The European Union’s head of diplomacy, Mr. Borrell, whom the Kremlin’s propagandists call “Uncle Joseph”, suffered double humiliation during and after his official visit to Russia: one in Moscow and the other at the European Parliament (EP). It was strange to listen to an awkward voice of one of the most internationally experienced politicians in a joint conference with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, Mečys Laurinkus wrote in lrytas.lt.
And with disappointment and shame, I watched the justification of the bright personality of the future EU construction to the MEPs and the promise to “correct” – to personally raise the idea of new sanctions against Russia.
Since I have lived in the USSR for 40 years, I don’t want to say what this reminds me of. J. Borrell does not read in Lithuanian, although he does know how the Lithuanians differ from the Latvians, and that the Estonians are from a different language group, but someone has probably passed on the proposal of a member of Seimas Ž. Pavilionis to J. Borrell to apologize for his visit to Moscow, to be ashamed of not listening to the Baltic sisters not to go there. Maybe J. Borrell has also found out about the call of MEP R. Juknevičienė to think about whether it would be worth resigning.
In the words of a famous poem, you want to ask: how does a girl have so much courage? Of course, she’s not alone with such a harsh pronunciation. Maybe even earlier than R. Juknevičienė, an Estonian MEP was outraged. We will learn more names later.
But why such a stir against J. Borrell? Certainly not because of the details of the visit and the poor response to the expulsion of diplomats from three EU countries from Russia or the praise of Russian scientists for the ‘’Sputnik’’ vaccine.
The visit took place in a standard manner, following diplomatic protocol and speaking style, and Mr. Borrell, without an official explanation for the expulsion of diplomats, did the right thing not to comment on the incident. He did this when he returned to Brussels. It is obvious that the reason for the dissatisfaction with the head of the EU diplomacy is different, and Lithuania is only a participant in that different game.
I remember Mr. Borrell from the time I happened to be an ambassador to Spain. While holding high-level political positions both inside and outside Spain, he frequently met with diplomats from other countries. An erudite and a wise man. A patriot of the European Union. There was a lot of interesting talk about the future of the EU, its internal reforms, relations with other countries. It seemed to me that he was more Eurocentric than Euro-Atlantic.
Much less was said about China at the time than it is now, but Mr. Borrell would remind that Europe would still face the country. When he became head of the EU diplomacy, I thought it was the best choice, much better than it used to be.
I do not know what Mr. Borrell’s current views are, but I judge from individual fragmentary statements that the Eurocentric position is strengthening and that it is cautious towards the United States and China. As far as I understand, he would not want Russia to move towards China, let alone the EU to push it there. This is a very complex topic that is virtually untouched in Lithuania.
It goes without saying that in any bureaucratic structure, and in the EU it is quite large and branched, the so-called game of thrones and behind the scenes games are happening. What determines the decisions, who struggles with whom, which camps and where to move? It is virtually impossible to learn anything from Lithuanian representatives of various levels in the EU. All the more so from the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University. An empty place unless someone writing reviews says a word or two.
I am convinced that at the moment, J. Borrell is in the field of various political games, in which the representatives of Lithuania are also starting to take an active part. I feel that there is a desire to replace him with a more pro-Euro-Atlantic politician.
I don’t think he will succeed. J. Borrell is a strong and influential politician, and after enduring a wave of dissatisfaction, he will remember Lithuania’s proposals regarding his future for a long time. And even if he fails to stay in the post, he will remember it even longer. In any case, in the structure of the EU, Lithuania already has an influential person who looks at our country with a frown.
No less interesting is what happened during his visit to Moscow. The expulsion of diplomats from three EU countries was urgently (it could not have been done too much ahead) coordinated with Borrell’s visit to a strategic competitor.
It is strange though because the expulsion campaign is completely useless for V. Putin, as he himself not so long ago, apparently in view of J. Borrell’s visit, extended his hand of friendship to the European Union in Davos. After all, he could have moved the campaign after the visit.
Propagandists, by the way, sometimes already criticizing the Kremlin for not always adequate, that is too lenient, positions towards the West, screamed with joy when the government showed character.
Reviewers are not barred from developing conspiracy theories, so I do not rule out that the Kremlin, like the rest of the world, has a highly developed culture of behind-the-scenes politics.
Elections to the Duma are fast approaching. It is the elections in the autumn that are the main goal of the A. Navalny campaign.
Political hawks, fiercer than in Gorbachev’s time, but no longer communists, demand both a harder hand on Putin’s part (not to mention his name openly) and a harder state line.
The “Navalny action” is not for democracy because it is not the same, but rather for anarchy, so that an ordinary citizen cannot tell who is who before the election.
As for writing on political issues and wanting to understand what is objectively happening after the rise in power in many states, I think Putin has made a concession to the hard line, even though a friendly, shadowless separation with Mr. Borrell would indeed be so much more beneficial to him.
I guess that the wing of political hawks is forming in EU structures as well. What happens when hawks get together is well known to ornithologists.