe in Lituania, anche se solo, supponiamo, per salvare i gatti bloccati sugli alberi. Lo yacht di Putin è salpato prematuramente mercoledì dal cantiere navale di Amburgo dove era in ristrutturazione, presumibilmente perché temeva il suo sequestro.

Ci sono ancora ragioni per nutrire un barlume di speranza che il Cremlino si tratterrà dall’invadere l’Ucraina, non tanto per paura di rappresaglie, quanto perché mantenere l’Occidente in una nervosa suspense gli conviene di più, almeno per un certo tempo, che precipitare in una resa dei conti.

Noi europei ci troviamo tuttavia di fronte a una difficoltà intrattabile. Abbiamo bisogno – non per domani o dopodomani, ma per sopravvivere nei decenni a venire – di una posizione di difesa comune rafforzata, che riconosca l’improbabilità che gli Stati Uniti si assumano per sempre lo sforzo. Una tale postura può essere credibile solo se la Germania si mostra disposta a combattere, come oggi non è.

Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Europea

Donbas. Ordinata la mobilizzazione generale dai 18 ai 55 anni.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-02-21.

Donbas 002

«Pro-Russian separatist leader calls for full military mobilization in Ukraine’s Donetsk region»

«Russia claims the surge of forces, which began in the autumn, has always been for military exercises and that it poses no threat to Ukraine or any other nation»

«A separatist leader in Ukraine ordered a full military mobilisation on Saturday amid ongoing tension between Moscow and Kiev»

«Denis Pushilin, the head of the pro-Russian separatist government in the Donetsk region has signed a decree on general mobilization»

«The People’s Council of the DPR has approved the decree of the head of the DPR on general mobilization»

«The Russian-backed leaders of Ukraine’s two breakaway regions have announced a general mobilisation, spurring fears of a further escalation in fighting in the ex-Soviet country»

«I urge my fellow citizens who are in the reserves to come to military conscription offices. Today I signed a decree on general mobilisation»

«I appeal to all the men in the republic who can hold weapons to defend their families, their children, wives, mothers, … Together we will achieve the coveted victory that we all need»

«Pasechnik said all men aged 18 to 55 were banned from leaving the area following the general mobilisation order»

* * * * * * *

In effetti, i russi non hanno gran bisogno di entrare in Ukraina, visto che ci sono già.

La popolazione del Donbas è russa e mantiene la lingua russa: forma una entità di fatto da tempo separata dall’Ukraina ed ora anche in grado di competere militarmente.

Impredicibili le possibili conseguenze.

La più probabile potrebbe essere una guerra civile che potrebbe portare al crollo dell’attuale regime ukraino, aprendo la strada ad interventi umanitari pacificatori.

In ogni caso, però, questa mossa spiazza Joe Biden e l’intelligence americana.

* * * * * * *


Pro-Russian separatist leader calls for full military mobilization in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Russia claims the surge of forces, which began in the autumn, has always been for military exercises and that it poses no threat to Ukraine or any other nation.

* * *

Donetsk: A separatist leader in Ukraine ordered a full military mobilisation on Saturday amid ongoing tension between Moscow and Kiev, according to media report.

Denis Pushilin, the head of the pro-Russian separatist government in the Donetsk region has signed a decree on general mobilization.

“The People’s Council of the DPR has approved the decree of the head of the DPR on general mobilization,” Sputnik News Agency reported citing a council member Vladislav Berdichevsky.

Russia’s recent build-up of around 150,000 troops just over the border from the Donbas region in the east, in Belarus to the north and Crimea to the south, which began in the autumn, has escalated tensions.

Russia claims the surge of forces has always been for military exercises and that it poses no threat to Ukraine or any other nation, but has refused to offer any real explanation for the biggest build-up of military might in Europe since the Cold War.

The US Embassy in Kiev informed on Thursday that Russia’s shelling of Stanytsia Luhanska in Ukrainian government-controlled territory in Donbas hit a kindergarten, injured two teachers, and knocked out power in the village.

