Posts Tagged ‘EU’

George Soros’s worst nightmare is about to become a reality in a key European country – France.

Francois Fillon, former French prime minister and member of Les Republicains political party, delivers his speech after partial results in the second round for the French center-right presidential primary election in Paris, France, November 27, 2016.

In an interview to Le Monde, the likeliest winner of the coming presidential election Francois Fillon called NATO’s promise in 2008 to take in Georgia and Ukraine as “irresponsible.” For Soros, who in his recent article saw Europe as a battleground for a Manichean fight between “democrats” and “dictators,” this must be a sure sign of “Europe falling under the influence of Vladimir Putin.”

In reality, Russia’s hopes for France are much more modest. They are nothing like the monsters which Mr. Soros creates in his imagination. Contrary to the fake generalizations in the mainstream press, Russia has been looking for understanding not so much in the so called far-right parties inside the EU countries as in the established “center” of European politics. Francois Fillon and his Gaullist party The Republicans represent exactly that – the moderate “right of center” in the French politics.

In the years that followed the worsening of relations with the West after the Kiev coup in 2014, Russia invited even the former president Nicolas Sarkozy, the main architect of the Western intervention in Libya, to several forums in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The aim was not “to dominate Europe,” but to find in France a minimally sensible politician, who would not see Russia as a “clear and present danger” (a preferred expression of French Russophobes). Finding such politicians in France would set a stage for a dialogue – an antonym to Mr. Soros’s “color revolutions,” touted by the Western media and despised by the people in the “revolutionized” countries, from Syria and Serbia to Georgia and Ukraine.

This aim of a dialogue could not be achieved through the cruel and duplicitous Sarkozy, who only advised Russia to remove its countersanctions against Western foodstuffs “in a gesture of goodwill.” (Many a previous gesture of this kind from Russia did not deter NATO’s expansion to Russia’s borders or any other hostile moves from the US and the EU.) But Russia suddenly found a lot of sympathy among the less elitist French politicians, who represented the pragmatic interests of French business, and not the imperial designs of “spreading democracy” around the globe.

In April 2016, the French parliament, the National Assembly, recommended the lifting of sanctions against Russia.

And now Francois Fillon, an unexpected winner of the primaries in the French rightist party The Republicans, is voicing similar ideas about EU-Russian relations in general. To an unbiased observer, these truths are simple enough to be coming out of the mouth of babes, but for the mainstream media they are dangerous heresies.

“Has the West always been a reliable partner for Russia?” Fillon asked himself rhetorically during a recent interview to Le Monde daily. “Didn’t we deceive Russia on Libya, on Kosovo, on the economic partnership with the EU?”

Despite his previous characterizations of Russia as a “dangerous” country, Fillon obviously went beyond the limits of the European mainstream on Russia when he called NATO’s invitation for Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO in future “irresponsible.”

“Why did we need to deploy anti-missile defense right near the Russian border? We made a lot of mistakes,” Fillon said in that same interview.

Instead of countering Mr. Fillon by arguments, French politicians and mainstream media prefers “trolling” him by alleging he has “personal connections” to Russia. So far, the only revealed connections were Mr. Fillon’s two visits to Russia in the framework of the Valdai Discussion Club (an organization bringing together people with all kinds of views on Russia, including some very critical ones). Also, Fillon and Putin were prime ministers of France and Russia respectively in 2008-2010 and as such they exchanged a few friendly messages. So much for “personal connections.”

This, however, did not deter Alain Juppe, Fillon’s rival during the primaries of the French right, to “warn” his adversary against “excess of vodka during his meetings with Putin.”

This cheap insult, however, did not play well with voters, who preferred Fillon to Juppe, making the former prime minister the main candidate of the center-right Republicans.

The lesson also did not go down well with Manuel Valls, the former Socialist prime minister, who is going through the leftist primaries right now in the hope of challenging Fillon later this year during the presidential election. Valls said he would “defend France against both the United States of Trump and Putin’s Russia” if elected the president.

Will Russophobia play out for Mr. Valls? There is a strong doubt about this. Valls has already lost the first tour of Socialist primaries to the little known “red and green” candidate Benoit Hamon.

