A more sovereign Germany closer to Russia and China may be the straw that breaks the US hegemon’s back
Last week we traced the necessary historical and geopolitical steps to understand Why Russia is driving the West crazy.
And then, last Friday, right before the start of the Year of the Metal Ox, came the bombshell, delivered with customary aplomb by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
In an interview with popular talk show host Vladimir Solovyov – with the full transcript published by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Lavrov said Moscow “must be ready” for a possible “break with the European Union.”
The ominous break would be a direct result of new EU sanctions, particularly those “that create risks for our economy, including in the most sensitive areas.” And then, the Sun Tzu-style clincher: “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov, afterwards, made sure to explain that Lavrov was taken out of context: the media, predictably, had seized on a “sensational” headline.
So Lavrov’s full, nuanced answer to a question about rocky EU-Russia relations must be carefully examined:
“We believe we would be ready for this. We are neighbors. Speaking collectively, they are our largest trade and investment partner. Many EU companies operate here; there are hundreds or even thousands of joint ventures. When a business benefits both sides, we will continue. I am sure that we have become fully self-sufficient in the defense sphere. We must also attain the same position in the economy to be able to act accordingly if we see again (we have seen this more than once) that sanctions are imposed in a sphere where they can create risks for our economy, including in the most sensitive areas such as the supply of component parts. We don’t want to be isolated from the world, but we must be prepared for this. If you want peace, prepare for war.”
It’s quite clear that Lavrov is not stating that Russia will unilaterally cut off relations with the EU. The ball is actually in the EU’s court: Moscow is stating that it will not exercise a first-strike option to break relations with the Brussels eurocracy. And that in itself would also be quite different from breaking relations with any of the 27 EU member-states.
The federal government strongly condemns Nawalny's treatment. Cartoon by markus-grolik