'Europe can only be stronger with Russia,' claims Moldova's president - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15067363
Euronews wrote:'Europe can only be stronger with Russia,' claims Moldova's president

By Orlando Crowcroft & Lauren Chadwick • last updated: 14/02/2020 - 18:54



Europe can only be stronger if it forges closer ties with Russia, Moldova’s president claimed in an exclusive interview with Euronews.

Igor Dodon called for more economic cooperation between Moscow and Brussels, who have been embroiled in a sanctions war since Russia's annexation of Crimea.

He told Euronews the European Union needed fresh ideas and that his proposition would unite members of the bloc.

"I think Russia could help the EU be stronger, Europe to be stronger," Dodon said during the interview in Chisinau.

“Let’s be honest: a strong Europe without the Russian Federation cannot be,” he added.

"I believe in a big Europe, from Lisbon to Vladivostok. It was Charles de Gaulle who came with this idea and it’s repeated often by various world leaders. I think this is the only solution to make Europe stronger to face the growing future challenges."


Ex-Soviet state Moldova, situated between Ukraine and Romania, signed a political and trade agreement with the EU in 2014, angering Russia. But Chisinau has also been looking to the East and has observer status with the Russia-dominated Eurasian Economic Union.

"The foreign policy I have been promoting for the last years is a balanced one, meaning, on one hand implementing the association agreement with the EU and re-establishing the strategic relations with the Russian Federation, on the other," Dodon said.

"I think this [stronger Russia-EU links] will happen inevitably, regardless of the countries who are hardliners about the [economic] sanctions.

"I think the dialogue will inevitably exist and this period of uncertainty in the relations between the two global players will be overcome.

"I think the common interests will unite Europe with the Russian Federation economically and facing the current global challenges."

Dodon, a former chief of Moldova's pro-Russia socialist party, has been the country's president since 2016.


Last summer his party formed a coalition with the pro-EU ACUM bloc after elections in February proved inconclusive.

ACUM's Maia Sandu — a pro-European reformist — was elected prime minister and she set Moldova on a path towards Brussels.

That was thrown into doubt when the coalition collapsed in November and former presidential advisor Ion Chicu became Moldova's new PM, prompting accusations that the country had given up on its pro-EU path.

But, in an opinion article published on euronews.com, Chicu said those looking for a geopolitical battle will be disappointed and the country would strengthen its cooperation with both western and eastern partners.

I wonder if he speaks for Putin himself actually.
#15067436
He is only stating the obvious. Russia and the EU complement each other. Russia on it's own has the military but not the economy to be a major global player. The EU on it's own has the economy but not the military to be a major global player. Both together are on equal terms with the US and China.

Both also complement each other economically. Russia has the resources and markets the EU needs, and the EU has the industry and technology Russia needs.

The alternative is for Russia to become China's junior partner and the EU to be a US vassal. Neither is desirable.

Both Putin and Macron know this, but Macron is only talk and Putin won't make enough concession to allow for a rapprochement. Merkel believes in Realpolitik and won't gamble away the country on mere promises from Macron who has no intention of putting his money where is mouth is.

Most of all, Anglo-American imperialists will most certainly through a spanner into the works by starting another conflict like in Ukraine to prevent any rapprochement.

Relations between France and Russia go back to before WWI; however, the idea of an "economic zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok" doesn't originate with Charles de Gaulle. According to Putin's own words, he got the idea from Kohl.
#15067438
Atlantis wrote:
He is only stating the obvious. Russia and the EU complement each other. Russia on it's own has the military but not the economy to be a major global player. The EU on it's own has the economy but not the military to be a major global player. Both together are on equal terms with the US and China.

Both also complement each other economically. Russia has the resources and markets the EU needs, and the EU has the industry and technology Russia needs.

The alternative is for Russia to become China's junior partner and the EU to be a US vassal. Neither is desirable.

Both Putin and Macron know this, but Macron is only talk and Putin won't make enough concession to allow for a rapprochement. Merkel believes in Realpolitik and won't gamble away the country on mere promises from Macron who has no intention of putting his money where is mouth is.

Most of all, Anglo-American imperialists will most certainly through a spanner into the works by starting another conflict like in Ukraine to prevent any rapprochement.