“Russia’s shelling of Stanytsia Luhanska in Ukrainian government-controlled territory in Donbas hit a kindergarten, injured two teachers, and knocked out power in the village. The aggressor in Donbas is clear – Russia,” tweeted US Embassy in Kiev.

Meanwhile, the Russian Emergencies Ministry told Sputnik today that Rostov Region has opened 15 border crossings for refugees from the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas.

Defence officials in Moscow have said since Tuesday that troops and military hardware are pulling back, having completed some of the drills. Western intelligence officials say, on the contrary, that Russia has moved roughly 7,000 more troops close to the borders in recent days. (ANI)

* * * * * * *


Separatists in Ukraine order ‘general mobilisation’ amid shelling

Announcement comes as Kyiv says a Ukrainian soldier was killed in shelling by rebels in the east of the country.

* * *

The Russian-backed leaders of Ukraine’s two breakaway regions have announced a general mobilisation, spurring fears of a further escalation in fighting in the ex-Soviet country.

The announcements on Saturday came as pro-Russian rebels and Ukraine accused each other of fresh attacks, and Kyiv said a Ukrainian soldier had been killed in separatist shelling.

“I urge my fellow citizens who are in the reserves to come to military conscription offices. Today I signed a decree on general mobilisation,” Denis Pushilin, the leader of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, said in a video statement.

Pushilin claimed his region’s forces had prevented attacks he said were planned by the Ukrainian security services, and that the Ukrainian army had launched attacks – accusations that Ukrainian officials have vehemently denied.

“I appeal to all the men in the republic who can hold weapons to defend their families, their children, wives, mothers,” Pushilin added. ”Together we will achieve the coveted victory that we all need.”

The leader of the Luhansk separatist region, Leonid Pasechnik, followed Donetsk in issuing a general mobilisation order to prepare for “repelling aggression”.

Pasechnik said all men aged 18 to 55 were banned from leaving the area following the general mobilisation order.

Kyiv has repeatedly denied any plans to regain control of separatist-held areas using force or of the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Western leaders have for weeks raised the alarm over a build-up of Moscow’s army around Ukraine with Washington warning that an imminent attack could take place.

Kyiv said a Ukrainian soldier was killed on Saturday in clashes with separatists.

“As a result of a shelling attack, one Ukrainian soldier received a fatal shrapnel wound,” the joint military command for east Ukraine reported.

The Ukrainian military said on its Facebook page that it had recorded 19 ceasefire violations by the separatists since the start of the day compared with 66 cases over the previous 24 hours.

Separatists opened fire on more than 20 settlements, using heavy artillery, which has been banned by Minsk agreements, the military said.

More than 14,000 people have been killed in fighting between Ukraine’s army and Moscow-supported separatists since fighting broke out in 2014.

Meanwhile, evacuations of towns and villages in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions continued. According to the Donetsk separatists early on Saturday, more than 6,000 people have already been brought to safety, including 2,400 children. Shelters are ready for these people in the southern Russian region of Rostov.

The separatist leaders had called for people to flee on Friday, justifying the appeal with a threatened attack by Ukrainian government troops.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Europea, Russia

Europa. Un blocco russo delle forniture di gas naturale sarebbe catastrofico.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-02-10.

Biden 001

«Europe could live with less Russian gas. A complete shutdown would be ‘catastrophic’»

Se l’enclave liberal socialista imponesse alla Russia sanzioni troppo pesanti ovvero intervenisse militarmente, Mr Putin potrebbe bloccare totalmente le forniture di gas naturale al blocco europeo.

Buio, gelo e la fame che li accompagna disgregherebbero in breve l’Europa.

