The Samara Conference that has just come and gone has been quoted in most of the world’s press as a spectacular failure. I for one am very distressed by the inability, nay incompetence, of Europe’s best people to be able to deal with the simple task of sitting down and talking. Negotiation is the key to diplomacy. Talking, and more importantly listening, is the key to negotiation.
Here in Poland, what has become obvious recently is the government’s similar inability to put diplomacy to use. Strong-arm tactics, hard words and poorly-masked threats have become the currency of the PiS-Samoobrona-LPR government, thus it is to Europe that we look for diplomacy, tact and friendly negotiation.
On a positive note, it seems Angela Merkel and Jose Manuel Barroso are in with Poland for better or for worse. The BBC website as always gives an interesting view of the problem and is relatively objective falling on the side of Poland. An article in the Telegraph focuses on the fact that Putin is as much a democrat as he is a chess Grandmaster. Tee hee hee.
Another two articles that I’ve thumbed through are from the FT and Guardian, respectively. The FT article is pretty well-balanced and objective but again highlights the ongoing battle between Poland and Russia. However, I found the Guardian article most interesting, as it takes a bit of a different standpoint.
The conclusion is that Europe has hit an impasse and is need of help. I can’t see Russia standing down, but I can see Europe’s hard-line crumbling. Russia’s voice is single, whereas Europe’s is divided by nature of the construct that the EU is. What this has shown us is that the way forward for Europe is either to integrate further and build a common policy across the board or face indecision, division and fragmentation. There is no room for shades of grey here…