The European Council president does his greatest to spin an anti-Russian narrative, but it surely falls aside upon a more in-depth look
Earlier this week, the Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Nationwide Safety Council Vassily Nebenzia walked out of an “handle on peace and safety in Ukraine” by European Council President Charles Michel. “You could depart the room. Possibly it’s simpler to not hearken to the reality, ambassador,” the highest EU official smugly retorted. However was Michel truly telling the reality in his ready remarks?
The precise feedback broadly portrayed by the press as having sparked Nebenzia’s walkout blamed Russia for a looming international starvation. “Russia is solely answerable for this meals disaster, Russia alone. Regardless of the Kremlin’s marketing campaign of lies and disinformation. I’ve seen it with my very own eyes. A number of weeks in the past in Odessa, hundreds of thousands of tons of grain and wheat caught in containers and ships due to Russian warships within the Black Sea and due to Russia’s assault on transport infrastructure,” Michel mentioned.
This assertion is contradicted by the presence of Russian ships reportedly searching for patrons for Ukrainian grain. Ukraine and its Western allies are accusing Russia of “stealing” the grain. Moscow rebuffs the accusations and claims that Kiev is obstructing shipments, with Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov saying: “To ensure that it to depart the ports, Mr. [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky should give the order, that’s all.”
So, on one hand, Western officers are peddling the narrative that Russia is inflicting a meals disaster by blocking grain shipments. However they’re doing so whereas additionally complaining that Russia is busy transport grain to largely creating African nations in want of it – and qualifying the grain as “stolen.”
Look, would you like folks to eat or not? Are folks simply purported to starve whereas numerous officers squabble over who’s truly getting the meals out of Ukraine? After all the resource-rich nations whose pure assets have been selfishly co-opted within the wake of Western invasions, why is there a lot handwringing over Moscow taking the initiative to ship meals merchandise to different nations?
It doesn’t seem that Ukraine has a lot curiosity in doing so, even based on Kiev’s overseas minister, who clearly outlined that “the primary precedence is safety; the second precedence is safety and the third precedence – is safety” and that “if this challenge shouldn’t be resolved, if our nation shouldn’t be protected, no grain will go wherever. As a result of the problem of safety is primary for us.”
Which seems like Ukraine is weaponizing meals for blackmail to make sure that the world is pressured into assembly its navy and financial calls for, whereas Russia is releasing the strain valve by making deliveries. But Michel sees Russia because the unhealthy man, “utilizing meals provides as a stealth missile towards creating nations,” whereas the proof may fairly simply recommend the alternative.
Michel additionally accused Russia of “conflict crimes” and mentioned that the EU was “now serving to to gather the proof of those crimes.” The Hague may wish to name Michel to ask for its job again. As a result of I’m fairly positive that due course of for alleged conflict crimes, which solely The Hague Tribunal can adjudicate, doesn’t start with a pre-ordained end result or conclusion after which work backwards to help it. Michel additionally mentioned that the EU welcomes “the Worldwide Courtroom of Justice provisional measures ordering Russia to droop navy operations instantly.”
So, then what’s stopping EU member nations from stopping their very own navy operations – coaching and arming Ukrainian fighters – somewhat than pushing for peace?
The significance of goal due course of is additional underscored by Michel’s accusations towards Russia. “As we converse, we hear experiences of Russian forces wielding sexual violence as a weapon of conflict.” Really, as you spoke, Charles Michel, Ukrainian lawmakers had simply voted to fireside their official human rights commissioner, Lyudmila Denisova, who had been spreading essentially the most flagrant claims of sexual violence towards Russian troops. Sadly, Michel apparently didn’t get the memo earlier than he stood earlier than the Nationwide Safety Council and spewed this doubtful info as truth with out an oz. of the skepticism that even Kiev itself has proven on the problem.
Talking of sexual violence, maybe Michel may present an replace on the extensively documented sexual violence towards migrants making an attempt to flee Libya to Europe after NATO and EU member nations overthrew that nation’s chief, Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011? Simply final yr, Amnesty Worldwide referred to as out “Europe’s shameful position in pressured returns” of migrants who skilled “harrowing violations, together with sexual violence, towards males, ladies and kids intercepted whereas crossing the Mediterranean Sea and forcibly returned to detention centres in Libya.” Now there’s an existential challenge effectively inside Michel’s purview.
He additionally mentioned that the EU is “working to eradicate trafficking, to guard folks fleeing the conflict” in Ukraine. Judging by the human trafficking state of affairs in Libya, when the EU member nations and their allies aren’t creating alternatives for human traffickers by destabilizing nations, they’re busy attempting to place out their very own fires.
Michel’s UNSC handle is the unlucky final result of wishful considering, ideology, and an absence of self-awareness substituting for cheap and measured consideration of goal actuality. The truth that Western officers comparable to Michel are attempting to tug their residents into this fastidiously constructed corridor of mirrors ought to gas much more skepticism about their agenda.