The reset doctrine boldly set forth by the Obama administration is having its expected contagion effect, as European governments are greedily stomping over each other, undermining the common policies of the union, and seemingly throwing rule of law and qualms over corruption and human rights out the window for the chance to be known as Putin’s preferred partner on the continent. This trilateral meeting between Russian, French, and German heads of state held in Deauville has Italy jealous, Poland worried, the UK marginalized, and the Eastern Partnership plan officially stillborn. In other words, it’s another moment in the classic disaggregation of Europe, piece by piece. To listen to these politicians speak, it is clear that they are living in some removed, fantastical reality. From the Financial Times:
A German official said, however, that Russia must show it was “constructive in the solution of regional conflicts” if the relationship with the EU was to be widened and deepened.
In Paris, French officials said there were auspicious signs that Russia was “rediscovering the merits of co-operation with western countries”, having been receptive to a “reset” in its relations with Washington. However, “we are still not convinced this amounts to an irreversible strategic choice by Moscow”, one official added.
Mr Sarkozy has advocated an “economic security union” between the EU and Russia, although he has yet to spell out what this might involve. The French president is also keen to promote co-operation in counter-terrorism efforts. (…)
In Moscow, Mr Medvedev’s senior foreign policyadviser said the Russian president would be raising the subject ofcloser ties with Nato, including Russia’s goal of a formal new jointEuropean security framework.
On that issue there is clearly lessenthusiasm in both Berlin and Paris. A senior German official said itwas “more important to have closer EU-Russia co-operation”, while aFrench official said the Russian idea for a new security framework was”no longer really the subject”.