Relations between France and Russia go back to before WWI; however, the idea of an "economic zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok" doesn't originate with Charles de Gaulle. According to Putin's own words, he got the idea from Kohl.



There is a fly in the ointment named Putin.

Putin wants to dominate.

There is a more fundamental issue. He disrupted the development of a market economy. He needed oil money to finance his dream of making russia a major player again, like it used to be.

That makes things awkward on a number of levels.

For example, why not make Russia part of the EU? There's a bunch of reasons, the first being Putin would reject it out of hand. But that does illustrate the severe limits on having the Eu and the Russian economy work together.

Next, Putin has been undermining the governments in Europe. They know that, and that puts a ceiling on all sorts of non-economic cooperation.

Btw, China and Russia have an off again on again love/hate relationship. Putin needs China badly, so they are cooperating, but you can bet Putin quietly hates it.

Putin's actions will result in opposing actions. That should result in the sort of awkward relationship the West had with russia during detente.

But who knows, this is a brave new world (reference intended) and things like to get nuts, don't they.
#15067476
late wrote:There is a fly in the ointment named Putin Trump.

Putin Trump wants to dominate.

There is a more fundamental issue. He (ie. Trump) disrupted the development of a market economy. He (Trump) needed oil money fossil fuel economy to finance his dream of making russia a major player America great again, like it used to be.

That makes things awkward on a number of levels.


If you read it with the above corrections, this does make a lot of sense. Don't you think?

For example, why not make Russia part of the EU?


Try to read up on the EU, it's impossible for Russia to become a full member of the EU at this stage. Russia simply cannot fulfill membership criteria. That was never an issue. What we are talking about is a strategic partnership and/or an economic zone. If we can have a customs union with Turkey, we can have a customs union with Russia. Turkey is far more retarded than Russia.

Next, Putin has been undermining the governments in Europe.


Trump and the US alt-right together with their British counterparts (Farage, et. al.) are actively undermining the EU. The Russians have privileged relations with a number of European far-right parties simply because they can't have close relations with mainstream parties. Don't you think that Putin wouldn't love to have close relations with Merkel's CDU rather than with a bunch of lunatics from the far-right that are never going to get into government?

Russia is profoundly European. Unfortunately, they have been pushed closer to China by the West following the US-engineered coup in Ukraine.

Putin wants closer relations with Europe but not at the price of sacrificing Russian interests at the altar of the neoliberal gods.

Beren wrote:It's also obvious then that Russia can only be stronger with Europe. And if it's obvious, Putin must see it too. I think this Moldovan president is actually a messenger with an olive branch.


If Putin wants to improve relations with the EU, he doesn't need the Moldovan president as messenger. He will have to make concessions in Ukraine. Starting with simple things like improving the lot of prisoners and deescalation at the front. With a new president in Kiev who has a large majority in parliament and who therefore doesn't need the ultra-nationalists, there is a window of opportunity for the Minsk II peace process.

There are many politicians and industrialists in Europe who would like nothing better than to improve relations with Moscow.
#15067529
Atlantis wrote:Try to read up on the EU, it's impossible for Russia to become a full member of the EU at this stage. Russia simply cannot fulfill membership criteria. That was never an issue. What we are talking about is a strategic partnership and/or an economic zone. If we can have a customs union with Turkey, we can have a customs union with Russia. Turkey is far more retarded than Russia.


I would rather have a customs union with US than with Russia. Our economies are more interconnected. Relationship with Russia is mainly based on gas/oil delivery.

Atlantis wrote:Trump and the US alt-right together with their British counterparts (Farage, et. al.) are actively undermining the EU.


The same can be said about Putin. Putin's goal is EU that is closer to Russia and further away from US. While Trump and US alt-right want EU to be more like US - get rid of free services in EU that US doesn't have (as that is a threat to US), move towards US conservatism (anti immigration, anti abortion, US style free speech and freedom of choice) and to remain allied with it against Russia. Americans are capitalists, that means no free stuff, end of times when EU could afford to have minimal armies. This policy requires a common enemy - China and Russia.

Atlantis wrote:Russia is profoundly European. Unfortunately, they have been pushed closer to China by the West following the US-engineered coup in Ukraine.


You are overestimating closeness of Russian and European culture. Eastern EU Slavic countries, even though being language related to Russia, don't want to be allied with it politically, economically or militarily. They know Russian culture better than west and understand Russia is unique and not compatible with western values.