“People like Valls just don’t understand that there is a certain fatigue about business as usual in Europe, and Russophobia is a part of the business as usual there,” said Gevorg Mirzayan, a specialist on foreign relations at the Institute of US and Canada in Moscow.

Hopefully, the Russophobic part of the business as usual will come to an end. Russia wants only as much as that – and legitimately.


Behind The CIA Desperate Turkey Coup Attempt Column … On the evening of July 15, a group of Turkish army officers announced that they had staged a military coup d’etat and had assumed control of the country. They claimed that Erdogan was in a desperate flight for his life and that they were now in the process of restoring order … Behind the coup attempt is a far more dramatic story of the huge geopolitical shift that the often unpredictable political survivor, President (still) Recep Erdogan, was in the midst of making when Gülen’s loyalists made their desperate, now apparently failed coup attempt. –New Eastern Outlook

Here’s an idea. Is the CIA actually supportive of Turkey’s Recep Erdogan in order to provide a plausible justification for an Islamic Turkey to ally with Russia?

Erdogan is said to be jailing plotters of the recent failed Turkish coup and many others as well. It looks more like Erdogan is removing his opponents throughout Turkey and may emerge strengthened.

Why is it important what the CIA is actually trying to do? Because we believe the ultimate aim is world war and all else is windy rhetoric. Out of chaos, a “global order,” etc.

And there is plenty of rhetoric. So we will add our odd suggestions with the intention of eliciting, perhaps, reactions and even clarifications.

Let us try to summarize …

The US and the CIA have supposedly been supporting the Islamist Gulen in Pennsylvania. Gulen is old now and probably not much of a factor when it comes to actual activity in Turkey. He has degenerated into a figurehead.

In any event, Erdogan is now dismantling his network in Turkey. The two men are enemies.

We are asked to believe the CIA is firmly anti-Erdogan. The truth is could be more nuanced, at least of late. For instance, Erdogan was recently shooting down Russian jets (he just apologized) and has been a supporter of “new” pro-Western Ukraine.

It is certainly possible that the CIA’s prejudices advance and abate depending on its objectives and who can promote them. Erdogan seems a good deal more powerful than Gulen now.

An interview with F. William Engdah in the New Eastern Outlook – see excerpt above – tells us that the CIA has made a “desperate coup attempt” and lost.

Is this realistic? Or is the truth more complex?

Erdogan is not a big booster of the current secular state in Turkey. He would like to orient Turkey toward Sunni-Sharia from what we can tell.

We are also told that Erdogan has approached Russia and is in the process, once again, of becoming a Russian ally because of CIA “enmity” and continued ISIS attacks.

 Now we have Middle East and near Asia map that allies Turkey with Russia against the EU, Britain and the US.
Let us note that Putin genuinely does not seem to want the war that the West is setting up in his backyard.

NATO and the US are forcing it upon him and have created tensions by gaining control of Ukraine.

But somehow the CIA at the same time has managed to lose Turkey. (At the moment anyway.)

The Pentagon and CIA have turned Ukraine away from Russia, maneuvered Russia into an anti-NATO posture and set four or five Middle Eastern countries aflame with war.

But they have failed with Erdogan? Or was the coup somehow intended to fail? For instance, pro-coup jets reportedly had Erdogan’s plane in their sights but didn’t shoot him down.

In any event, we see as a result  the emergent creation of “sides” of a new, wider war.

On one side a marriage of moderate Islam to Russia via a resurgent quasi-Ottoman empire.

On the other side, the US, Britain and NATO.

Do the wars in the Middle East begin to make sense now? Was the idea perhaps always, sooner or later, to involve Russia in the mix and create a Russian-Islamic alliance that the West could oppose? The Islamic migrations into Europe serve the purpose of further uniting the EU against Russia and Turkey.

Here’s another thought: The US vetoed an evacuation of Incirlik Air Base, post coup. The power remains off at the base and no supplies are coming in. Is Erdogan of the mind to confiscate nuclear weapons?

Conclusion: This is one idea: that Western interests trying to incite a wider war may not be entirely disappointed the coup has failed. If another coup is fomented against Erdogan with CIA backing, or something else happens, then our current suspicions will obviously evolve. Time will tell.