* * * * * * *

«Europe could live with less Russian gas. A complete shutdown would be ‘catastrophic’»

«The United States and its allies are racing to draw up contingency plans in case supplies of Russian gas crucial to powering businesses and heating homes in Europe are choked off by conflict in Ukraine»

«Europe would struggle to survive for long without Russian gas»

«There’s not really a quick and easy alternative»

«New pipelines and gas liquefaction facilities take years to build»

«Low inventories and historically high prices for gas have fed fears for months that if the winter turns unseasonably cold»

«minor supply disruptions would bend but not break the system»

«A worst-case scenario in which Russian gas disappears completely, however, would be a different story»

«A total cutoff of Russian energy exports would be catastrophic. There’s no way for Europe to replace those volumes in any meaningful way»

«In 2020, Russia accounted for about 38% of the European Union’s natural gas imports, shipping almost 153 billion cubic meters»

«This is a kind of ‘oh my God’ moment where the region realizes it’s extremely dependent on Russian gas»

«Russia reduced exports to Europe late last year»

«But leaders in Europe and the United States remain worried that Russian President Vladimir Putin could still opt to leverage the country’s control of gas supply to increase pressure on Europe should the conflict escalate, eroding popular support for harsh Western sanctions»

«One option to keep Europe supplied is redirecting shipments of liquefied natural gas»

«The United States, which became the world’s top LNG exporter in December, could step up. Qatar, which shipped more than five times more LNG to Asia than Europe in December, could do the same»

«China and Japan are the world’s top importers of LNG»

«A much more severe outcome would be if Russian gas supplies to Europe were cut entirely»

«This winter, there is simply no other solution than to keep importing Russian gas»

«The worst scenario of a total stop of Russian gas exports to the EU remains highly unlikely, as it would mark a massive breach of contract by state-controlled supplier Gazprom»

* * * * * * *

Biden. Industria americana insorge contro eventuali sanzioni alla Russia.

Germania. Scholz richiede ‘prudenza’ nel sanzionare la Russia sulla Ukraina.

Lituania. Le multinazionali tedesche premono a favore della Cina. Smacco della EU.

Cina. Di fronte alle sanzioni Intel elimina i riferimenti allo Xinjiang.

* * * * * * *

Le sanzioni avrebbero un senso logico se danneggiassero il sanzionato senza ledere il sanzionante.

Joe Biden sta cercando disperatamente nemici esterni, e se non ci fossero se li inventerebbe, per cercare di distogliere l’opinione pubblica dal suo fallimento nel controllo della inflazione.

È una partita pericolosa, che potrebbe anche risolversi con un conflitto armato. Il blocco delle forniture di gas distruggerebbe in pochi giorni il blocco europeo.

* * * * * * *


Europe could live with less Russian gas. A complete shutdown would be ‘catastrophic’.

The United States and its allies are racing to draw up contingency plans in case supplies of Russian gas crucial to powering businesses and heating homes in Europe are choked off by conflict in Ukraine.

Europe would struggle to survive for long without Russian gas, and finding alternative sources presents a huge logistical challenge — a reality that’s stoking concerns about the continent’s access to energy during an already difficult winter.

“There’s not really a quick and easy alternative,” said Janis Kluge, an expert on Eastern Europe at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

Senior White House officials told reporters this week they are talking to countries and companies about ramping up output. They’re also trying to identify alternative sources of natural gas that could be rerouted to Europe.

Yet executing such a large intervention in energy markets would be tricky. New pipelines and gas liquefaction facilities take years to build. And redirecting large volumes of the fossil fuel at a time when the global market and transport networks are already stretched would require cooperation from major gas exporters like Qatar, which may not have much wiggle room.

Plus, energy supplies in Europe are already under major strain. Low inventories and historically high prices for gas have fed fears for months that if the winter turns unseasonably cold, countries will have to roll out more help for struggling customers and businesses, and may even ration access to power.

Nikos Tsafos, an energy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said minor supply disruptions would bend but not break the system. A worst-case scenario in which Russian gas disappears completely, however, would be a different story.

“A cutoff of gas flows through Ukraine is painful but manageable,” Tsafos said. “A total cutoff of Russian energy exports would be catastrophic. There’s no way for Europe to replace those volumes in any meaningful way.”

