The U.S. President Donald Trump has been engaging in actions that undermine the EU, imposing economic pressure on Central American countries and threatening to use military force to close the U.S.-Mexico border in order to prevent immigrant and refugee inflows to the U.S.
Attempting to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF), which was signed by the U.S. and the USSR and guaranteed peace and stability for Europe, Trump has once again proven that he does not care about the European allies of the U.S. The INF treaty was a crucial step for the EU since it fended off the danger of a war to some extent. Thanks to the agreement, Europeans were protected from the threat of Russian missiles.
The treaty required the U.S. and Russia to eliminate all of their ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. The U.S. currently claims that they will withdraw from the treaty since Russia has not conformed to it, whereas the Russians deny this claim and accuse the U.S of the same. This decision of the U.S. also means that the country is ready to leave its European allies alone.
This typical Trump move, taken without consulting European NATO allies or reaching any agreement with them, is unacceptable no matter what motivation lies behind it. It is still unacceptable even when we assume that Trump is bluffing to gain an upper hand in bargains with Russia, because the issue of nuclear weapons is not a simple bargain that solely interests the two countries. His actions are leaving millions of people in Europe currently worried over the situation.
The Europeans are concerned not only over nuclear weapons, but over Trump's erratic nature. Fighting economic wars with the EU and many European countries in various fields and undermining European economies by imposing sanctions on numerous Europe-based companies, Trump is now tarnishing the image of the U.S. in Europe and poses a serious risk of upsetting the security and stability of Europe.
While taking this step, the U.S. President recklessly targeted both Russia and China. He threatened both countries and stated that he will focus on building the nuclear power of the U.S., adding that they will lean toward disarmament only if other countries obey what the U.S. urges, in a tone that resembles a bully.
Each day, new U.S. policies that are based on threats and blackmail are causing ever-growing problems for world peace. Other countries, particularly EU states, are required to take a common stance against U.S. policies to prevent the disruption of peace in the world. As a first step to prevent this, any action that might disturb the peace in Europe must not be allowed.
Nevertheless, Russia has come up with a constructive suggestion. Putin suggested meeting with Trump in Paris on November 11, 2018, when the 100th anniversary of the end of the World War I will be celebrated. Putin also stressed that he sees the upcoming international event as an opportunity to establish direct dialogue with Trump. Of course, there is an urgent need for talks between Trump and Putin on the subject. But the issue does not only interest the U.S. and Russia. Since the future of Europe is also in question, the EU must not remain silent throughout the process.
The EU should take a solid stance against the threats to disturb peace in Europe and make it clear to Trump that Europe is not the backyard of the U.S. and Trump cannot play dice with the fate of Europe.
In the past, then German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and the European countries siding with him took a common stance against then-U.S. President George W. Bush, who ravaged the Middle East with his policies, and did not take part in the Iraq war. Now, the same spirit of resistance is needed once again. We cannot allow Trump to inflict further damage on Europe.
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