Europe shot itself in two feet in terms of its relations with Russia: MEPs
Published: Apr 11, 2023 10:50 PM
Illustration: Carlos Latuff

Illustration: Carlos Latuff

Europe shot itself in two feet in terms of its relations with Russia, rather than championing peace in response to the Russia-Ukraine war, said Clare Daly, a member of the European Parliament (MEP), in an interview with the Global Times.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has been going on for more than a year, with no end in sight. The US and its NATO allies keep supplying a wide range of heavy weapons to Ukraine, further prolonging the war.

The war has caused an unprecedented energy crisis for the EU, leading to a sharp rise in energy prices and increasing hardship for Europeans, according to European Commission. Peace activists have voiced their objections and have been organizing demonstrations across Europe to call for a halt to the escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in the past months. 

"[The US has] used our military to safeguard their financial investments and interests around the world at the great expense of the ordinary people in every country," MEP Mike Wallace told the Global Times. 

The two members of the European Parliament were on an unofficial trip to China as recent days saw extensive exchanges between China and European countries. 

On the energy crisis, Wallace mentioned that the Nord Stream sabotage was an act of terrorism. 

"It was an incredible environmental crime and the largest release of methane emissions in the history of mankind," he said. 

The Nord Stream pipelines conveyed natural gas from Russia to Europe, which could ensure the diversification and security of the European energy supply. However, the sabotage of Nord Stream pipelines on September 26 last year shocked the world, because it involves the interests of many parties, including Russia, Germany and the EU, and its destruction will have an impact on the geopolitical landscape.

Seymour Hersh, an American investigative journalist, said in his article titled "How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline" on February 8 that Biden's decision to sabotage the pipelines came after more than nine months of highly secret back and forth debate inside Washington's national security community about how to best achieve that goal. 

Some observers say that the pipeline explosions are, to some extent, equivalent to an economic war against European countries.

At the moment, the truth of the Nord Stream pipeline incident has been uncovered. Despite being the victim, Europe seems to have stopped any further investigation into the incident and European politicians have little interest in exposing the truth. 

"European leaders don't want an investigation because they're afraid of the answer, because if it was the US, which is entirely possible, then that is an act of war, by the US, our supposed like-minded partner and friend," said Daly. 

A survey conducted by the European Council for Foreign Relations last year showed over 70 percent of EU citizens favored peace rather than efforts to continue punishing Russia. Wallace questioned why the EU still refuses to listen to its citizens and still supports the proxy war of US against Russia.

"We condemn the failure of the EU to make any effort to work for peace or to look for dialogue and diplomacy," Wallace told the Global Times. 

On February 24, China released a document titled "China's Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis" which contains 12 points for achieving a ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia. 

"The effort by China to introduce an idea for peace was welcomed by us," said Wallace, who believes it's a start of dialogue and a start to bring an end to the terrible war.

It is echoed by Daly who said that "We thought it was really helpful that the Chinese did come up with a peace plan. World relations are in a very difficult place. The only way out of that is through peace and dialogue. Sitting down and working out a peace plan is hard work, but it doesn't mean we should surrender."

Daly added that what is more important, in some ways, is the role that China is playing now on the world stage in terms of international affairs and arguing for peace in Ukraine. "Because for too long, the world has been dominated by the US, who has acted in its own interests, as all countries do. But unfortunately, that interest was to the detriment of people all over the world, and all of us are paying a price for that," said Daly.