September 28, 2009
Blogactiv is pleased to have received the following contribution from Corina Cretu, a Romainian MEP and Vice Chairwoman of the Development Committee in the European Parliament.
I am not very sure that in Washington there have been fully understood the reasons of bitterness and frustration in the former communist countries to the news that the American side has given up the installation of the elements for the anti- missile shield in the Czech Republic and in Poland. Even more so as the moment of the announcement coincides with a period of remembering the events, which lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism.
No one in Europe, in general, and especially in the East, desires a comeback of the Cold War. It is just that the way in which the agreements to install this elements, and the way in which this agreements were relinquished take us back to the practices of that period.
The feeling that the United States of America and Russia have settled behind our backs, the fact that our opinion does not matter, have engendered new fears. Namely that the United States of America are preparing to change their external political priorities in a radical manner, granting less importance to Europe, thus opening the path of an increased influence of Russia in European affairs.
The misgivings towards Russia are not without reason. Last month was the one-year anniversary since the armed events in Georgia, which have shown the danger of the frozen conflicts in the Caucasus and in the South- East Europe region. The military rebuff of Russia has reminded us of the “Prague Spring ‘’ and the invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Unfortunately, the inflation of projects to resolve them, the competition between their promoters, delays their resolution on a permanent and equitable basis.
Another reason of concern about Russia represents its energy policy and the use of the energy carriers as a weapon to achieve preponderant political objectives rather than economical objectives.
That is way the connecting-up of the elements of the anti- missile shield in the Czech Republic and in Poland was seen as an insurance policy up against Russia’s tendencies to interferer in Europe’s affaires, in general. Especially now, when, unfortunately, Europe does not have the capacity to generate a coherent and uniform policy towards Russia.
For some of the countries in the East, among which is Romania, the country I represent in the European Parliament, another reason of frustration towards the American policy in the area is the visa policy. Despite promises and the insistences of our country and of the European Union, a decision in accord with the needs and expectations of the Romanian citizens has not been taken. Many Romanians are wondering, on good reason, why are they being discriminated in this situation when the soldiers of both our countries have fought and are fighting, and dying, together in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I believe that many of these perplexities and frustrations would not have emerged had there been an effort to explain the decision on behalf of Washington, or if things had been more transparent. Nobody wishes the antagonism and isolation of Russia. However, history makes us suspicious about these cases.
This episode proves, once again, how important the Trans-Atlantic bond is, particularly the special liaison that the Eastern Europe countries have with the USA. In time, as the European construction becomes more and more solid and clear, our uncertainty towards Russia will diminish, helped by, we hope, a more profound democratization of our neighbor from the East. Until then the anti-missile shield would have made us feel more secure.
Corina Cretu MEP
Vice-Chairwoman of the Development Committee