European accelerations towards a frontal war with Russia are increasingly dramatic. The words of the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, are worrying. Where at the European summit in Prague a few days ago, he urged Europe to provide heavy weapons and tanks to the Ukrainian army.
Tracing an increasingly clear choice of terrain and in fact more and more distant from this position of mediation led rather by Turkey or the Vatican. Since the start of the conflict, the United States has pushed for a standoff with Moscow, insisting that the EU too, since the construction of Nord Stream 2, should loosen its grip with Moscow.
@ ANSA / CHIGI’S PALACE / ATTILI PRESS OFFICE
But are we sure that pursuing this political path will benefit Europeans, global stability and, last but not least, Ukrainians themselves?
Europe and the “pure” pro-Atlanticist line
The shipment of heavy weapons to kyiv, as well as the Ukrainian military training program announced by the High Representative for EU Foreign Policy, Borrell. They depict a Europe that is certainly not jostling to offer Russia a way out. So what do we do to “cool down” climbing? To avoid the worst possible scenario? A frontal war with Russia. The answer is: little and nothing. Not only is Europe not acting united to mitigate the negative effects of the conflict on the economy of the old continent. By quickly adopting measures such as decoupling or price caps. But he does not even seem to want to know whether to ease tensions between the Western and pro-Russian blocs. By contributing to a tightening of EU-Russia diplomatic relations which pushes back the ceasefire every day.
@Ansa – EPA / MARTIN DIVISEK
But we have reached 8 months of war, with skyrocketing inflation, a global recession on the doorstep, thousands of deaths on both sides. Not to mention the threat of a nuclear Armageddon among the possible scenarios. We wonder, are we sure this is the right line to keep? Today we learned that the Americans have seen us far ahead on Europe’s strategic dependence on Russian gas. But at the same time, we understood to what extent this strategic dependence had guaranteed global stability for the past thirty years. On the contrary, the “pure” pro-Atlanticist position maintained today by the EU does not only generate an imbalance of the economic surplus totally in favor of the American economy. But it generates an earthquake in the global geopolitical balance. We can be sure that the EU will certainly not benefit from this. And we are already seeing the first signs of it today.
The competitive advantage of the United States over Europe: the dangers of pro-Atlanticism
The energy crisis is not materializing in the United States as it is in Europe. Crude oil has also increased there, but 60% of demand is met by local extractions. And so much of the hikes that weigh on families and businesses end up “staying at home” and fueling U.S. GDP. Gas in Europe is registering prices around 15 to 20 times higher than before the pandemic, while US LNG producers are now registering historic export levels. According to the International Energy Agency, thanks to Europe’s thirst for gas, American producers are now the main exporters of LNG in the world. Overtake Australia and Qatar for the first time. Oil and gas prices in Europe are pushing up production costs, putting the manufacturing sector in crisis, on the contrary in the United States, they are reducing their trade deficit with the EU. It went from 220 billion last year to almost 111 billion this year.
@Pixabay – OpenClipart-Vectors
But this competitive advantage of the United States over the EU occurs mainly at the expense of the Ukrainian people. Who, despite the excellent results obtained on the ground, still do not see the end of the war. And the dangerously protracted conflict lengthens not only the list of dead – Ukrainians and Russians – but also the risks of a world war. By embracing “pure” pro-Atlanticism in fact, Europe not only does not encourage any diplomatic solution with Putin, but leaves this opportunity in the hands of Erdogan’s ambiguous Turkey. Which, like Putin, in turn pursues its own hegemonic plan, not always close to European interests.
The Third Way: Opening a Possibility of Peace
So we live impatiently in this Cold War 2.0 where statements and threats bounce from side to side. We should ask ourselves, what are we doing for peace? What is this tough European policy leading to? What are we doing in the interests of Ukrainians and Europeans? And how much those of the Americans? Italy’s Cold War experience teaches us that there is a viable third way “between the two fires”. That one can be pro-Atlanticist while retaining one’s own sphere of strategic independence. US policy foresees a full-frontal confrontation with Moscow – like that of Ukraine under attack – while the EU has lost the opportunity to lift the strong demand that the war end as soon as possible, before it be too late.
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