March 8, 2014
Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is not the Cold War revisited as the media has erroneously categorized it, but rather the first conflict in the Age of Empires, a phrase dubbed by former Belgium Prime Minister, MEP and EU Presidential candidate Guy Verhofstadt. What Vladimir Putin is not telling the media are his real thoughts concerning the European Union Empire. While Vladimir Putin’s invasion has the Empires (notice I did not say superpowers) in a roar, Russia’s actions makes perfect sense from a geopolitical perspective.
The conflict began on November 21, 2013 by Ukrainian citizens seeking closer EU integration. That day protests erupted in the capital, Kiev, after the Ukrainian government halted preparations for signing a Free Trade Association Agreement with the European Union to instead seek closer economic relations with Russia. The EU did not meet the Ukraine’s government’s demands for 20 billion in loans and offered only 838 million dollars. Russia came in at 5 billion dollars– closer to their wishes– and also offered Ukraine cheaper gas prices. The EU also required major changes to the regulations and laws in the Ukraine.
At this time, the EU was being supplanted by Russia diplomatically. Vladimir Putin noted that the EU Empire with its 508 million citizens and largest GDP and largest standing army –when they pull one together –would now get even larger with this agreement with the Ukraine, which begins with association deals to eventual EU membership.
While the EU is calling for diplomacy and the US is making a lot of noise issuing threats, statements and insults, it erroneously thinks that this conflict is a throwback to the Cold War. The US has not yet learned that the Age of Empires and a multipolar world is upon us. The US believes the world is still back in George Bush’s New World Order and has passed off the EU as a mere economic group vs. what it is-an empire. This attitude is evidenced by the recent F—k the EU comment regarding the Ukraine made by the US Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland.
Vladimir Putin stated that Russia invaded Ukraine to protect Russian citizens who account for 17% of the Ukraine’s population. Hillary Clinton compared Putin’s reasoning of guarding Russian citizens to Adolph Hitler. Vladimir Putin is protecting much more and he is not telling this to the media. The Ukraine is an economic and geopolitical asset for Russia that it does not want to hand over to the EU. The name Ukraine means borderland and it borders Russia to its east and northeast. Despite the Ukraine’s economic mess:
Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe.
Ukraine possesses the second largest military in Europe.
Ukraine is made up of vast fertile farmlands which in 2011 ranked it the world’s third largest grain exporter.
Ukraine is one of the ten most attractive agricultural regions.
Ukraine has a well-developed manufacturing sector especially in aerospace and industrial equipment, which according to Vladimir Putin, “Out of 14 billion [dollars] in export… 5 billion are exported to Russia”, which includes just about all of its engineering products. “The West is not buying any Ukrainian products.” Vladimir Putin commented that introducing the EU’s technical standards in the Ukrainian economy will break Russia’s relations and cooperation ties and as a result, “enterprises will come to a standstill and unemployment will increase.” Vladimir Putin acknowledged that the Ukraine did not sign the agreement after analyzing it because it did not correspond with their national interests and they did not want to increase energy prices or break their economic ties with Russia, because their cooperation is very extensive.”
Ukraine is very important geopolitically to Russia. Among Hillary Clinton’s remarks concerning Vladimir Putin she added, “he believes his mission is to restore Russian greatness. When he looks at Ukraine, he sees a place that he believes …[is] part of Mother Russia. Hilary’s comments such as this and comparing Vladimir Putin to Adolph Hitler are histrionic. This is a game of chess. No Empire wants another empire on its borders or taking from its economy and geopolitical interests. The US does not want it, neither does the EU or Russia. The EU has expanded into many of the Eastern Bloc countries, but Ukraine (and Belarus) is where Russia draws the line.
This move on the part of Vladimir Putin reveals what Putin is not telling the media in words but in actions that Russia recognizes the EU Empire and does not view it as a harmless giant, Ukraine is a border country. This is Empire vs. Empire. On the other side, you have the EU that experienced two world wars on its soil and united as a means to prevent war and Russia’s move sets off its own fears. As the EU evolves towards ever closer political union and strengthens on the world stage, and as the global powers moves deeper into the Empire age, they will need to learn how to resolve conflicts such as these. Meanwhile, the US needs to recognize that the Cold War is over, George Bush’s New World Order is now Old World and we have entered the Age of Empires and this is its first conflict.
Author : Erika Grey