Archive for October 18th, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Deauville: “West could use Russian Boost”

Deauville is a nice small town in Normandy, with pleasures for all seasons – even if you are Nicolas Sarkozy, French president, doing battle against strikes and corruption allegations. This is where Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and Nicolas Sarkozy are currently in a “brainstorming session”. No concrete decision will be made in fear of allies discontent, writes Xinhua Net, adding an anonymous senior American official’s question as reportedly quoted by New York Times: “Since when, I wonder, is European security no longer an issue of American concern, but something for Europe and Russia to resolve?”

The Voice of Russia points out how essential an alliance with Russia would be for the Old World, i. e. European leaders, if the latter want to maintain some relevance in tomorrow’s world politics:

Even the most pro-European minded members of the Obama Administration are now saying that the only reason behind America’s continued interest in Europe is that it can promote American interests outside Europe.

The idea of a common economic, human, and security field is dear to Sarkozy, writes Le Monde. “Russia seems to rediscover the advantages of a cooperative attitude with western countries”, the paper quotes one of Sarkozy’s advisers. “This will be an opportunity to consolidate this positive development.” Merkel is quoted as saying that it was necessary to evaluate how to improve cooperation between Russia and NATO.

The Voice of Russia appears to be skeptical, especially about Merkel’s goals, quoting an expert:

At the same time, the idea of making NATO’S existing security system work also for Russia looks a bit unrealistic, says Dmitry Suslov, an expert with the Foreign and Defense Policy Council in Moscow In France they keep saying they would like to see a greater deal of rapprochement between Russia and Europe, but not necessarily between Russia and NATO.

Deauville may be a nice break for Sarkozy, and a chance to play the statesman, as BBC correspondent Hugh Schofield puts it – but German business will wish him luck and success with the trilateral talks – especially as far as the economic field is concerned.

“While western companies are thwarted in China by protectionism, Chinese state companies are succeeding in Eastern European infrastructure bids, even up to the EU”, the Handelsblatt quotes Klaus Mangold, parting chairman of Germany’s Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations (Ostausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft). The same applied for China’s strategy of securing itself important resources in Central Asia and Russia. Something had to happen, and political support for this was essential.

Mangold made his statement on Wednesday last week.

Stefan Ulrich, the Süddeutsche Zeitung‘s correspondent in Paris, looks at China, too:

The world is once again changing. China, which ignores values such as human rights, is rising rapidly. The EU could find itself on the sidelines, and the USA are losing their paramount position already. Therefore, the West could use a boost from Russia. At the moment, security and business are the issues. [But] in the long run, an alliance with Russia will only work if Russia shares these western values. This, too, needs to be discussed in the fresh air of Deauville.

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Related
“This isn’t 1968”, August 16, 2010

Update/Related
美媒:俄罗斯亲近欧洲应对崛起的中国, caixun.com, Oct. 19, 2010

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