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And we both need to help each other stick by those rules. Given the importance and intractability of the issues, more time is surely needed for something worthwhile. We 26698 need a rules-based world. Transparency remains an essential instrument to remedy the present crisis of trust in the institutions. That the United States has an even stronger stake in this hypocritical position should not cloud our ,ey. One does wonder, however, how much is likely to be achieved in a single short day.

Besides, the game could only really be played effectively if discussions could be clandestine. Letter Malta responds to Venice Commission criticism What is true in a game, I suspect, holds no less true in real life.

Better Russia as an ally than a foe

We Europeans like to pat ourselves on the back and tell the world how we have replaced ‘war’ with ‘law. Opinion Better Russia as an ally than a foe Russia has not been the only power to have flouted international law. Let knows we need a stable and effective partnership with Russia – and not just to run our own inter-bloc relations – but for the wider world as well.

Yet it is hard to see Monday’s Kremlin talks 2669 than as a re-invigorated attempt to find a secure basis for just such a partnership.

Better Russia as an ally than a foe

Ostensibly it has broken off the current round of partnership talks with Russia, designed to set a new framework for co-operation, until the Russians withdraw their troops, now occupying parts of Georgia, to the positions they held on 7 August. For, in a sense, Europe has been lry facing two ways. Rather it seemed that whoever played Russia, for example, or Britain, would always end up playing that country in the same way.


Accepting its fading away will be extremely damaging. As a reason for transgressing international law, uniqueness is worthless. But by understanding the Russian position – including why so many actions taken, semi-innocently, by leey West are seen as provocative and threatening by Moscow – we shall be better able to reach a positive conclusion rather than a conversation that remains a dialogue of the deaf, which is what occurs when politicians posture and issue empty threats.

Yet once we accept this – admit that we have no moral superiority here – we can sit down on an equal basis with Russia and talk about how it would be in the interests of both parties to see a future in which we both, really and truly, abide by international law.

It is no use saying, as French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner does, that Kosovo is ‘unique. Russia is not the old Soviet Union bent on 266899 domination by force. Even in the real world, diplomacy is a task that requires a slow and steady hand.

Unlike that of most of its neighbours, Russian foreign policy has not changed significantly in years, despite cataclysmic changes of regime. EUobserver’s coverage of the European election.

The game was known as Diplomacy because, as it is difficult to attack and to defend oneself at the same time and as a single country did not necessarily have the force by itself to ly an opponent, the object was to arrange strategic alliances and non-aggression pacts with other players while bluffing about your true intentions. With US forces leaving, there is a realistic scenario that Turkey would seize the opportunity to invade Rojava, killing the aspirations of the Kurds for autonomy in a federal Syria in the future, similar to the situation in Iraq.

These have been well rehearsed in the press – not least in an excellent analysis by Jan Oberg in these pages last week. There is room for cautious optimism in Slovakia, but the chilling effects of Jan Kuciak’s murder may be felt for some time and continued international scrutiny is important.


The issues at stake are complex. It would be naive of us lwy if we were to pretend that Russian foreign policy is likely to change now, rooted as it is in the country’s geography and history.

It’s success – or failure – will largely depend on the EPP. Watch our founder Lisbeth Kirk explain the reasons in this 30 seconds video.

What used to key me as significant, however, was the characteristics ldy the nation being played did not reflect, as they would in any other game, the characteristics of the player. The players each represented one of the major European nations as they existed about one hundred years ago: The West too ignores the rules when it serves us.

Europe needs Russian help in the Security Council on issues such as Iran, militant Islam, the Middle East, climate change, nuclear proliferation and so forth.

On Thursday December 6the constitutional affairs committee of the European Parliament will finally have a crucial vote on changes to rules of procedure that govern MEPs. Russia is better an ally than a foe. Student, retired or simply can’t afford full price? Diplomacy by megaphone, though fashionable, is counterproductive What used to strike me lej significant, however, was the characteristics of the nation being played did not reflect, as they would in any other game, the characteristics of the player.

We accepted that international law should be broken when first we bombed Kosovo and Serbia and then again when a majority of member states recognised Kosovo’s illegal independence.