The shifting political winds in Europe are paving the way for positive changes, moving toward normalizing the ties between the EU and Russia.
Fears about a hard-right turn in Austria following its parliamentary election this past weekend need to be put in perspective. The populist, anti-immigration, Russia-friendly Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ)—founded in the 1950s by ex-SS officers—came third, with fewer seats than in the 1999 election.
The reason for the US government’s hostility — at least since 4 February 2014 —toward Europeans, has been a mystery, until now. This hostility wasn’t even publicly recognized at all, until it leaked out, on that date, from a tapped phone-line of arguably the most powerful person at the US State Department, the person whom American President Barack Obama had personally entrusted with running his Administration’s most geostrategically sensitive secret foreign operations (and she did it actually throughout almost the entirety of Obama’s eight years in office, regardless of whom the official US Secretary of State happened to be at the time): Victoria Nuland.
Germany and Austria have lashed out against US Senate for approving a legislation tightening sanctions on Russia. The bill has a provision that enables the United States to impose sanctions on European firms involved in financing Russian energy export pipelines to Europe. European companies could be fined for breaching US law. In a joint statement, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern accused the US of threatening European economic interests, describing it as an illegal attempt to boost US gas exports. The United States recently started shipping liquefied natural gas to Poland and has ambitions to cultivate other European customers.