Russia and Turkey move borders – and the EU stands idle

First Syria, then Libya, now North Karabakh: Russia and Turkey keep intervening in foreign countries, they keep shifting borders at their discretion. The EU stands idle, the German Presidency shines with inaction.

One could not and will not tolerate the shifting of borders again in Europe, Brussels and Berlin said after the (peaceful) annexation of Crimea by Russia. To reaffirm this, the EU imposed sanctions, which are still in force today.

But now, as borders are moved by military means, as Turkey sends Syrian mercenaries and Islamists and even intervenes with EU partners Azerbaijan and Armenia, nothing happens – nothing. The German EU presidency shines with inaction.

It is a very telling, suspicious inactivity. It is not only in sharp contrast to the decisive action taken in Crimea. It is also part of Germany’s cronyism with Turkey when it comes to provocations against Greece and Cyprus.

But there is no open debate about the EU’s failure and Germany’s silence. At least, some media and experts complain about the pitiful, though probably not entirely accidental, state of European foreign policy.

Here are a few examples, first on “Le Temps” in Switzerland. The example of Nagorno-Karabakh shows once again who sets the tone geopolitically, the newspaper states (quoted after Eurotopics):

“Russia and Turkey are the winners here and are shaping the diplomatic landscape of tomorrow, at the expense of the West. … The two countries have become practically inseparable. Admittedly they are often on opposite sides. But their leaders have one thing in common: their increasingly frontal rejection of the West. The approach has now been tried and tested and has proved its worth. Moscow and Ankara are grabbing territory abandoned by US withdrawal and European dysfunctionality; they are using all available means to put themselves at the heart of the game; then they sabotage the former multilateral framework and replace it with a tailor-made diplomatic structure”.

There are also some enlightening comments on Twitter. Even the head of the Munich (in)security conference, Ischinger, complains that the EU has become “completely irrelevant” – despite the “Weltpolitikfähigkeit” (“global political capability”) that Germany likes to try to achieve.

“Ask the German EU presidency”, was my response. Unfortunately, I have not heard from Ischinger since…

Translated with (free version). The original post (in German) is here