Have we ever been close to war with Russia on the European border? This is the question everyone has been asking since the resurgence of tensions in the suburbs of Ukraine. Tangui Strowe, Professor of International Relations, “This is the first time in 30 years that we have had such significant tensions in the region since the end of the Cold War.”. However, there was already a war between the Russians and the Ukrainians since 2014, but the guest recalled that it was very hidden.
So can we already talk about a new Cold War between the Russians and the Americans? Tangui Stroy is wary of analogies. “Certainly the rivalry between the major powers is back, so it’s a resistance between the United States and Russia, but so is China. This conflict regime is bad news for all.
“They will not win if they occupy a country like Ukraine with 100,000 people.”
Russia already has 100,000 Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, but will it really invade and when? “Difficult to answer”Says Tangui Stroy. “Because in the end, it is Putin who will make the decision. But diplomatic pressure is important, because the fact that many thousands of people are concentrating will allow Putin to remain strong at least on a military level. Then, 100,000 men is no more and no more. They will not succeed in invading. The purpose here is to ensure that Ukraine remains unstable.
“From a Russian perspective, Europe is weak.”
The professor returns for various reasons that Russia is trying to occupy Ukraine. “There is a spontaneous retaliation on the part of the Russians over the outcome of the Cold War and a particular humiliation. We have seen that in many of Putin’s speeches in recent years.”. But for Tangui Straw, the main reason lies elsewhere. “Russia’s priority over Ukraine is to have a zone of influence to protect Moscow, whether it’s related to NATO from a security perspective or related to the expansion of the EU from a democratic point of view. Important countries, because in Russia’s view, Europe is weakened. In the Kremlin or in Russian media editorials, they denounce European progressive values. Russia, too, in abortion, same-sex marriage, to look like a little Belgium He is afraid that it will happen. And since 2016, Russia has regained control of everything, including the media and the Internet, to prevent Western ideology from reaching the Russian people.
In addition to these two aspects, there is prestige and desire among the great nations. “The two great powers of tomorrow are the Americans and the Chinese. A country like Russia is looking for itself between these two powers.”Says our guest. “Russia has a big period, and then there’s a downturn. And Putin wants to come back a little bit among the adults. So it has to be respected, a desire for dignity, a reputation. For now, Putin is being forced to show it. Russia is a key player. Until it is shown to be respected by Europeans, it remains another debate because it depends on the outcome of the negotiations..
“Macron plays more than one card”
Europe in all of this? Professor of International Relations at UC Louvain explains that he plays a role within NATO. “Americans have a lot of consultation with Europeans, especially in France, Germany and the Baltics.”Refers to Tanguy Struye.
However, he points to the role played by French President Emmanuel Macron in the conflict. “Now, if we take the EU, we see that European companies are completely out of touch with the negotiations, so we do not see Ursula van der Leyen or Charles Michel leading the way. Macron surprised by starting a somewhat unilateral debate 10 days ago that suddenly created a lot of confusion, and this is what the Russians expect: there are divisions between European countries, NATO and the United States, so this is an opportunity for the Russians. We forget because it is believed that France always protects European interests but in fact France always protects its interests first.France sometimes forgets that Europe is 27 countries.
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