What’s the difference between Iraqi WMDs that don’t exist, 45-minute warnings that are falsities, 70,000 non-existent Syrian “moderates” and a fictitious NHS windfall of millions if Britain left the EU?

By Robert Fisk

I guess a Nuremburg trial might have been a better place to sort out the minutiae of the Blair-Bush crimes we committed to go to war in the Middle East.  We brought about the deaths of up to half a million people, most of them Muslims who were as innocent as Blair was guilty. A Nuremburg-style court might thus have concentrated more on the mass Arab victims of our criminal expedition than the heinous guilt and “profound regret” – his words, of course – of Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara.

Sure, Blair lied about the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction before going to war, then lied about the Foreign Office warnings of the chaos that would overwhelm Iraq and now – today – pretends that the Chilcot report has proclaimed him innocent when in fact it says he is quite the opposite.

But a prolonged study of the report, rather than the necessarily swift precis we have been fed these past few hours, may produce lines of enquiry far more distressing than the conclusions in the easy-to-regurgitate, simplified and shorter version handed out to the media. Besides, our concentration on the iniquitous Blair and his lies, while itself an understandable response to Chilcot, has provided a worrying diversion from the mendacity that still today afflicts our political class, our prime ministers and party leaders, and their insulting attitude towards those they claim to represent.

Hearing the first news of Sir John Chilcot’s epic work of literature while I was travelling across Syria was a disturbing experience. Not just because the plague of Islamist cruelty spreading outwards from Raqqa was (despite Blair’s nonsense to the contrary) a direct result of the Iraqi inferno; but because our own present, though discredited, Prime Minister used Blairite falsehoods to persuade MPs to bomb Isis targets in Syria last December. Remember the nonsense about the 70,000 “moderate” rebels who needed our help, even though they don’t exist and were manufactured by the very same Joint Intelligence Committee on which Blair relied for his criminal adventure?

And when MPs questioned this claptrap, they were haughtily put down by General Gordon Messenger, deputy chief of the defence staff, who said that for security reasons these various rebel units could not be named – even though we know the identity of these ragtag CIA outfits and of their inability to fight anyone. The appropriately named Messenger went along with David Cameron’s fantasy and was duly promoted, just as John Scarlett, the JIC’s chairman who provided all the duff “intelligence” to Blair, was later knighted.

And so we went to war against Isis in Syria – unless, of course, Isis was attacking Assad’s regime, in which case we did nothing at all, despite all the outrageous huffing and puffing of Hilary Benn about pre-war fascism. Condemn Blair we will, poor chap, but don’t think that anything changed in the six years Sir John spent writing up his Biblical tome.

And that’s the problem. When Blair can say, as he did the moment the Chilcot report was published, that it should “lay to rest allegations [sic] of bad faith, lies and deceit” – without a revolution in the streets against his bad faith, lies and deceit – then you can be sure that his successors will have no hesitation in swindling the public again and again. After all, what’s the difference between Iraqi WMDs that don’t exist, 45-minute warnings that are falsities, 70,000 non-existent Syrian “moderates” and a fictitious NHS windfall of millions if Britain left the European Union?

There are many versions – and misquotations – of that most cynical of Nazi propagandists, Joseph “the bigger the lie, the better” Goebbels, but it is impossible not to be shocked by some of his observations. “The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence,” he wrote in 1941. “Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, it should be a big lie, and one should stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.”

What is chilling about these words is not that the wartime English Goebbels maligned, nor that Churchill (who was his special target) did actually lie. Given the struggle against Nazism – and despite Churchill’s observation that truth in war should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies – the British had a virtuous ability in the 1939-45 conflict to tell the truth even when a bit of Blairite flummery might have sufficed to cover up Britain’s defeats. No, what is frightening is that Goebbels’s words apply so painfully to English politicians today.

Who do we know after the report, for example, who keeps up their big lies even at the risk of looking ridiculous? I fear, in an awful way, that small men who want to walk in big shoes – who actually think they are Churchill and take their country to war – are committing the very lies of which their political ancestors were largely innocent.  Perhaps the key to all this was captured in Sir John’s contention that Blair relied more on his “beliefs” – whatever that dangerous word obscures – and the judgement of others.

