As the United States seeks to ease tensions in Russia, Europe strives to be included

The head of EU foreign policy Josep Borel and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba visited the line of communication in Lugansk, Ukraine.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

America and Russia Important talks will be held next week, and the EU’s top diplomat is disappointed that the EU will not participate in the negotiations.

Potential Russian invasion Ukraine In view of multiple reports on the intensification of military activities near the border, this is the most concerned issue of many leaders. To ease these tensions, senior US and Russian officials will meet in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday. The meeting will be held before Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states hold more extensive talks on Wednesday.

However, despite several member states bordering Russia, the European Union — a political and economic bloc of 27 countries — will not attend as a whole.

“There is no security in Europe without Ukraine’s security. Obviously, any discussion on European security must include the EU and Ukraine,” the EU’s senior representative for foreign affairs, Joseph Borel, said at a press conference. Wednesday.

“Any discussion about Ukraine must first involve Ukraine. Discussions on European security cannot be separated from consultations and European participation,” Borel said when visiting the eastern part of the country in Ukraine. The small-scale military conflict between the Ukrainian army and the pro-Russian army has been going on for several years.

This marked the first visit by the EU’s top diplomat to an area affected by the conflict.

However, analysts at consulting firm Teneo said it is not surprising that the EU was excluded from negotiations.

“Given that NATO, especially the United States, is the main guarantor of security in Central and Eastern Europe (Central and Eastern Europe), it is not surprising that the EU will withdraw from the upcoming negotiations,” Andreus Tulsa in a report on Wednesday Express.

In fact, the European Union as a whole does not have a strong defense capability-it mainly relies on NATO for security, and it also relies on the United States to some extent.

However, regardless of its security capabilities, the EU faces many stakes in the upcoming negotiations with Russia, including energy.

Most of the natural gas entering Europe already comes from Russia. According to Eurostat, in 2020, this will account for approximately 43% of the EU’s total natural gas imports. There is also an important pipeline connecting Russia and Germany, Beixi 2, Pending continued tensions with the Kremlin-this is a problem for Russia, because it can make more money from natural gas exports, and the same is true for the EU, because it can help curb the last registration Some of the prices have risen over the months.

Former German Ambassador to the United States Wolfgang Isinger told CNBC earlier this week that Nord Stream 2 is something the EU can use to put pressure on Moscow.

Isinger, now chairman of the Munich Security Conference, told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble: “I think this pipeline is an important impact project for us if we handle it smartly.”

Icy relationship

Borel’s goal of joining negotiations with Russia is nearly a year later A “humiliating” trip to Russia.

The EU’s top diplomat visited Moscow in February last year and expressed the EU’s opposition to the arrest of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny. During his visit, Borel was severely criticized for failing to reject comments from his Russian counterparts that the EU is an “unreliable partner.”

According to political analysts, this has brought EU-Russia relations to a new low.

However, concerns about Russia’s possible invasion of Ukraine further complicate their relationship.

Borrell said on Wednesday: “Border conflicts are about to intensify, and tensions related to the security of Europe are increasing.”

It is estimated that about 100,000 Russian troops have been deployed to the country’s border with Ukraine. Since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014, the two countries have been at war.

The Kremlin denied any plans to invade Ukraine.

However, Russia requires NATO and the United States to reduce their presence in Eastern Europe and not allow Ukraine to become a member of the military alliance.

One of the founding principles of NATO is that an attack on one is considered an attack on everyone.