                         Massive dependence

The scramble to secure energy supplies for Europe shines a light on how reliant the continent is on Russia to meet its needs. In 2020, Russia accounted for about 38% of the European Union’s natural gas imports, shipping almost 153 billion cubic meters, according to data agency Eurostat.

The region’s biggest economy, Germany, is particularly exposed as it weans itself off of coal and nuclear power. So are Italy and Austria, which receive gas via pipelines that run through Ukraine.

“This is a kind of ‘oh my God’ moment where the region realizes it’s extremely dependent on Russian gas,” said Carsten Brzeski, global head of macro research at the Dutch bank ING.

Natural gas can be stored, but inventories are already running lower than usual, partially because Russia reduced exports to Europe late last year. Fatih Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency, said earlier this month that Russian gas company Gazprom slashed exports to Europe by 25% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2021 despite high market prices. He noted that the reduction coincided with “heightened geopolitical tensions over Ukraine.”

A senior White House official said that Russia would face major economic consequences if it decides to weaponize its energy exports. They noted that oil and gas export revenues provide Russia with half of its federal budget.

But leaders in Europe and the United States remain worried that Russian President Vladimir Putin could still opt to leverage the country’s control of gas supply to increase pressure on Europe should the conflict escalate, eroding popular support for harsh Western sanctions. Preparations are also underway in case pipelines in Ukraine are damaged as a result of fighting there.

                         How far can LNG go?

One option to keep Europe supplied is redirecting shipments of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, which is transported by ocean tankers instead of via pipelines.

Some of that supply has already been shifting to Europe, since producers are attracted by high prices. Europe is set to receive a record amount of LNG in January, according to Alex Froley, a LNG market analyst at Independent Commodity Intelligence Services.

But much more would be needed if imports from Russia drop sharply. That could be tough to secure, given how stretched the market is already.

“Global LNG production is already pretty much flat out,” Froley said. Altering trade routes could also “place a strain on the shipping market,” he added.

The United States, which became the world’s top LNG exporter in December, could step up. Qatar, which shipped more than five times more LNG to Asia than Europe in December, could do the same.

A source with knowledge of the situation told CNN on Wednesday that Qatar could send some unallocated LNG to Europe, but for meaningful supplies to be delivered, existing customers would have to agree to defer their orders. This could be made possible through diplomatic action by the United States and Europe, the source added.

China and Japan are the world’s top importers of LNG, according to the International Energy Agency.

Tsafos of CSIS said that LNG shipments could be used to blunt the impact of reduced Russian supply, but getting them to the countries in Europe that need them most would require complex logistics.

In a report published this week, the think tank Bruegel noted that while the Iberian peninsula is a “hotspot for LNG import terminals,” it wouldn’t be easy to direct extra gas to the rest of Europe through existing pipelines because of capacity limits.

                         ‘The worst scenario’

A much more severe outcome would be if Russian gas supplies to Europe were cut entirely. In that case, it would be impossible to fill the hole in the coming months, given Russia’s huge role in the region’s energy ecosystem.

“This winter, there is simply no other solution than to keep importing Russian gas,” said Kluge of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

Russia is not expected to take this route, which would dramatically escalate tensions and unite Europe against Moscow.

“The worst scenario of a total stop of Russian gas exports to the EU remains highly unlikely, as it would mark a massive breach of contract by state-controlled supplier Gazprom,” Henning Gloystein, director of the energy program at consultancy Eurasia Group, told clients Thursday.

This would “shatter any EU illusions that Russia is a reliable supplier” and would likely trigger a “concerted effort” within the bloc to “permanently reduce gas imports from Russia as soon as possible,” he added.

But given Putin’s unpredictability, government leaders are trying to prepare for all possibilities.

Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday that Russia “playing the gas card” with the West is “not a viable path.” Norway, which provides roughly 20% of Europe’s natural gas and sends the vast majority of that through undersea pipelines, will “deliver at the maximum of our potential,” he added.

