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Europe’s dependency on Russia has given Putin a royal flush in poker game of diplomacy

by on April 3, 2014

Europe’s dependency on Russia has given Putin a royal flush in poker game of diplomacy

The recent events in Ukraine reveals to world the true strength of Russia’s power and stranglehold it has over Europe. The European nations have lay dormant as Russia has enter Crimea and taken over Ukrainian sovereign lands.  The idle attitude from the European states shows the power that Russia has as so many European countries are dependent on Russian natural energy resources.

The art of diplomacy has been render useless during the rise of dependency from the European states as we have seen on numerous occasion in the modern era Russia can do as it pleases without any repercussion. Russia invaded Georgia while international community stood still and now yet again Russia has ignored international law and have occupied Crimea.  The question on everyone lips is why has Europe not taken a greater stance on Russia. Europe has the power to deal a great blow to the weakening Russian economy by putting embargo on the natural gas and other energy resources. However the answer to why European nations have sat back languorously could be seen in local election results in france with the national front party making incredible gains. Another answer reveals itself within the civil unrest in both Holland and constant  protest within Spain. Europe is still an economic mess and any embargos put on Russian natural energy resources will result in more economic woes for the faltering countries.

Angela Merkel believes that economic sanctions made by the European states would have great effect on the Russian economy . Therefore she seems to be ready to do what it takes. However Europe can only do and economic sanction with all  the EU nations agreeing to do so.

eu pictureItaly gets 30% of its natural resources from Russia would they be so keen on giving on putting an embargo on 30% of energy the country receives?

The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that “if Putin continues doing what he’s doing, we could envisage cancelling the sales but we will ask others, and I’m thinking namely the British, to do the same with the assets of the Russian oligarchs in London. Sanctions have to be shouldered by everyone.” And that begs the question of whether the British would back financial sanctions at risk to their own interests? Other countries, dependent on Russia for their energy, have already signalled their opposition to economic sanctions

President Obama is in disbelief at how   Russia has repelled diplomatic proposals, but said this is not return of the cold war and that  USA and her allies seek a solution that avoids a return of the red scare. “After all, unlike the Soviet Union, Russia leads no bloc of nations,” he said.

Although the conclusion given by president Obama is true, Russia under the leadership of Putin has reveal that it is willing to  cross the so called potent line  of international law as it pleases. This undoubtedly puts into question the strength of diplomacy. The only conclusion that I can come to is that in this world  natural energy resources is King and Diplomacy is the jester.


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  1. This piece tantalisingly highlights the balancing act which Europe needs to get right, on the one hand, upholding international law and order and on the other hand protecting its multi national interests. Deep down I think EU diplomats know Crimea is a lost cause.
    The piece cites Italy as an example but in general around 25% of oil and gas used in Europe comes from Russia and shows Europe has little space to manoeuvre, military action would be ludicrous, tougher sanctions could provoke Russia into further annexations and complete diplomat cut off but doing nothing would only embolden Putin further.
    To put it bluntly, excessive pressure on Russia could mean a shortfall in energy resources across Europe and smash post recession economies and I think this is the main reason and less to do with elections in France etc. This is something intolerable to EU leaders for the sake of a small piece of Ukrainian territory. Furthermore the Ukraine has nothing to offer Europe apart from being a proxy for western countries to geographically contain Russia.

  2. themanisred permalink

    I was enticed by your blog title and thought it could get better, then I read the last line,
    “in this world natural energy resources is King and Diplomacy is the jester.”
    While it may not be the case worldwide, this definitely sums up, for me, the direction of Russia’s diplomatic efforts

  3. Thank you for your thoughts on this issue. In terms of the reasons why the West has not responded more forcefully, I think we have to add the issues of proximity, lack of public will and nuclear weapons (the latter pretty much rule out any direct confrontation between Russia and NATO forces, just as they did during the Cold War). The argument is also a bit one-sided, as interdependence always cuts both ways. But a more serious issue is the relevance of this blog entry for this particular module. It does not seem to address any of the themes or concepts we have explored. A lot of revisions and refocusing is required to make this post worthy of inclusion in your portfolio, otherwise it will pull down your grade.

    There are also some typographical and grammatical errors (e.g., in paragraph 2 both France and National Front Party require upper-case first letters as they are proper nouns).

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