Blair accepts responsibility

Thus he can tell us – and tell me as I drove in from the Syrian desert city of Palmyra whose desecrators brought their vile practices from the Iraqi disaster that Blair helped to create – that “I do not believe [that Saddam Hussein’s removal] is the cause of terrorism we see today whether in the Middle East or elsewhere in the world”. All this duplicity, of course, is to form part of the “full debate” that Blair now threatens in the aftermath of the Chilcot report.

He is going – heaven spare us — to “set out the lessons I believe future leaders can learn from my experience”. But Blair doesn’t need to bore us with his lies all over again. They’ve already been imbibed by Dave “70,000 moderates” Cameron and the Brexit lads who are now self-destructing amid the very lies they told – and which may achieve all that Goebbels wished for this country: the end of the United Kingdom.

In this context, the Chilcot report is not so much a massive work of investigation into the sins that took us to war in 2003, but just another chapter in the story of our inability to control a world in which Britain’s public relations politicians treat their people with contempt, kill some of their soldiers and slaughter hundreds of thousands of foreigners without any real remorse.


A surprise Brexit vote in Thursday’s referendum in the UK is sending shockwaves across the country, the EU and financial markets around the world.

Ivan Eland, senior fellow and director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at the Independent Institute, told Radio Sputnik that the Brexit may trigger a “short-term turmoil,” but it’s no doomsday for the UK or Europe.

The vote to exit the EU will affect worldwide markets, but will not be a catastrophe for Britain, Eland claims.

“EU is sort of a leaking, maybe even sinking ship. They have all these problems with euro, and financial crisis, etc. The Brits are just saying ‘You know, we want a little distance from the EU.’ They’ll probably come to some agreements on trade and other things, like Norway and Switzerland have done.”

He suggested that Britain’s exit could influence other countries, creating a domino effect.

“Europe has too many cultures, too many nationalities, too many currencies for this to happen. The single currency was never very viable. In the United states a single currency works, but you only have one federal government,” he explained. “The problem is, when you get this huge bureaucracy telling everybody what to do that doesn’t make sense in their particular countries, and there are foreigners telling you what to do…it could cause a ripple effect.”

Eland asserted that, even if xenophobic sentiments motivated the Brexit decision, especially in light of Brits disputing EU immigration policies, it’s still the right decision.

“Just because it’s for the wrong reason doesn’t mean it’s not the right outcome for them [Britain]. I think that culturally and economically they may do better on their own. Because they’ll eventually get agreements, it’s in everybody’s interest,” he said. “And if the EU starts falling apart, they may have to go back to just being a union of trade and financial transactions, and forget all this unified government and unified foreign policy.”

Though immigration is a major factor in the outcome of the referendum, there are other important issues, Eland noted, noting that predictions of catastrophe and doom are mostly made by those with a vested interest in the current system.

“Immigration is not the only issue in the EU. There are other issues about Brussels. 60% of Britain’s laws are made by the EU, and the Brits don’t like that.”

Although there have been threats, even from the US, they were mainly aimed at intimidating voters in Britain to remain within the bloc. But now that the voting is done, after a short turmoil, Europe and other countries, including the US, will have to think again. Britain is world’s 6th largest economy, and “mutual beneficial nature of trade and finance will overcome bureaucratic designations,” Eland said.

As Britons vote in a referendum on whether to stay in the EU or go it alone, RIA Novosti takes a look at the possible consequences of Brexit.

The outcome of the crucial vote will decide the future of the United Kingdom, the European Union and the global economy as a whole.Britain’s Finance Ministry is considering three possible scenarios of Brexit, each of which envisions financial losses, both for the national economy and individual households.

Britain outside the EU

According to the first scenario, Britain cooperates with the EU within the framework of the European Economic Area, a model used by Norway. In this case, 15 years later the country’s GDP will be 3.8 percent lower with an annual loss of around 3,000 euros for each family.

The second model envisages bilateral trade agreements, like the ones the EU has with Canada. Under this scenario by 2023 British GDP will be 6.2 percent lower and individual households will lose 5,595 euros a year.

The third model envisions trade relations in line with WTO regulations. This is the most capital-consuming model, which is currently being used by Russia, Brazil and several other countries.

In this event the British GDP will drop by 7.5 percent, with each British family losing 6,766 euros each year.
Brexit will also result in the loss of 46.8 billion euros’ worth of taxes and around 600,000 jobs.