“We’re not going to be able to replace Russia’s gas but I think we have to count on the fact that it is in the mutual interest of the one who sells gas and the one who buys gas, that we continue to trade gas,” the prime minister said.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Europea, Stati Uniti, Unione Europea

Biden fa infuriare gli alleati orientali della NATO con l’avvicinamento alla Russia.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-12-14.

Pagliaccio 001

Joe Biden ha aperto il virtual “summit for democracy” con discorsi e proposte che hanno imbufalito gli alleati e mandato al calor rovente i paesi della Europa dell’Est, che hanno reagito con una inusitata veemenza.

Se ne avessero avuto l’occasione, i rappresentanti dei paesi della Est Europa gli avrebbero strappato gli occhi, dopo averlo sbudellato ed avergli mangiato il fegato.

Tutti si ricordano come abbia tutelato l’Afganistan.

* * * * * * *

«Biden infuriates eastern Nato allies with outreach to Russia»

«East European countries have reacted critically to a U.S. proposal that a handful of North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies could meet with Russia to discuss its military build-up along Ukraine’s borders»

«One government in the region is furious and seeking immediate clarification on what exactly President Joe Biden is planning»

«Another diplomat was more specific. The unease among the eastern flank, where countries that were once dominated by the Soviet Union now find themselves on the front lines against an aggressive Russia, centers on just what kind of concessions the talks might lead to in terms of political guarantees and curbs on NATO’s freedom of movement and its ability to carry out actions»

«Russia should under no circumstances be given a say in who may or may not be a member of NATO»

«Moscow’s “most worrying wish is to divide Europe into spheres of influence. We remember these kinds of moments from our own history and we are in no way naive on this issue.”»

«Biden has said that he hopes by Friday to announce the meeting, which will include “at least four of our major NATO allies.” That irritates the Baltic states because it immediately raises the question of who will be excluded, mainly the eastern states with the most at stake, in favor of the Western European allies»

«Russian President Vladimir Putin sees any expansion of NATO as a threat and demanded binding guarantees that it won’t cross his “red lines.”»

«nations can’t tell others who they can work »

«The consternation among eastern European allies emerged on the same day Biden opened a virtual “summit for democracy,” intended to highlight and strengthen ties between the world’s democratically elected governments»

«In the aftermath of the chaotic exit from Afghanistan in August, when the U.S. clearly signalled it has little appetite for foreign wars, the challenge for administration still in its first year is to indicate it will act if red lines, which Putin likes to test, are crossed»

«Eastern European nations have long been distrustful of Russia, a sentiment exacerbated by most decisions about their region being taken over their heads»

«All the eastern flank countries are worried about the offer, with the Baltic states, Poland and Romania the most concerned»

«I believe that after the pullout from Afghanistan, the situation in NATO is tense, it’s difficult and also, unfortunately, our adversaries, foes and Russia is one of them are taking advantage of the situation»

«Biden’s proposal was a disappointing surprise, according to Marko Mihkelson, chair of the Estonian parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee»

«Initiating talks at gunpoint over NATO’s future, or over involving Russia as a participant with a right of veto on Europe’s security architecture is completely wrong and a road to inciting new aggression, he added.»

* * * * * * *

Cina. Biden travolto da critiche interne ed estere per la vergognosa débâcle in Afganistan.

Afganistan. Biden, lo zimbello del mondo. I media lo abbandonano irati. Terrorismo.

Biden. Questa fuga dall’Afganistan fa crollare la credibilità degli Stati Uniti. Persino nei media.

Afghanistan’s Unraveling May Strike Another Blow to U.S. Credibility

Arabia Saudita. Biden ritira i missili Patriot, lasciandola indifesa. È inaffidabile.

Afganistan. La débâcle americana è peggio del Vietnam. È devoluzione dell’America.

Biden Cabinet picks feature record number of women and women of color.

Women make up 60% of White House staff, diversity total at 44%

Usa. Biden. La Cnn accusa l’Amministrazione delle femmine di mancanza di ‘competenza’.

