One of the main political events of the past week was the Munich Security Conference, which brought together more than 150 heads of state, senior diplomats and prime ministers in the Bavarian capital for an open discussion of burning issues of the current political agenda.
A topic important for discussion was the vector of further interaction between Russia and the countries of Europe. French President Emmanuel Macron, whose current aspirations were assessed by Sergei Lavrov, who was in charge of the Russian delegation, as “pragmatic” and “politically discerning”, has repeatedly called for the need to resume a sustained dialogue with Moscow, noting the fact that it was extremely difficult to predict economic benefits from sanctions in Russia and the retaliatory measures in the foreseeable future.
As the conference proceeded, negotiations between the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and the Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry were held. They paid special attention to “practical issues of developing a dialogue between the EU and the EAEU with the prospect of creating conditions for the formation of a common economic and humanitarian space from Lisbon to Vladivostok”, and also discussed the specifics of the completion of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline construction. It is known that today Nord Stream-2 is one of the most important strategic subjects of international cooperation within the framework of the European geopolitical space, which plays a significant role in the prospective improvement of relations between the countries to which its economic effect is being directed.
We should recall that in the end of December 2019, the US sanctions forced the Nord Stream-2 contractor, the Swiss company Allseas, to suspend laying the last underwater section of the pipeline and leave the construction site. Lavrov justly called the US attempts to disrupt this economic and energy project “an impudent and cynical act of interference in the affairs of European business”.
At the same time, Germany is also not satisfied with the traditionally aggressive US policy. Germany’s political course is currently clearly oriented towards establishing closer and more trusting relations with Russia. In particular, this was announced on Tuesday, February 18, by the German Minister of Economics and Energy Peter Altmaier during his speech at the Russian-German conference in Berlin. He noted Germany’s growing need for more natural gas and intensified dialogue with Russia, in connection with which it was decided to create a German-Russian working group on future energy policy, not only to complete the construction of Nord Stream-2, «meeting the interests of both countries», but also for competent interaction in future.
“I would like a breakthrough in bilateral relations. Russia has undergone a huge transformation, in many areas it has become a modern country. We are ready and really want to continue and improve our economic relations. Russia is a necessary partner for Germany in our quest to solve the problems of the world”, — Peter Altmaier expressed his opinion. The German minister also noted that Germany was actively discussing the question of limiting the negative impact of sanctions on German enterprises with the United States.
The fact that relations between Russia and the leading countries of the European Union in the nearest future may reach a qualitatively new level is not denied by the Italian political expert, Tiberio Graziani, President of the Vision & Global Trends International Institute for Global Analysis. He commented on the current situation as follows:
«Currently there are new pronouncements, mainly made by the French President Emmanuel Macron, aimed at improving relations between the Russian Federation and the European Union. These intentions are also confirmed by the growing attention that France and Germany show towards the other great power of the Eurasian continental mass: China. The two lungs of Eurasia — Russia and China — should agree on a policy as common as possible towards the European Union.
However, it should be remembered that the Euro-Atlantic strabismus of Brussels and the participation of member countries of the European Union in NATO places a heavy mortgage of the improvement of Euro-Russian relations, both regarding security issues, and regarding the issue of sanctions.
The Nord Stream-2 pipeline is a powerful opportunity that Germany could and should structure within the framework of softening of Brussels’ positions towards Moscow».
Of course, today the prerequisites for a peaceful, safe and united existence and interaction of countries in the European geopolitical space are slowly but surely being strengthened. It is unlikely that the world community will be able to get rid of the destructive intervention of the United States, due to the introduction of sanctions. Despite this, the competent, pragmatic and far-sighted policies of Russia, China and the most important members of the European Union, which are also being implemented in economic and energy projects, will undoubtedly contribute to the establishment of stable and reasonable relations.