Influence of American culture in Europe is significant. American music and movies totally dominate in Europe. Influence of Russian culture is practically zero.

Atlantis wrote:He will have to make concessions in Ukraine. Starting with simple things like improving the lot of prisoners and deescalation at the front. With a new president in Kiev who has a large majority in parliament and who therefore doesn't need the ultra-nationalists, there is a window of opportunity for the Minsk II peace process.


Russia-Ukraine war fulfilled its intended purpose to prevent Ukraine from getting closer to EU, NATO and away from Russia. As long as eastern regions are occupied, it will remain that way. Russia has no interest in changing that. It wants Ukraine and Belarus to join Russia in economic/political union. However due to size of Russia it means Russian domination which they reject. EU works because no single country is dominating it. Ukrainians travel and work in Europe (mainly in eastern EU members) and they would like Ukraine to join the EU, but it can't happen.

Atlantis wrote:There are many politicians and industrialists in Europe who would like nothing better than to improve relations with Moscow.


This is hard to do when Russian militias occupy foreign country. Eastern EU members know its best not to have Russia as neighbor.
#15067533
Atlantis wrote:Both also complement each other economically. Russia has the resources and markets the EU needs, and the EU has the industry and technology Russia needs.


If you forget realpolitiks, this statement rings true. Russia have much to gain and offers much in return. It would make perfect sense to trade or ally with Russia from a European perspective. So why don't they? Simple. Principle. What principles are either bloc going to foresake to make both economies stronger and unity possible? Because you can forget about Ukraine/Crimea. Russia have already taken the hit and not blinked. Which now mean partnership. It appears you either look East or West when dictating foreign principle. You cannot have both. And until PESCO is fully formed and effective I cannot see how the EU can just back down over Crimea and form a new alliance. They are chained to the dead weight of America - as the UK are with Brexit, because they just assumed the US would be a perfect partnership forever and put all their eggs into one basket when it comes to national security.

It won't be forever and the steps are moving forward slowly. But in time the EU will be able to form their own geopolitics and dictate an economic policy that doesn't depend on other relations. And it beings with PESCO and not before.
#15067535
Atlantis wrote:
1) If you read it with the above corrections, this does make a lot of sense. Don't you think?



2) Try to read up on the EU, it's impossible for Russia to become a full member of the EU at this stage. Russia simply cannot fulfill membership criteria. That was never an issue. What we are talking about is a strategic partnership and/or an economic zone. If we can have a customs union with Turkey, we can have a customs union with Russia. Turkey is far more retarded than Russia.



3) Trump and the US alt-right together with their British counterparts (Farage, et. al.) are actively undermining the EU. The Russians have privileged relations with a number of European far-right parties simply because they can't have close relations with mainstream parties. Don't you think that Putin wouldn't love to have close relations with Merkel's CDU rather than with a bunch of lunatics from the far-right that are never going to get into government?

4) Russia is profoundly European. Unfortunately, they have been pushed closer to China by the West following the US-engineered coup in Ukraine.

5) Putin wants closer relations with Europe but not at the price of sacrificing Russian interests at the altar of the neoliberal gods.



6) If Putin wants to improve relations with the EU, he doesn't need the Moldovan president as messenger. He will have to make concessions in Ukraine. Starting with simple things like improving the lot of prisoners and deescalation at the front. With a new president in Kiev who has a large majority in parliament and who therefore doesn't need the ultra-nationalists, there is a window of opportunity for the Minsk II peace process.

7) There are many politicians and industrialists in Europe who would like nothing better than to improve relations with Moscow.



1) Whataboutism... Putin's still a problem.

2) Really? I was pointing out that Russia couldn't be in the Eu and you come back with Russia can't be in the EU... Point is, those differences have implications.

3) Putin screwed the pooch. Repeatedly.

4) Yes, it's horrible the way we forced them to invade. That sounds like a million bad movies. 'Why do you force me to kill you??'

5) Putin wants his empire back, playing nice is not on the agenda unless you do it his way.

6) Last I heard, he was still trying to wear them down until they gave up.

7) We gave Putin more slack than he deserved.