* * * * * * *

Joe Biden è diventato lo zimbello del mondo. Dice e subito dopo nega ciò che ha detto. Sta scherzando con un fuoco che potrebbe ustionarlo.

America. Nov21. Indice dei Prezzi al Consumo +6.8%. Nel Dec20 valeva +1.4%. Carne + 20.9%.

Ci si rende conto che abbia severi problemi interni, specie per la stagflazione che non è in grado di controllare, ma è del tutto ovvio che gli alleati si rivoltino furibondi e fuori dal ben dell’intelletto quando afferma che

«Initiating talks at gunpoint over NATO’s future, or over involving Russia as a participant with a right of veto on Europe’s security architecture»

* * * * * * *


Biden Infuriates Eastern NATO Allies With Outreach to Russia.

East European countries have reacted critically to a U.S. proposal that a handful of North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies could meet with Russia to discuss its military build-up along Ukraine’s borders.

One government in the region is furious and seeking immediate clarification on what exactly President Joe Biden is planning, according to a diplomat from the country who declined to be named speaking on a confidential issue.

Another diplomat was more specific. The unease among the eastern flank, where countries that were once dominated by the Soviet Union now find themselves on the front lines against an aggressive Russia, centers on just what kind of concessions the talks might lead to in terms of political guarantees and curbs on NATO’s freedom of movement and its ability to carry out actions.

“Russia should under no circumstances be given a say in who may or may not be a member of NATO,” Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said at a news conference on Thursday. Moscow’s “most worrying wish is to divide Europe into spheres of influence. We remember these kinds of moments from our own history and we are in no way naive on this issue.”

Biden has said that he hopes by Friday to announce the meeting, which will include “at least four of our major NATO allies.” That irritates the Baltic states because it immediately raises the question of who will be excluded, mainly the eastern states with the most at stake, in favor of the Western European allies.

Ukraine aspires to be a member of the military alliance that was formed in the aftermath of World War II as a bulwark against Communism, though NATO has given no timeline for accession. Russian President Vladimir Putin sees any expansion of NATO as a threat and demanded binding guarantees that it won’t cross his “red lines.” The alliance itself has suffered from a loss of prestige.

White House officials have repeatedly said — before and after Biden’s call with Putin on Tuesday — that Russia will have no say on NATO’s expansion. “The president told Putin in their call: One nation can’t force another nation to change its border, one nation cannot tell another to change its politics, and nations can’t tell others who they can work — who they can work with,” Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday.

                         Biden in a Bind.

Biden will no doubt tread carefully in promising Putin anything. The subject of the meeting, he has said, is “whether or not we can work out any accommodation as it relates to bringing down the temperature along the eastern front.”

The consternation among eastern European allies emerged on the same day Biden opened a virtual “summit for democracy,” intended to highlight and strengthen ties between the world’s democratically elected governments. The president is trying to show a degree of toughness in the face of Russian aggression yet some in NATO see his latest overture to Russia as a diplomatic concession.

In the aftermath of the chaotic exit from Afghanistan in August, when the U.S. clearly signalled it has little appetite for foreign wars, the challenge for administration still in its first year is to indicate it will act if red lines, which Putin likes to test, are crossed.

Biden will call Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy later on Thursday and will then call leaders of the so-called Bucharest 9 group of eastern flank allies to give them a download on his Dec. 7 call with Putin.

Eastern European nations have long been distrustful of Russia, a sentiment exacerbated by most decisions about their region being taken over their heads. They insist it is not up to Russia or any other non-member to influence who is picked to join NATO, one of the diplomats said. All the eastern flank countries are worried about the offer, with the Baltic states, Poland and Romania the most concerned, the official added.

The talks could give Putin a chance to divide and rule, driving a wedge between the U.S. and Europe, or even between European members, officials said, with one describing him as a great opportunist. Another said governments need to wait for more details on the proposed talks.

                         ‘Taking Advantage’.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, asked about Biden’s call with Putin, told reporters during a visit to Rome that Moscow was exploiting a difficult time for NATO. “I believe that after the pullout from Afghanistan, the situation in NATO is tense, it’s difficult and also, unfortunately, our adversaries, foes and Russia is one of them are taking advantage of the situation,” he said.