In another downside, resigning trade agreements with 27 EU countries may take a whole decade.

Recession? Possible. Catastrophe? No

According to the International Monetary Fund, Brexit would push the British economy into a “technical recession” with a negative impact on EU and global economy.

IMF analysts believe that by staying in the EU Britain will have good chances for an economic rebound with mid-term GDP growth estimated at around 2.2 percent.

Big Business and financiers vote for EU

British Big Business and the financial sector are firmly against Brexit for fear of losing access to the EU market of 500 million people.

The British Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, warned that Brexit will deal a crippling blow to the national auto industry which exports up to 80 percent of manufactured vehicles, 57 percent of which to the EU countries.

Financiers fear that by opting out London would lose its status of a global financial center and that major banks like HSBC, Citi and Deutsche bank would want to transfer part of their operations and staff to the Continent and Asia.

Capital flight

As expectations of Britain’s possible exit from the EU increased, financial market players sold a record 84.5 billion euros worth of assets in March and April alone. According to Standard and Poor’s, Brexit could seriously undermine the status of the British pound as a global reserve currency which, in turn, would reflect on the country’s credit rating.

Brexit scare

Amid the general sense of insecurity, US billionaire George Soros predicted that in the event of Brexit the pound would tumble by a staggering 20 percent, more than it did during the Black Wednesday of 1992 when a 15-percent drop in the British currency earned Soros a huge fortune.

The stock market will also suffer with Deutsche Bank experts expecting a 15-percent drop and warning that some blue chip stocks could drop by 26 percent.

Brexit: pros

What the proponents of Brexit lack in economic argumentation, they try to make up for by political and social motives.

The “Vote Leave” camp which includes, among others, London’s ex-Mayor Boris Johnson, complain about European bureaucracy driving up the cost of goods and services in Britain.

Besides, Britain is paying 455 million euros a week to stay in the EU instead of putting this money to better use at home. In 2015 Britain contributed 23 billion euros to the EU budget in exchange for a meager 5.7 billion in farm and social program subsidies.

The supporters of Brexit insist that Britain would be able to sign more beneficial trade deals with non-EU countries and that in the long-term the country’s non-participation in the EU would bring better economic rewards.

“Our projections [about the possible downsides of Brexit] are significantly less pessimistic than analysis produced by some other bodies. This is particularly true in comparison with the work of HM Treasury, the gloomy results of which rest on a number of questionable assumptions,” Oxford Economics’ experts wrote in an analysis released on Thursday.

By Paul Craig Roberts

If you read the presstitute media, Brexit—the referendum tomorrow on the UK’s exit from the
EU— is about racism. According to the story line, angry rightwing racists of violent inclinations want to leave the EU to avoid having to accept more dark-skinned immigrants into England.

Despite the constant propaganda against exit, polls indicated that more favored leaving the EU than remaining until a female member of Parliament, Jo Cox, was killed by a man that a witness said shouted “Brexit.” Cox was an opponent of leaving the EU.

The UK government and presstitute media used Cox’s murder to drive home the propaganda that violent racists were behind Brexit. However, other witnesses gave a different report. The Guardian, which led with the propaganda line, did report later in its account that “Other witnesses said the attack was launched after the MP became involved in an altercation involving two men near where she held her weekly surgery.” Of course, we will never know, because Cox’s murder is too valuable of a weapon against Brexit.

There is no doubt that many in the UK are disturbed at the transformation of their country. One doesn’t have to be a racist to feel that one’s country is being stolen from them by people of alien cultures. The British have a long history of fighting off invaders, and many believe they are experiencing an invasion, although not an armed one. An armed one, of course, would not have the government’s and media’s support.

When British people hear pundits pronounce that immigrants contribute more to the UK than they absorb in social payments, what they hear is inconsistent with their experience. Moreover,
many British are tired of having to avoid entire sections of their cities, including London, because of safety concerns.

It is a propaganda choice to call these concerns racism rather than cultural defense, and the UK political establishment has made that propaganda choice. Little wonder so many British citizens no longer believe that the British Establishment represents Britain.