This is simple. When the oil runs out, Russia goes back to it's historic role to being the 'Sick Man of Europe'. Putin squandered their chance to join the developed world by pursuing a revanchist fantasy that can never come to pass.
#15067540
fokker wrote:I would rather have a customs union with US than with Russia. Our economies are more interconnected. Relationship with Russia is mainly based on gas/oil delivery.


There is the principle of "gravity" in economics, which means you trade more with your neighbors than with countries on another continent.

Trade relations between Western Europe and Russia have been artificially hampered first because of the cold war and now because of the sanctions. In other words, the catching up phase will result in an increase of trade with Russia while trade with the US will decline due to the America first policy. Moreover, trade with the whole of the Eurasian continent, of which Russia is an important player, has the potential to totally dwarf trade with the US.

Putin's goal is EU that is closer to Russia and further away from US. While Trump and US alt-right want EU to be more like US - get rid of free services in EU that US doesn't have (as that is a threat to US), move towards US conservatism (anti immigration, anti abortion, US style free speech and freedom of choice) and to remain allied with it against Russia. Americans are capitalists, that means no free stuff, end of times when EU could afford to have minimal armies.


The last couple of decades have shown that the community of values between Europe and the US is a myth. From climate change, to health standards, social standards, geopolitics, trade, etc., the difference between the US and Europe keeps on growing bigger each day. While Putin may favor a type of social conservatism, Russians are by no means hard-wired that way. Anyways, whatever preference Russia may have in this respect, there is no way Europe will align with Russia even in the case of a close partnership. The cultural influence has always gone from West to East, never the opposite way. Culturally and economically Europe is far more influential than Russia. Russia will return to the family of European nations to enrich Europe not to dominate it.

Moreover, at a time Anglo-American neoliberalism is under threat of identitarian populism even in its very home-land, Europe has the opportunity to free itself of the neoliberal dogma to develop its own brand of social market economy with a robust industrial policy to face the technological challenges of the future.

You are overestimating closeness of Russian and European culture.


When I met Russians while working in the Far East, there was never any doubt that we were meeting as like-minded European people in an alien environment. A Dutch expat meeting up with Russian colleagues in Beijing or Tokyo will feel the same cultural affinity as when he is meeting a German, French, British or Spanish colleague. That's why I said that Russia has more cultural affinity with Europe than with China.

Eastern EU Slavic countries, even though being language related to Russia, don't want to be allied with it politically, economically or militarily. They know Russian culture better than west and understand Russia is unique and not compatible with western values.


You can't confound this with the previous point. Anyways, its a simplification. Polish nationalists are hostile towards Russia because they are nationalists not because they don't share a common culture. In fact, different from West Europeans, Poles are social conservatives just like Russians. There is a cultural continuum from West to East. And it's not true that all Central or Eastern Europeans are hostile towards Russia. On the contrary, a common history, even if difficult at times, binds people together. For example, East Germans are more Russophile than West Germans even though they had to suffer Soviet occupation. But even Russophobes in Poland or the Baltics will come to understand that they can only gain by closer economic cooperation with Russia. Economic success depends on keeping your options open in all directions and not on limiting you economic choices.
#15067573
Beren wrote:I wonder if he speaks for Putin himself actually.

I don't know if he is Captain obvious or captain oblivious. When Putin came to power after our favourite drunk Yeltsin, he tried to join EU and NATO. He was told to fuck off and forget about NATO. Then he said what about just the EU. He was basically told to fuck off also. After helping US with Afganistan, he kinda was told to be quite and fuck off again. Long story short his multipolar world speach was a shock to many because they realised that they told fuck off to Russia too many times. But the damage has been done. We ourselves missed the opportunity. Smarter people understood that at the time.

There is also a problem of why it happened. US has ample security concerns of a hegemon appearing in Europe. Russia and EU are such a hegemon that would have more GDP, population and resources. So any deal between EU and Russia needs to involve the US and take their concerns in to account. Basically US needs to have access to Russian resources for their security concerns to be met. Sort of 50 50 between US and EU.
#15067795
Well, the USA tries to stay the only superpower.

I dont see how that can possibly happen.

Russia and China are already getting pretty close. Thats why the USA battles both of them very hard.

India and Brasilia are clearly on the way, too.

All that stops Europe is unification.

Near east, same deal as Europe. They just would have to unify and turn into democracies. And it seems that the USA just had a major loss in the attempt to keep the near east in constant war - Iran and Iraq have been turned into allies.

