Why is the EU still divided on Russia?
In a special edition of AJC Central Europe’s 7 Minutes from Central Europe series, Dr. Sebastian Rejak sat for an interview with Mr. Nicholas Tenzer, editor of Desk Russie and guest professor of Sciences Po Paris, to discuss Russia’s threat against Ukrainian sovereignty and why there is still a lack of clear unity within the EU on this issue.
Tenzer addresses European countries’ different positions on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. While some of the nations have a strong stance and are being realistic about the threats of the Russian regime – just like most of the Central European, Baltic and Nordic nations – there are countries that are still considering the option of striking a deal with Moscow, like Germany, France and Italy.
Dr. Rejak then asked, why we are witnessing division even within the Central European block, with double messages from the Polish and Hungarian leadership and how this lack of unity is being understood in Brussels. While Mr. Tenzer considers Hungary having close relations with Russia, Budapest is still voting in favor of extending sanctions.
The real issue is that there is a complete inconsistency of Polish foreign policy. Because on the one hand they are very tough on the Kremlin, but on the other hand they are doing exaclty the same things, when it comes to domestic politics regarding minorities, free media, or judiciary independence – Mr. Tenzer explained.
Mr. Tenzer concluded saying when there is no consistent narrative, it is very difficult to fight against Putin’s regime. The professor couldn’t predict whether Russian invasion of Ukraine will continue. He underscored that the war that began in 2014 never stopped and is ongoing today. Therefore the Western world also shouldn’t accept the status quo as final and should move forward with its sanctions against Russia.