But let’s give the propagandists the benefit of the doubt and for sake of argument assume that Brexit is about racism. What is the opposition to Brexit really about? Most certainly it is not about helping the refugees from Washington’s wars that the UK government has enabled. If the British establishment cared so much for the Muslims seeking refuge from America’s invasions, bombs, and drones, the British establishment would not have supported Washington’s attacks on these people.

Opposition to Brexit is based on two powerful interests of Washington.

One is the interests of the New York banks and Wall Street to eliminate the UK as a financial center competitor. This blatant fact has escaped the notice of the City and the Bank of England.

The British have forgotten that they only have one foot in the EU, because the UK was permitted to keep its own currency. The UK does not use the euro and, thus, retains the power to finance the British government. Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, etc., do not have this capability. They are dependent on private banks for financing.

In order to trick the UK into joining the EU, the British were given special privileges. However, these privileges cannot last forever. The EU process is one of political integration. As I reported years ago, Jean-Claude Trichet, at that time the president of the European Central Bank, said that to complete the political integration of Europe, the fiscal policies of member states would be centralized. It is impossible to centralize fiscal policies if the UK is an independent financial center with its own central bank and currency.

Wall Street understands that the defeat of Brexit means a shortened lifespan for London as a financial center, as it is impossible to be a financial center unless a country has its own currency and central bank. As it is impossible for the UK to be a member of the EU and not operate under the European Central Bank, once the Brexit referendum is defeated, the process of gradually forcing the UK into the euro will begin.

The other powerful interest is the interest of Washington to prevent one country’s exit from
leading to the exit of other countries. As CIA documents found in the US National Archives make clear, the EU was a CIA initiative, the purpose of which is to make it easy for Washington to exercise political control over Europe. It is much easier for Washington to control the EU than 28 separate countries. Moreover, if the EU unravels, so likely would NATO, which is the necessary cover for Washington’s aggression.

The EU serves Washington and the One Percent. It serves no one else. The EU is a murderer of sovereignty and peoples. The intent is for the British, French, Germans, Italians, Greeks, Spanish, and all the rest to disappear as peoples. Brexit is the last chance to defeat this hidden agenda, and apparently the British will vote tomorrow without having a clue as to what is at stake and what the vote is about.

Amid an unexpected meeting between European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear analyzes the prospect of a thaw in EU-Russia relations.
Preparations for opening of St Petersburg International Economic Forum (File)

The news of Juncker’s meeting with Putin was met with apprehension in the United States, political analyst Dmitry Babich tells Loud & Clear, as it could be an indication that the Russian leader’s attempts “to mend fences with the West” are now bearing fruit.“[Vladimir Putin] did his best to keep good relations with the EU and with the US,” Babich says. “This is why many in the US are unhappy with JCJ’s visit to St. Petersburg. They are afraid that Putin can strike what they call ‘a separate deal with Europe,’ bypassing the US and improving relations with the EU.”

However, Washington politicians should not be concerned given that the European Union has pursued anti-Russian policies even more harshly than the United States.

In the EU, political decisions are made by “20 commissioners who are not elected and who fulfill the orders of an anonymous bureaucracy,” Babich explains. This council fails to take into account the will of ordinary Europeans and the economic interests of its member countries. Even Germany, which appears to be a dominant power within the bloc and is increasingly dissatisfied with anti-Russian sanctions that contradict its own economic interests, cannot reverse the current trends.

“[Political] decisions are taken behind closed doors at the meetings of the so-called European Council, where Germany plays a certain role, but very estranged bureaucratic forces are at work. And there sometimes some reactionary forces from the United States are in play.”

This system of policy-making is harmful to the interests of European nations that carry the burden of ongoing sanctions. The EU blocked, for example, the “South Stream” project which would have provided Russian natural gas to “impoverished” Southern European nations like Greece and Italy.

“The EU has been irrationally anti-Russian for at least the last 20 years.”

Flags of Russia, EU, France

EU bureaucracy is “very insensitive” to economic interests of European countries, Babich said, which is why a change of relations can only be expected from outsider politicians.“There are many anti-systemic politicians from both left and right who are becoming more popular. It’s because people in Europe are fed up with ‘politics as usual,’” he said. “Little by little they are going to be worried about the developments in the relations with Russia, and there is going to be more pressure from public opinion on the EU.”