For whom was Borrell's mission in Russia a failure?

Who arranged a demonstrative flogging of Borrell in the European media and why?
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print 12 2 2021

Following the trip of European Commissioner Josep Borrell to Moscow and his final press conference together with Sergey Lavrov, a formal scandal broke out in the EU. Borrell was reproached in Europe for not being able to negotiate, making a mistake with the timing, and speaking to Moscow in an inappropriately soft tone. Russia was accused of humiliating the European Commissioner, aggressive behaviour and rejecting the EU's proposed "olive branch" of peace.

Most importantly, all the accusations came from European officials and institutions directly led by the United States. German broadcaster Deutsche Welle and former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen are not European, but American institutions of influence. Borrell is so intimidated by this pressure that he himself admitted his guilt, but only partially, accusing Russia of unwillingness to restore contact with the EU.

As is known, all the noise was caused by the fact that just at the time of Borrell's visit to Moscow, three diplomats – from Germany, Sweden and Poland - were expelled from it. The reason: direct interference in the internal affairs of Russia in the form of participation in Navalny’s illegal protest rallies, which from the point of view of the canons of diplomacy is unheard of and a gross violation of all international norms.

Russia was supposed to swallow this audacity and not only remain silent, but also submit to all demands to give full freedom of action to those who are determined to carry out a coup d'etat.

Russia has shown that the red line has been crossed, and further the entire dialogue will be sacrificed to those who deliberately behave in a hostile manner towards Russia. It is inconceivable that Russia would send its diplomats to support the Yellow Vests riots in France, the marches against sanitary restrictions in Berlin, or the BLM riots in the United States, let alone storm the Capitol in response to the rigging of the American presidential election. And if Russia allows such participation, it is even more difficult to imagine that the West will not send back Russian ambassadors. And besides, it will not impose total sanctions against Russia.

In fact, Borrell found himself in an awkward position for the reason that the European vector in relation to Russia intersected with the American one. The visit to Moscow came at a time when America was playing out its scenario with Navalny, and all the European vassals were ordered to support the process, which was done in the form of the appearance of diplomats at the trial of Navalny – another unheard-of act of impudence.

Borrell's visit had been planned for a long time and was in no way linked to the US agenda for the Navalny case. In Moscow, there was something like how two cars collide at an intersection, the drivers of which did not see each other. Borrell was traveling on behalf of the European elite, but its pro-American part intercepted the agenda and obstructed Borrell by hitting Russia and European non-Atlantic groups seeking to strengthen ties with Putin to protect them from the United States.

In other words, Borrell was driving on behalf of those who are lobbying for Nord Stream 2, and those who are undermining this project with all their might were defaming him.

Russia did not aim to massacre Borrell, it responded to Washington and the European puppets it played, but Borrell came under fire, and it turned out that via him Russia responded to Europe. In fact, this is true, but only in part. In the part in which Borrell is the Euro-Atlanticist commissioner, he received a slap in the face, but in the part in which he is the commissioner of the old European elites, he is not the target of a Russian counter-attack.

Not to expel European diplomats who had directly challenged Putin was to silently accept an insult to the whole of Russia. After that, the West would receive a signal that everything is allowed in relation to Russia. Russia replied that this was not the case, but at that moment Borrell was "passing by", and he was "covered with a blast wave", although "they did not shoot" at him.

Perhaps Borrell's visit at this very moment was stimulated by those who deliberately wanted to get a scandal after that and slow down the normalisation of relations between Europe and Russia, bypassing the United States. Someone knew that Russia was preparing to expel the diplomats, and did not warn Borrell against visiting right now.

This is a somewhat conspiratorial version, but given the degree of US agents' involvement in European institutions, it is not surprising. If Borrell's visit had happened after the diplomats were expelled, it would have been a sign of Europe's acceptance of Moscow's actions. The refusal of the visit did not carry the possibility of a scandal, which means that the European-Russian process would not have been slowed down.

No, Borrell's visit had to be combined with the expulsion of diplomats, and then everyone who is looking for negotiations with Moscow and wants a compromise would receive a long-term wrap around the knuckles and hand over to the United States the initiative in defining the Russian-European agenda. If to look for who benefits, then the US’ interest is very clear. In this case, a banal trap was set for Borrell, but again, those who did it were not hunting Borrell.

Russia has shown that it puts the principles of sovereignty and security above all negotiations. No doubts are allowed here. Europe has shown that it does not set the agenda even in its own political field. And that it is in principle non-subjective as a party to the negotiations. It is not sovereign, which means that sovereign states can afford to push European representatives out the door at the right time without fear of serious consequences from what they have done.

After all, the agenda of negotiations with Europe is determined in the United States, not in Brussels. This means that the moment of entry and exit from the negotiations belongs to Moscow, and not to Brussels, controlled from Washington. With all the help from Russia to save the face of the EU as a partner striving for subjectivity.

For Russia, it is more important to repel the US attack on the domestic field than to play along with Borrell or someone else in Brussels. This is a matter of priorities, and despite the importance of relations with the EU, the choice has been made and demonstrated.

And most importantly, this is understood correctly, which explains the extreme degree of irritation and annoyance expressed, first of all, by American talking heads in Europe.

European unbiased speakers understand everything correctly and hold a pause, waiting for the tension to subside, and it will be possible to make new attempts at dialogue. First of all, to save themselves from being completely absorbed by Atlanticist groups on both sides of the Atlantic, who perceive any such attempt as an attempt to escape, opening fire without warning.

The United States once again managed to push Europe away from smoothing-out relations with Russia. For the United States right now, such a smoothing-out is unacceptable - while Biden is entering the process and has not yet managed to set all the priorities. Washington demands a veto over Europe's relations with Russia, and if it is not given such a right, it will try to take it away by force.

With Russia this does not work, but with Europe it is possible, and therefore Borrell first goes to Russia, and then gets into a ridiculous situation and justifies himself. Without the consent of the United States, Europe cannot conduct diplomacy. From the point of view of the United States, the sovereignty of Europe is unacceptable, and the demonstrative flogging of Borrell in the European media should serve as additional confirmation of this.

Elena Panina - Director of the RUSSTRAT Institute

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