Europe position in the backdrop of US-Russia security talks

Xenia Kalinkina

The Belgian MEP Olivier Chastel expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that only Russia and the United States participate in negotiations on issues related to ensuring security in Europe. The parliamentarian argued his position on this issue in an appeal to the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell. RT got acquainted with the theses formulated by the politician.
As Chastel recalled, Vladimir Putin’s talks with Joe Biden on December 30 last year “left Europe at a disadvantage.” According to him, the conversation between the presidents of Russia and the United States was devoted to “the situation on the Ukrainian border.”
“As a global power, the European Union cannot be passive by doing nothing but coordinating sanctions. He should develop a genuine doctrine and potential for taking measures in the field of security,” the MEP said.
Against this background, Chastel asked Borrell how the EU intends to put into practice “this vision of Europe as a geopolitical force.” Senior Researcher at the Center for European Studies at IMEMO RAS Vladimir Olenchenko, in a conversation with RT, explained why the EU does not take part in the negotiations mentioned above.
“The fact is that the negotiations began at the initiative of Russia. They relate to Russia’s concerns about its own security. This topic is within the competence of NATO and the United States. Therefore, it would probably be inappropriate if Russia addressed its question to the European Union and said that it has serious security concerns on its borders. Here one could stumble upon the sarcastic answer “But we don’t do this,” because the founding documents of the EU do not talk about security issues,” the expert said.
In addition, in order to negotiate, each of the parties must have a common position on the situation put forward for discussion. According to Olenchenko, there is no such unity in Europe.
“The EU member states do not have such a position. They have groups that have their own opinions and arguments. Therefore, even if it is theoretically assumed that they are entering negotiations, it is not clear what position they will take, ”concluded the specialist.
On December 30, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden held telephone conversations.
As the Kremlin later reported, their main topic was the issue of launching a process to provide legal guarantees for Russia’s security. Moscow hopes that the result of such work will be the provision of guarantees that exclude NATO’s advance to the east and the deployment of offensive weapons in close proximity to the country’s borders. Political scientist Gevorg Mirzayan explained to RT why it is difficult for Moscow and NATO to reach a consensus.