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Bullying? Would we ever?

Posted by Helen Sunday, October 10, 2004

One of the accusations the “sophisticated” Europeans with their “new” ideology have been levelling at the United States is that country’s apparent inability to listen and respect anybody else’s point of view. Not like us. We listen to people, act multilaterally and are in favour of motherhood and apple pie when it comes to international relations.

Well, maybe. What about Russia, one asks oneself. Commenting on Russia’s extremely reluctant agreement to sign the Kyoto agreement, Margot Wallström, the outgoing Environment and incoming Propaganda Commissar, said jubilantly that this was “very much a victory for the European Union”. Understandably, the EU, a political expression of the transnational and international organizations, has made Kyoto its own project. In order to achieve it, as a large number of “major polluters” have refused to sign and an ever growing number of scientists and economists have cast serious doubts on its efficacy, the EU has resorted to naked blackmail of the one country they had something on, Russia. (See Russia and Kyoto again).

Most of us would not consider successful blackmail a victory, but what do I know of the mind of a Swedish Commissioner? More importantly, Ms Wallström seems to have paid no attention, while dancing her dance of triumph (in an environmentally sustainable fashion), to the fact that the Russians are not happy. They do not like being slighted, pressurized or blackmailed by Western countries. They are funny that way.

Often they continue smiling through gritted teeth. Over Kyoto there is no pretence, as we have shown. The Russian government and economic establishment is very unhappy at the EU’s behaviour. Ms Wallström and her thoughtless colleagues may well live to regret their behaviour.