Additionally the developing countries as a whole are waking up. The internet has spread to them. They realize what kind of living standards we have in developed countries, and they want to join, whatever way necessary.

There is no way for the USA to win this.
#15067805
Negotiator wrote:Well, the USA tries to stay the only superpower.

I dont see how that can possibly happen.

Russia and China are already getting pretty close. Thats why the USA battles both of them very hard.

India and Brasilia are clearly on the way, too.

All that stops Europe is unification.

Near east, same deal as Europe. They just would have to unify and turn into democracies. And it seems that the USA just had a major loss in the attempt to keep the near east in constant war - Iran and Iraq have been turned into allies.

Additionally the developing countries as a whole are waking up. The internet has spread to them. They realize what kind of living standards we have in developed countries, and they want to join, whatever way necessary.

There is no way for the USA to win this.


Your portraying US as evil. US is not evil but has its security interests. The most realistic scenario where US Hegemony can be challanged is a situation where Russia joins the EU basically and pools resources etc together while ignoring any security concerns of the US. US has fought this for the last 150 years since the civil war by involving itself in WW1 and WW2 and the cold war etc.

The only other entity that can challange the US is a unification of China with eat SEA neibhours and Japan in some form of a military alliance which is obviously not going to happen. Russia and China by itself are landlocked nations surrounded by US allies while US fleet dominates the Seas and oceans.

Also this doesn't mean that the US has anything against economic development in those countries.

As i said before, unification of Europe and Russia is possible but problematic because Russia won't want to compromise on many things that Europe and US are unhappy about. The sole fact that Russia would need to forget about supporting its classical dictatorial friends is one of those things ( Syria, Libya, Venezuela, Cuba, NK etc) On top of fixing issues with democratic rule, rule of law, corruption etc. Russian leadership will think that we are putting demands on top of them. Also obviously negotiating with the US and EU at the same time puts it in a weird position since it has been fighting the US and EU to a lesser degree since Putin multipolar speech.
#15067812
JohnRawls wrote:
I don't know if he is Captain Obvious or Captain Oblivious.

We ourselves missed the opportunity. Smarter people understood that at the time.




Both, and that's an insightful point. Putin comes from a counterintel background. Which is a very tactical way of looking at things. The things Putin does are often brilliant tactically, but some really suck strategically.

Prob the worst thing is the way he subverted the country's economic development.

It's the Curse of Oil. Oil gives him the money to play bad boy. Try to put the USSR back together, be a player on the world stage. But not only will oil not last forever, we're not that far from the end of the Age of Oil.

Historians used to call Russia the Sick Man of Europe. When the easy money dries up, it will be again.

Btw, we should have done a Marshall Plan sort of thing for Russia. Bush 1 tried, but his fellow Republicans wouldn't budge. So here we are.
#15067836
It's amazing to me that Russia is considered some uniquely evil, inherently irredeemable bogeyman. Why would European countries having constructive, rather than antagonistic, relations with Moscow be such a bad thing? We all manage to get along perfectly well with Saudi Arabia, which is orders of magnitude worse than Russia on every scale imaginable, and with Israel, which continues to annex Arab land as we speak.

late wrote:There is a fly in the ointment named Putin.

Putin wants to dominate.

There is a more fundamental issue. He disrupted the development of a market economy.
He needed oil money to finance his dream of making russia a major player again, like it used to be.

Heaven forbid he might look at the trajectory of Yeltsin's Russia in the 1990s and think "maybe let's not continue with that".

Atlantis wrote:Try to read up on the EU, it's impossible for Russia to become a full member of the EU at this stage. Russia simply cannot fulfill membership criteria.

Honestly, even if Russia fulfilled all the EU membership criteria I can't imagine a scenario in which it would be allowed in, any more than it would be welcomed into NATO.
#15067889
Heisenberg wrote:
Heaven forbid he might look at the trajectory of Yeltsin's Russia in the 1990s and think "maybe let's not continue with that".




Of course.

But his rule is as much a criminal organisation as it is a government. It is profoundly corrupt, the justice system does what he lets it do, he kills his opponents, or just throws them out of a 4th story window, or poisons them or...

But the worst thing is that they were in the transition to a capitalist economy, and ran the thing off the road.
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