Archive for August 20th, 2013

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Is Elmar Brok so completely removed from reality?

August 20, 2013

Sometimes politicians make statements that defy belief.

That is oft the case with MEP Elmar Brok, who is – unfortunately – chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, and yet seems to be continually surprised when foreign events occur that could – and have been – predicted long in advance of them moving from possibility to reality.

His latest statement on the situation relating to “customs issues” between Russia and Ukraine is seems yet further proof of a complete disconnect from not only possibilities, but also probabilities, when it comes to easily anticipated events in the EU neighbourhood.

We also need to assess the political implications of recent threats made by Russia that it might restrict trade with Ukraine in case the country signs an association and free-trade agreement with the European Union. This is a serious development which could cast a heavy shadow on the forthcoming summit in Vilnius.

Anybody with the IQ slightly greater than that of a carrot and a situational awareness slightly sharper than than of a pot plant would have been able to predict Russia pressurising Ukraine prior to the Vilnius Summit if Russia thought there was a realistic chance of it being signed – and obviously Russia believes that chance is significant enough to apply pressure.

And that pressure will continue – until, and if the agreement is signed, thereafter – as is quite obvious.

This inspection was one-time. Conclusions have not been drawn yet, information is being processed. By now the situation has stabilized but for safety’s sake we are preparing to tighten customs administration, in case Ukraine takes this suicidal step and signs the Association Agreement with the EU.” – Sergie Glazyev, Presidential Advisor Russian Federation.

Notwithstanding the fact that this appears to be a surprising and yet completely foreseeable event for Mr Brok – his extraordinary committee meeting is taking place on 28th August – a time by which I have predicted this particular  incident will have been “resolved” having accomplished its desired effect of providing a guide to the future for those in Kyiv (and other EaP capitals) should it sign the documents with the EU.

The next Russian stick to whack Ukraine is already selected – and the one after that – but one has to seriously wonder if Mr Brok will know this.

A mental note to myself:  If I am ever in Brussels and crossing the rail tracks with Elmar Brok, I should not rely on him seeing the oncoming train – and if he does eventually see it – do not rely on him to get me off the tracks before it hits me!

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