US an EU ally; Russia, China enemies?

Published 18.02.2019 23:27
Updated 19.02.2019 00:06

Like every year, last week during the Munich Security Summit that was held in Germany, we once again witnessed tension between the U.S. and the EU.

Actually, not only in the Munich summit but lately with European politicians we have spoken to, we have witnessed major concern about Russia and China, especially a "China fear" among our German colleagues. There is both major mistrust in Russia and concerns about China. Another big issue for the Europeans in addition to concerns regarding Russia and China is the policies of the U.S., which was an ally and friend until yesterday.

Today, the EU is suffering due to the policies of the U.S. The main subject of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's speech in Munich was about this reality. Merkel mentioned the fact that the German auto industry is suffering due to the U.S.' new trade tariffs and trade tariff plans. Merkel strongly criticized the U.S. Commerce Department's assessment that claimed European automobiles threaten the U.S.' national security. Merkel, who stated that German automobiles are being produced in the U.S., pointed to a BMW factory in southern California as an example and asked, "How could vehicles that are being produced in south California be a problem for the U.S.' national security?" The German auto industry is going to suffer a major blow if the U.S.' new tariffs, which are expected to be as high as 25 percent, are implemented. The U.S. is a very important market for Germany. We should also mention that due to the boycott against Russia, which was launched due to massive pressure from Washington, a German automobile company lost its place in the Russian market. This company, who had problems, was sold to a French automobile company.

While the U.S.' economic policies toward the EU are becoming a major issue, when it comes to its security the U.S. also left the EU on its own for a while. NATO and EU member states are being criticized by the U.S. Washington is demanding NATO and EU member states spend more for Europe's defense. While all of this is happening, the U.S.' one-sided decision to end the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) due to some known violations by Russia has made the bloc anxious.

The U.S. making a one-sided decision about a matter directly related to Europe's security without consulting Europeans is rightfully making the EU angry and causing concern. While EU states were thinking that China should also become a part of the INF Treaty, seeing the treaty end raised concerns. The U.S.' threats against EU member states that have made deals with Russians about Russian gas and its attempts to coerce such states to buy its liquid gas are yet other problems. The list goes on. Washington's attitude toward the EU requires us to ask our European friends the following question: "Why is the U.S. an ally, but Russia and China are enemies?" In the new world order, it is obvious that the EU needs new policies regarding the U.S., Russia and China. Concerns about Russia, or to be more precise, Russian President Vladimir Putin and fear of China's expansionist policies should not mean submission to the U.S. and President Donald Trump.

The EU can take Turkey as an example in this regard. If relations with Russia and China can be established without blind dependency on the U.S., while remaining an ally of Washington, it could be beneficial for the future of the EU. The U.S. market is obviously very valuable for the EU. However, the EU should not lose other markets, which will be even more valuable in the future for its economy, like superpowers Russia and China, for the sake of not losing this market. It will be very hard for the EU to supply its energy needs in the near future without Russia. Competition with China in the global market is also not a smart move for an EU under the U.S.' grasp. Let's see whether the EU is going to be able to take steps swiftly to fit into the new world order or not. In reality, it has to take such steps. Any lost time is in the benefit of the U.S., at the expense of the EU.

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