A few days back I was invited to attend a talk on “Russia-Ukraine Conflict: A European Viewpoint” by Herve Juvin, a Member of the European Parliament and a member of the Delegation for relations with India. The talk was held by India Foundation in Delhi. Mr Juvin is French and one went to the discussion with the presumption that one would hear some harsh words for Russia but the talk gave one a fresh perspective on the changing discourse in Europe with respect to why the European opposition to Russia is somewhat muted.
In the words of Herve Juvin, the conflict is actually a conflict between Hardware and Software. By hardware, he meant old sources of money and income, namely, Oil, Coal, Timber, Gas, etc. The software which is the primary source of currency today refers to the Digital Economy and Intellectual Property Rights. Countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia and China are heavily dependent on Hardware or old money. The USA and other European countries depend on Software or new money for their flourishing economy. But this conflict doesn’t end here. Old money was widely spread and income from it was more or less in the control of the country where it existed. But control over the new money is crushingly held by the USA and Britain. This is the root of all conflicts and countries now are forced to align with the USA & Britain if they want to stay in business.
Juvin stressed the point that Europe is completely dependent on US and UK for the Military, Financial and Banking systems, something which has restricted their free will in matters concerning their own countries. Military hardware research and development and manufacture of fighter planes by France and Germany are being steadily sidelined by the US. Thus, erstwhile powerful countries in Europe are being overshadowed by the US. This does not bode well for the free will of the people of Europe because it is the will of the new masters (read US & UK) which will be imposed.
The Russia-Ukraine war is an attempt to take back control of their destiny and smaller nations like Sweden, Poland and Italy are paving the way for this by either speaking out or strategically remaining non-aligned. In Juvin’s words, “The Russia-Ukraine conflict is a fight to protect political diversity and human freedom against those who want to impose their rules on us.” There was also mention of how biased media is used to show a tainted view of the world so that opinions are built on narratives, not facts. Readers will know that big media houses like Thompson Reuters, Comcast, Fox Corp, etc. are owned by USA or UK.
If one were to view the recent blowing up of the Nord Stream gas pipeline routes, resulting in serious problems for German Industries, one is forced to wonder whether the fear of a plutocratic regime controlled by the USA & UK is staring at us in the face. A pushback against sanctions and one-sided support for Ukraine is slowly being reviewed. Yesterday, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that peace is possible only with Russian participation.
Recently we heard the new Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, speak against “wokeism” being imported from the West and how she would go out of her way to protect her country’s culture & interests. All these happenings may just be a rumble today, but it does seem that European countries are beginning to fight against US & UK’s hegemony and are waking up to the horrors of a future world without different cultures co-existing in harmony. What Bharatiyas have fought for centuries, Europe is fighting for today.
(The writer is the author of several books and a columnist for several weeklies and online news portals. She tweets at @ratihegde. Opinions expressed are author’s own)