Biden’s proposal was a disappointing surprise, according to Marko Mihkelson, chair of the Estonian parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. He called for a diplomatic push to block such a meeting from taking place and at the very least, to expand the meeting to include members of NATO’s eastern flank. Any talks should only relate to ensuring the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the removal of Russian military threats, he said.

Biden’s proposal was a disappointing surprise, according to Marko Mihkelson, chair of the Estonian parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. He called for a diplomatic push to block such a meeting from taking place and at the very least, to expand the meeting to include members of NATO’s eastern flank. Any talks should only relate to ensuring the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the removal of Russian military threats, he said.

Initiating talks at gunpoint over NATO’s future, or over involving Russia as a participant with a right of veto on Europe’s security architecture is completely wrong and a road to inciting new aggression, he added.

Talking to Russia is part of NATO’s dual-track policy toward the country, based on deterrence and dialog, said a NATO official. Any decision on future membership is a decision for only the alliance’s 30 members to make, the official said, adding that consultations are under way among them.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Europea

Ungheria. Mr Orbán. Conferma plebiscitaria alla presidenza del Fidesz.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-11-18.

2021-11-16__ Orban 001

«Fifteen years ago, 85 percent of total investment came

from the West, today, 70 percent came from the East»

* * * * * * *

«Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been re-elected president of the ruling Fidesz party with an overwhelming majority here on Sunday»

«to lead the party in next spring’s general election»

«If we continue to govern, we could be among the most developed countries in ten years»

«Hungary is still an emerging country, and we can only move forward if we work more precisely and raise smarter children than ourselves»

«We still have problems to solve: there are not enough children, salaries and pensions are not high enough, there are still poor people, still not everyone has a home»

«We need to defend our results from migrants»

«He also lashed out at the “international network led by Brussels, who wants to make families pay for the cost of climate control.”»

«Fifteen years ago, 85 percent of total investment came from the West, today, 70 percent came from the East»

* * * * * * *

Mr Orbán ha evidenziato i tre maggiori problemi ungheresi:

– basso tasso delle nascite

– salari e pensioni troppo bassi

– povertà ancora presente.

Ma ha anche sottolineato quanto siano cambiati i tempi:

«Fifteen years ago, 85 percent of total investment came from the West, today, 70 percent came from the East»

* * * * * * *


Hungarian PM Orban re-elected as ruling party leader

Budapest, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been re-elected president of the ruling Fidesz party with an overwhelming majority here on Sunday.

Orban was re-elected as the only candidate for a period of two years during a congress of Fidesz, to lead the party in next spring’s general elections.

“If we continue to govern, we could be among the most developed countries in ten years. Today, Hungary is still an emerging country, and we can only move forward if we work more precisely and raise smarter children than ourselves,” said the prime minister.

“We still have problems to solve: there are not enough children, salaries and pensions are not high enough, there are still poor people, still not everyone has a home,” Orban listed challenges ahead of the elections.

Orban underlined that the most important thing was security, to be able to defend what his government has achieved: “We need to defend our results from migrants, who are standing in lines at the Polish border, or who come from the sea, but also from the pandemic, in order to save lives.”

Orban also spoke about the urgent need to have more people vaccinated.

He also lashed out at the “international network led by Brussels, who wants to make families pay for the cost of climate control.”

Orban criticized the opposition, whom he accused of secretly supporting the COVID-19 anti-vaxxers, and who chose Brussels instead of Hungary.

The Hungarian leader also spoke about the rise of the East, especially China, in the global economy: “The weight of the world shifted to the East. Fifteen years ago, 85 percent of total investment came from the West, today, 70 percent came from the East.”

Finally, he said the whole European political right had to be re-organized, a task that he vowed to do along with his Polish ally Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

Orban has been president of Fidesz since 2003, and was its president from 1993 to 2000 as well. Enditem.