During an interview with RT’s “World’s Apart”, former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel – also a former head of the European Council – urged Europe to defend itself from US policies that “undermine the international system of norms”.
For example, when the US violates World Trade Organization rules and brings sanctions against the European Union, European states should push back at the WTO or even at the United Nations Security Council (which brings to mind President Trump’s insistence that trade is a national security matter).
“You can bring the issue to the United Nations Security Council and you can challenge sanctions at the WTO. This is to say that not only Europe but other parts of the world are standing up against these sanctions…I think it has an impact. We should stand up and defend our interests – no doubt about it.”
“I think what is needed is defend the international system of norms and this is something that combines US, Russia, China and Europe,” Schuessel said.
The US needs to understand that violating the Iran deal goes against not just the US’s partners in the agreement, Scheussel said. But it goes against the United Nations Security Council as a whole, and could be considered a violation of international law.
“The Iran agreement is not bilateral it is a multilateral agreement…and to withdraw from this agreement is a violation of international law.”
And as its relationship with the US weakens, Europe should consider turning toward Moscow as an important “partner for peace and security” in the region, Schuessel said. Of course, the Ukrainian issue remains a major stumbling block between cooperation involving Russia and the EU. But Ukraine has elections and the international community should respect those and also work to create an “economic reconstruction plan” for the whole region.
“Russia is a major global partner for peace and security no doubt about it and also I think if you want peace in the Middle East you need Russia as a respected partner and of course you have a problem with Eastern Ukraine…this is a burning issue…but I think as we solve this problem we could come back to the old ideas of an all-European house.”
“I understand completely the sensitivity in Russia especially when NATO and the EU and much closer cooperation didn’t really work. This was a big disappointment – but on the other hand you shouldn’t think the Ukrainian problem started with the NATO-EU cooperation agreement. It’s also not true that the European way was seen as a problem in most countries.”
When it comes to resolving the Ukraine issue, Schuessel suggested it be left up to the Ukrainians to resolve through their elections.
“The Ukrainians must realize that only together – the Ukrainians, the Russians and the Europeans – only together can we find a solution. And I hope that after the election we will see this…as soon as we can solve this problem in the Donbas then the situation can be relieved.”
The interview also touched on a fact that, as Schuessel pointed out in one of his recent articles, the relationship between Europe and the US deteriorating rapidly.
“Not a direct threat but…a week ago one German newspaper wrote an article…where the German people were asked by the study where is now the real threat? The first question was is American and Europe drifting apart? 70% agreed.”
All of this is happening as, coincidentally, Europe is one of the only regions where military spending is falling.
“Europe was the only region where arms expenditures went down over the last 15 years. It would be better to stick to the 2% budget target for defense…but it would be better to control the migrant flows…these things that are complicated and expensive but they contribute to our own security.”
Watch the full interview below:
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