Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on cooperation between regional and sub-regional organisations (UN-EU)
Last time we discussed UN-EU interaction, which was in June 2022, we said that thanks to Brussels, the relations of the European Union and Russia had hit the rock bottom. As it turned out later, there was an entire abyss below that bottom, where not only our relations (which are basically non existent), are falling but the united Europe as such.
I think that when historians describe the years 2022 and 2023 in history books, the most frequent words in the section about the European Union will be degradation, helplessness, shortsightedness, and Russophobia. Credit for this goes not only to individual European leaders, but also European bureaucrats, such as our today’s briefer, Mr.Borrell.
Thanks to you, Mr.Borrell, in the past year we have learned a lot about Europe and the true nature of European diplomacy. For example, we learned that Europe is a blossoming garden surrounded by jungle. We also learned that for European diplomats, to struggle for peace means to channel ever-growing flows of weapons to a conflict zone (though domestic EU legislation explicitly prohibits this). Add to this the fact that part of these deliveries is funded from the European Peace Fund, so that no one ever doubts EU’s peaceful disposition. Then we learned that freedom of speech in the European Union means a ban on alternative opinions.
Of course, we used to suspect that behind the European exterior there was some dormant Russophobia, but to say frankly, we could never imagine what scale it would assume once released. It is not limited to an obsessive desire to defeat Russia on the battlefield with the hands of Ukrainians. It goes down way deeper. In order to please the most primitive Russophobes from among Poles and Balts, European capitals and European institutions hold events where ways to dismember and disintegrate our country are discussed. Against the backdrop of steps aimed at “cancellation of Russia”, its culture, arts, and sports, we are developing a rather unambiguous image of our European neighbors. And what we see makes us want to shut the door or maybe board it up until this bigotry and Russophobic mayhem are over.
Russia has been declared the main and only threat to European security. Speculations about possibilities of building a shared security architecture with Russia have become a taboo, one can only talk about collective security against Russia. To any questions, Brussels would answer that Russia only has itself to blame.
However these assertions founder on a simple fact: it was Russia who, on the eve of the Ukrainian crisis, had consistently offered to the West to sign agreements on mutual security guarantees, and promoted proposals regarding all-encompassing and indivisible security across the Euro-Atlantics. But all those were arrogantly rejected. Why Brussels would need this if, starting from 2009, the European Union had been promoting completely different ideas through its Eastern Partnership? The EU promoted the need to split with Russia and made our neighbors choose who they want to be with, either Russia or the EU. This logic clearly manifested itself in the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which triggered the Maidan coup of 2014 and ignited the acute Ukrainian crisis, the final phase of which unfolds in front of us now.
We realize today that all those tales about good neighborly relations, partnership, and shared space were just a smokescreen for preparing for a confrontation with Russia with the hands of our common neighbors. Georgia, and then Ukraine turned out the most susceptible and were picked as pawns in a geopolitical confrontation with my country. Tbilisi had enough sense to stop before it was too late and try to minimize the damage. But post-Maidan Kiev that is imbued with revitalized Ukrainian Nazi-based nationalism, has been driven mad by its new lackey role. As a result, the world is teetering on the verge of a suicidal conflict that the European Union and others in the West are bringing closer to us at rapid-fire pace by boosting weapons deliveries to the Kiev regime and enhancing their involvement.
By the way, in such contexts we customarily refer to the European Union as the united Europe, our closest and only neighbors. But of course this is no longer the case. In militarily-political terms, the European Union is losing its legal identity by the day and turning into an appendix to a military alliance, the real goals, intentions, and the master of which are well-known to you.
The Joint Declaration on EU-NATO Cooperation dated 10 February, essentially conforms complete subordination of the European Union to the tasks of the North Atlantic Alliance. The provision about secondary significance or “complementarity” (if we use the terminology of NATO strategists) of EU’s defense policy to NATO basically reduces to zero all aspirations of the EU to autonomy in this area. “Next level of partnership” means full solidarity of the European Union with NATO’s confrontational approaches and involvement in junior roles in its geopolitical ambition for global superiority.
The Joint Declaration is also another panegyric of the philosophy of Western superiority. It states in very plain terms that NATO and the EU will further mobilize the combined set of political, economic or military instruments at their disposal “to the benefit of our one billion citizens”. They view the rest of the world as a hostile environment, which they have to reform with the help of those instruments. In a word, it is a jungle full of weed plants, as perceived by Mr. Borrell.
