If thirty years ago we agreed with Francis Fukuyama, when he declared “the end of history,” today we must say that history has begun again. Not so, of course, because it never ended. But what happened yesterday, February 21, 2023, in the triangle of Kiev, Warsaw and Moscow, the new focus of Europe’s destinies, definitely belongs to what Stefan Zweig called “fatal moments”. Two men, two speeches, two irreconcilable systems.
sFor the first time since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Contrasting variety without holes is plastically cemented between the two camps: Democratic countries led by America, striving to defend freedom and the right to self-determination for every people. So is the new imperialist Russia, whose autocratic ruler calls for a long struggle that has become existential, closes any remaining channel of communication, let alone dialogue with the outside world, and raises the drawbridges against any influence of the hostile and decadent West.
Perhaps we need to go back to before Stalin’s death, in 1953, to find in the Kremlin the traces of a model heavily dominated by the desire for final rupture and strategic paranoia, such as the one outlined yesterday by Vladimir Putin at Gostiny Dvor. Where the inverted reality of the war unleashed by the “collective West” and its elites, determined once and for all to “liquidate Russia using Ukraine as a puppet,” is a prelude to reaffirming the old method: “In a case quoting Pyotr Stolypin, Prime Minister of Nicholas II after the 1905 revolution, the Russian president said: “Defending Russia We must all unite to defend our historical right and our highest right: the right to be strong.” There is no room for skepticism or softness in this Putin theoryAnd above all, “no sorrow” is actually contempt for the oligarchs, who have lost their billionaire capital in international banks and who can only redeem themselves by returning to invest back home.
stage coup, the suspension of Russian participation in the New Beginning Treaty, which limits Moscow and Washington’s nuclear carriers to 1,500 on each side, came at the end of Putin’s 100-minute speech. The status quo doesn’t really change, with on-site inspections effectively suspended for more than two years, first because of the pandemic and then because of mutual accusations by the United States and Russia of not honoring their commitments. But it is the strongest indication yet that the era of arms control, which began under Brezhnev, is still in its infancy. It is almost impossible, in fact, to think of negotiating a new treaty, The new beginning will finally end in 2026, in light of the absolute void of communication and trust between the two countries.
A few hours later, in front of Warsaw Castle, Joseph Biden, define another vision of the world, founded on the defense of freedom and democracy. After returning from Kiev, he quoted Putin only once, and vehemently denied that the West was trying to attack or destroy Russia, stating that it was the Kremlin chief who chose war. The US President did not call him a war criminal this time, but said clearly, “We will move forward against those responsible for the war.” Above all, Biden wanted to play driving matchpresents a portrait of a new zeitgeist for the West, as if to reassure Western allies, concerned about the sustainability of military, economic and political support for Ukraine over time, as shown behind the scenes of the Munich conference.
In the déjà-vu of European history, again marked by a deep and currently incurable rift between East and West, Joseph Biden’s trip to Kiev and his speech in Warsaw also underline the new geostrategic balances. where The focus of US European policy has now shifted eastward and NATO, Central European and Nordic partners have gained more weight. than in the worldview of the countries of Carolingian Europe. It is no coincidence that Biden met yesterday in the Polish capital with the leaders of the so-called “Bucharest Nine,” that is, Bulgaria, Estonia, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. These are now the new western frontier states, just as Germany was during the Cold War. Since a free Ukraine fighting for freedom and independence now has the aura that West Berlin had during the Cold War.
In a European enamel afternoon, pay attention again to the past that returns, as well as solidity and coherence, However, the West must not forget to look up to the challenges of the future, where it is not Vladimir Putin’s backward and armored Russia that stands out but the new Chinese superpower. and seeking to strike the right balance between essential support for Kiev and the need to prevent Beijing from defining its new strategic priorities in alliance with Moscow.
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