Show solidarity with Britain over poisoneous politics
The use of a nerve agent in the idyllic city of Salisbury is poisoning international politics. I hope that the British government will find more evidence about the details of that crime. The poison is only produced in Russia, possibly North Corea has also some access, it is very dangereous to produce, so it is not very likely that somebody cooked it in a private kitchen. There is a spy story behind it, which implies that Russia could have a motive. The other possibility could be a criminal plot that involves Russian criminals with links to military circles who have acces to the nerve agent. In fact it is sometimes difficult to draw a clear line between Russian organized crime and the ruling political and economic class in Russia.
Politics is not a judicial trial, it is based on trust or – if necessary – it has to be based on distrust. The development of Russian politics during the last five years did lamentably destroy most of the scarce capital of trust, that saw Russia at least as a rational and reliable partner even if the internal regime was becoming more and more authoritarian. The hybrid war on Crimea, the behaviour in Eastern Ukraine and on all the different „frozen conflicts“ showed a regime willing to use force at will without any moral scruples. But what makes me more angry is the fallback into the typical Soviet behaviour of ridiculizing those who want to keep the dialogue open. Lavrov has developed into somebody who believes that he can lie into the face of his counterparts and bully them into accepting this as a kind of policy. This is the opposite of confidence building.
Europe seems to be in a weak position. Brexit is a desaster and makes little England again. Donald Trump made America a risk again. Populists all over make people stupid again by their propaganda. And Putin calculates that he can be even a bigger boss again when feared. He gave up to be loved by anybody but morons. We must never give up to engage Russia, the dialogie must go on, but it must be done with a clear language. We can offer confidence building measures, but we must expect reciprocity.
Now it is time to show all solidarity with the British people against such attacks. Symbolic solidarity is fine, but not enough. The EU more than ever needs an enhanced common defence effort. Britain will not be part of it because of the bloody Brexit – but it should be seen as our ally and be included wherever possible. NATO must be revived and prepare better for the new threats. Since Trump cannot be relied on, the European partners and Canada should come closer together. Since Xi wants to become a second Mao, this will weaken China, so China will not be helpful for Europe. It could have been a partner against the new American protectionism, but a new Mao will not be a reliable partner. We have to do it alone in Europe. This will take time and will be costly, but to loose freedom is more costly.