Some may contradict that the European Union was first founded as an economic rather than a political bloc. Economy has always been Europe’s strong and attractive side. Maybe a year ago this was true, but things changed dramatically since then. One year after ties with my country were severed, GDP growth in the “united Europe” is stuck around a zero mark. At the same time, record pace of inflation is measured by double digits. Rejoicing that it was able to kick its dependence on Russian gas, the European Union promptly became addicted to a heavy drug, the expensive American LNG.
In 2022, it cost Europe 710 billion Euros to keep the energy sector of economy running. In other words, Europe’s liberal free market economies can only survive today thanks to state subsidies and grants-in-aid. However, the prosperity and economic strength of Europe were based primarily on Russian cheap energy. Now that it’s gone, Europe became an economic "colossus with feet of clay", and energy-intensive industries started to stretch across the ocean – to sheer delight of the "big brother".
As “pestilent tongues” say, from the very beginning of the conflict Washington has been working towards this goal, which is to ruin its European competitor. Let us not stoop to conspiracy theories, but one thing is clear: there has never been such economic impotence and such subservience to the United States in the history of Europe. Things got to the point where Brussels obediently put up with the fact that its closest allies sabotaged a major gas pipeline that had been paid for, i.a. by European investors. Now they are trying to sweep under the carpet all the unflattering facts so as not to displease Washington. What independent role of the EU and Europe can we talk about in such circumstances? One thing we can say for sure. With all those gross political and economic shortcomings, Europe's chances to become one of the poles in the emerging multipolar world are tending to zero.
One may say, “wait, but Europe is a union based on shared values in the first place. The proverbial freedom, equality, and brotherhood. Democracy and human rights. This is what always made Europe so alluring”. Alas, the EU failed to deliver on these standards. Back in the day the EU let in the Baltic states with their Russophobia and apartheid-style approach to Russian-speaking population. But instead of curing them, the EU got infested itself. Brussels has long lost its perspective in terms of freedom of media, having reduced it to tough censorship and ban on non-conforming opinions. Over the recent years, this “bouquet” has started to include rapidly progressing blindness to manifestations of neo-Nazism, namely complete disregard for Nazism in Ukraine and results of the vote on annual UNGA resolution that condemns glorification of Nazism. What is left of your values? What are your accomplishments? Perhaps the fact that you turned a woman into a man, and the latter – in a non-binary person, something of neutral gender, or rather of no gender at all. And that you turned traditional families into something obscene. We recognize those “breakthroughs” and are not going to compete. But don't you thrust those “values” upon us.
The last and only (in recent years) Security Council document on cooperation with the European Union was a PRST dated 14 February 2014. Back then, Security Council members, including us, were in a completely different paradigm of ties with the EU, and so we welcomed EU’s promotion of stabilization in Western Balkans, Mali, the CAR, Afghanistan, and Syria. Today, nine years from that point, the text of this document looks as an evil joke to us, because involvement of the West has brought but instability, economic trouble and suffering to those and many more regions. Now there is no point singling out the European Union from among other structures that have been completely subjugated by the United States.
By a strange and almost mystical coincidence, the date of that PRST to a large extent split apart the old and the new Europe. Only a week after it was adopted, European representatives directly participated in the anti-constitutional armed coup d’état in Kiev, thus putting their stakes (at the US prompting) at a confrontation with Russia. This fateful decision marked the starting point for degradation of the European Union and its regress to the rank of obedient tools in Washington’s hands.
Taking into account outspoken animosity of the European Union in its current form with regard to Russia and its minuscule self-standing importance, we have to be very skeptical about all projects (including at the UN platform) to involve the EU. I call on all developing states to think about making such a reassessment too. You have to understand that it is Washington who stands behind Brussels. For every dollar of their investment, for every NGO and political foundation that they open, you will have to pay with your independence and your sovereignty, or even have to deal with a direct interference in your internal affairs. Just remember the independence of Ukraine that the West trampled upon. Remember the dire fate of this state that was turned into a visionless and spineless pawn in someone else’s game. Remember the flaming Middle East and the tormented Yugoslavia. Remember them and never repeat those mistakes.