European leaders should follow the example of Germany against Russia and collectively in their governance and human rights
Europe was a busy place recently, so it is not surprising that Angela Merkel's visit to Moscow a few days ago has attracted little attention. But never mind, because, unlike most official visits, this time pointing to a real change, not only in Germany but all the EU's relations with Russia.
The bottom line is that a number of countries in Central Europe, led by Germany, have so far maintained a close relationship with Moscow. This relationship is based on two pillars: energy dependence, and the reluctance, given the size of Russia and the recent history about it too much, too soon in the areas of human rights and democratic governance
This is changing. As shown in Merkel's visit, there is a deep disappointment in the EU on the political course of Russia. Russia Acolytes key advice from the EU - MM Schroeder and Berlusconi - have disappeared. The noose of dependence on Russian gas is released. It is time for the EU to find a common approach to Russia effectively. This two-pronged. Firstly, maintaining relations with Russia through the expansion of trade and other contacts. Reform will only come with economic growth. But on the other hand, much more clearly with Russia on issues of governance and human rights. Not the least of the virtues of the EU met in this way would be the impact on Russia itself. The Russians consider themselves Europeans. The best of them want their country to meet the highest European standards. A united Europe strongly support these standards would be a huge hit in the arm for those who take real risks to move Russia in the European concert.
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