Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky:
“In the leading countries of the European Union – Germany and France – voices are increasingly clearly voiced in favor of revising Euro-Atlantic relations: the United States in Europe no longer wants to be perceived as a hegemon. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview with several European newspapers that European countries should seriously think about a new reality in which the United States does not seek to fulfill the role of world leader, as before. Commenting on the reduction of the US military contingent in Germany (some of the troops will be redeployed to Poland), Merkel noted that US troops help protect not only the European part of NATO, but also Washington’s interests. In the USA, this was explained by Berlin’s failure to fulfill financial obligations under the Alliance, making such a decision without any consultation with Germany.
If Merkel, speaking of relations with Washington, carefully selects words and does not question transatlantic cooperation in the field of defense in principle, then German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks much more clearly. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference in February this year, he called for “building the European Union for Security and Defense as a strong European pillar of NATO.” “The era when America was a global policeman everywhere is coming to an end,” he said.
American politicians have long been concerned about the decline in transatlantic cooperation with the relatively more independent role of the European Union in decision-making. Suffice it to recall the position of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who stated the need to create an EU defense union and a “truly geopolitical European Commission”, as well as the statement by French President Emanuel Macron about “the death of NATO’s brain”.
The President of France plays a special role here, continuing the course on the independence of France, which was begun by Charles de Gaulle. Macron supports the idea of creating a separate defense system of the European Union with its own army and command structure. Macron’s concept was formulated as European “strategic autonomy” in defense and foreign policy — or, as the French president put it, “military and technological sovereignty.” This means, he said, the ability to defend the continent without reliance on the United States. And at the same time hold a strategic dialogue with Russia. Recognizing that the policy of sanctions and counter-sanctions is not working, he emphasizes that Europe “needs a complete redefinition of relations with Russia after the Cold War.”
“Relations between France and Russia, Russia and the EU play a decisive role. We deeply believe in this Europe, which extends from Lisbon to Vladivostok,” Macron said. During yesterday’s video conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he again emphasized this idea. “I believe that the crisis we are going through shows the importance of the European space in the broad sense of the word – from Lisbon to Vladivostok. This is a real space of cooperation and peace.”
Of course, it is unlikely that it will be possible to quickly break down the stereotypes that have developed over decades – “Europe is safe under Uncle Sam’s umbrella”. We must not forget that the European Union is not so single – let’s recall at least Poland, which has become the main US satellite in Europe and the center of Russophobic sentiments. But the trend is clear – Europe is less and less willing to obey the American dictatorship. And more and more turns to face Russia. After all, Eurasia is our common continent. ”