Experts in the United Kingdom have found that the European Union had not understood just how much Russia felt threatened by the EU’s overtures towards the Ukraine and that the UK had not been active enough in dealing with the crisis diplomatically.
I agree with that analysis. It seems to me that as far as the Ukraine is concerned the EU has allowed Germany to dominate the foreign policy, and historically Germany has been an incompetent nation when it comes to dealing with foreign policy. Much of the crisis in the former Yugoslavia was hastened by Germany’s recognition of Croatia. The present stance of Germany is deciding that Greece must not be forgiven part of its debts is in stark contrast to the treatment of debt forgiveness that Germany itself has received and its policy in this regard may drive Greece into great and undesirable political foment.
In essence making large donations to right wing Ukrainian political parties to the extent of hundreds of millions of euros while refusing to accept that bad debts are exactly money already lost the European Union runs the risk of splintering the Union with no benefit at all.
Whatever happens, Russia will not permit the whole of the Ukraine to fall under EU influence and Greece will be unable to agree the infliction of more suffering on the Greek people in order to attempt to pay that which Greece does not have the resources to pay, short of forcing its population into forced servitude.
I do not think that Germany intends to be incompetent, but I think years of staying out of foreign affairs has meant that it no longer has the tradition of diplomacy other than for enhancing its trade.
The United Kingdom does has such a tradition of diplomacy but unfortunately left the lead on Ukraine to Germany and stands out of the potential euro crisis which the Greek debt will precipitate. It is time to stop threatening Russia (as the Russians perceive it) and genuinely rescue Greece. It will involve loss of face, but not loss of life.