The Malaysian airliner crash over Ukraine has been on the world radar screen recently. There were quite different approaches between the United States and Europe. Europeans are cautious about making suppositions, they start to more often ask awkward questions while pointing out that some things don’t fit in the version of events offered by American propaganda.
Francois Gere, a French historian specializing in geostrategy, is notably the founding president of the French strategic analysis institute, - the Institut francais d’analyse strategique (IFAS). He is also an official representative for the French Institute of Higher National Defense Studies, the Institut des Hautes йtudes de dйfense nationale (IHEDN) and research director at Paris III University. In his Atlantico piece he points out it’s not that easy to make any conjectures about who could gain by shooting at the civilian plane. It did not meet the interests of self-defense volunteers (even if they could have done it); it certainly does not meet the interests of Russia (something Washington tried to make the world believe in without producing any proof). The Kiev’s interest is relative, it tries to get political dividends out of the tragedy, but there are doubts it could stage such a large-scale provocation. Francois Gere says it’s still hard to understand why the route of the fight was planned over the airspace of the battle area.
Other European media outlets ask the same questions. Actually how secure is the global airspace flight safety system? Why the aircraft went over the war area, especially in Ukraine? It is known that even in peacetime Ukrainians hit a passenger TU-154 in 2001, they even launched a missile against a residential house in Borispol, near Kiev.
All told, the US version received little support in Europe, except Great Britain. This is another acid test for transatlantic solidarity. The cautious reaction of Europeans differs much from the US stance. The European Union has adopted a waiting position till the detailed and thorough investigation is over to give definite answers to hot questions. Washington has failed to carry out its main mission – to use the tragedy for mobilization of the European Union on the anti-Russia basis.
But it has achieved its aim to some extent. Berlin has announced the termination of small arms supplies to Russia, Brussels keeps on pressing France on the Mistral issue, but by and large it does not reflect the strategic position of the leading European countries. The European restraint on the Boeing issue and the situation in Ukraine in general is explained by two main reasons.
First, Europe resists the US pressure concerning the imposition of anti-Russian sanctions. The US-Russian economic cooperation is limited, but Europe loses billions in case of the sanctions’ regime. These are not the best times for European economy, as is known. Finland opposes the curtailment of its cross-border programs with Russia. It would lose a quarter of billion euros in case it does. It’s just one area of cooperation. Totally the European Union’s losses resulting from imposing sanctions on Russia may be measured in billions.
The second reason is even more important. It is connected with the history of Europe. While the first reaction of US media was the topic of «pro-Russian» terrorists and recalling the Lockerby terrorist act, Europeans remembered the assassination archduke Franz-Ferdinand is Sarajevo which triggered the First World War. It may be hard to understand for America, but Europe does its best to avoid the repetition of tragic stories of the past.
The US and Europe view the plane tragedy differently. It’s not about the Russian energy supplies only, as Ukrainian journalists say. Europe strives to avoid the repetition of the tragic events it has known in the past. From this point of view, Americans and their puppets in Kiev behave like hoodlums running amuck with a stricken match around a warehouse full of dynamite loudly calling on others to join the mad race.
No matter what first response reactions may be, there are many signs telling Europe has firmly decided to choose the path of peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. That’s where its stance dovetails with the Russia’s foreign policy aims. The US stance of Ukraine is seen by Europeans more like a policy that runs counter to their interests. The old continent does not say it out loud there, but that’s how they’ll perceive the state of things till the United States stops escalating the situation.