The EU’s Intellectual Dishonesty over Ukraine
If Russian leaders needed one good reason not to trust the promises made by their Western counterparts, it was given to them in December by former Chancellor Angela Merkel and former President François Hollande, who were the guarantors of the 2014-2015 Minsk accords (cf. SAS 50/22, 1/23). They have both admitted that they never intended to ensure implementation of those agreements, providing for a ceasefire in the Donbass and negotiation of autonomy, but merely sought to “buy time” so that Ukraine could build up its military capabilities against Russia.
For memory, the German Chancellor told Die Zeit (Dec. 7) that “The 2014 Minsk Agreement was an attempt to give Ukraine time. It also used that time to get stronger, as can be seen today.” When asked about this by Kyiv Independent in an interview published Dec. 28, Francois Hollande said Merkel was right.
Regardless of what prompted the confessions of these two European leaders today, it shows that the Russian’s military operation in 2022 was not “unprovoked”, but launched in order to pre-empt an escalation of the killing in the Donbass, and beyond.
The West’s hypocrisy is compounded by the fact that the lifting of the EU sanctions against Russia was made conditional on fulfillment of the Minsk agreements – when those concerned knew all along that that would never happen. The chairman of the European Council at the time, Donald Tusk, stated at an EU summit in Brussels on March 19, 2015: “The duration of economic sanctions will be clearly linked to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreement, bearing in mind that this is only foreseen by the end of 2015”. Angela Merkel herself had made clear on January 8, 2015, at a press conference in Berlin: “I think we need to see the entire Minsk agreement implemented before we can say that sanctions will be lifted.”
Since then, the EU has adopted nine series of sanctions against Russia in all, which were designed to strangulate the Russian economy. In fact, they have harmed the economies of EU member states more than that of Russia (cf. below). At the same time, major EU member countries have de facto dropped any claim to not being a party to the war against Russia, by supplying ever more weapons, intelligence capabilities, and money to Kiev.
The duplicity of the European Union, and of France in particular, has been blasted by economist Pierre de Gaulle, the grandson of former French President Charles de Gaulle, who staunchly defended “Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals”. At a gathering of the Franco-Russian Dialogue Association in Paris on Dec. 16, Pierre de Gaulle denounced the EU’s “intellectual dishonesty in the Ukrainian crisis”, given that the war had been triggered by the Americans and NATO. Citing Angela Merkel’s admission on the Minsk accords, he noted that the EU’s non implementation of that agreement allowed between 16 and 18,000 people to be killed in the Donbass. De Gaulle’s accusations were backed in Germany by Oskar Lafontaine, on the NachDenkSeiten website.