‘Party of Peace’ Grows as More Europeans Seek Negotiated Solution to Ukraine Conflict, Expert Says

European Union flags flap in the wind as two gardeners work on the outside of EU headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. Denis BolotskyIn an interview with Sputnik on the sidelines of the XV Verona Eurasian Economic Forum, Fabrissi Vielmini, a research fellow at Vision and Global Trends – International Institute for Global Analyses, expressed his opinion on the issues of the Ukraine crisis, the US pushing New Delhi to take a stance against Russia, and Italian businesses.Sputnik: A number of European politicians are lobbying for forceful solutions for the Ukraine crisis, which leads to greater confrontation. Is there a “peace party” in the EU? Those who would not like to aggravate the situation?Fabrissi Vielmini: Certainly, there is a peace party that, in a certain way, is growing. With the prolongation of the hostilities in Ukraine, the problems are more and more tangible in different European countries and these push for people towards more reasonability, towards proposing a platform for a negotiated solution of the conflict and calming down certain voices that were there some months ago pushing for the neat victory of one of the sides. In Italy especially, according to statistics it has the largest percentage of the population that is pushing for a negotiated solution, for the fastest, quickest conclusion of the war. So, yes.Sputnik: Yet the new government is saying that Italy should support Ukraine.Fabrissi Vielmini: That is still the political mainstream, of course. But at the same time, underneath, there is this growing consensus that we should find a negotiated solution.Sputnik: The West tried to prove the thesis that Moscow’s isolation, political and economic, exists. The Verona Forum shows the interaction of European businesses and the Russian Federation. How plausible is the thesis about the complete cessation of European contacts with Russia?Fabrissi Vielmini: The thesis of complete…?Sputnik: Is Europe really breaking apart with Russia or not?Fabrissi Vielmini: Unfortunately, we see the breaking of a number of ties that we had even before, even at the time of the Soviet Union. During the last year, unfortunately, again, these ties were severed. But I don’t think it’s possible to completely break our economic relations, unless, of course, we accept that there will be a deindustrialization and severe economic recession of the European economy. Which I think no one really wants in Europe. This is what is feeding the sentiments that we were discussing during the previous question. The fact that there are more and more people that are working actively and are pushing, lobbying for a negotiated solution of the conflict in order to not continue with these cuts in our economic relations.Sputnik: Your Institute has recently published a large article on the role of new regional players such as India. To what extent does the Indian strategy of expanding participation in blocs such as the BRICS justifies itself in the growth of its global influence? How important is it?Fabrissi Vielmini: I confess that I didn’t read this article, unfortunately, and I wouldn’t…Sputnik: But in general, when talking about new emerging players like India.Fabrissi Vielmini: What I noticed by myself during this year is the fact that India took a posture, more autonomous, more self-confident in international affairs. I noticed there were a number of pressures coming from the United States and pushing New Delhi to take a stance against Russia. And I have the impression that they resist quite effectively and that this was based on the conscience of the mass of the population, that this is a war – this war is not like it is depicted in the Western propaganda, that India is not interested in taking the Western position. And the neutral stance that finally they took is the most corresponding to their national interest. And I think there are consequences for the future in the sense that India considered the American position in the world more realistically and they understand that that it is not sustainable, that their propaganda is not corresponding to reality. They are considering this war as sort of the former colonial world against those resisting this former colonial stance, that there is very much white supremacy in the Western position now. It is not so black and white, of course, but at least in the Indian perception, I think that they see in the American stance and the American propaganda this white supremacy position. And this is the reason why they’re not supporting this and they are taking this neutral stance. So, it’s very interesting, the fact that India is assuming a new role. And this conflict is assisting in shaping the new role that India will have on the international scene. Probably this will remain as one of the most substantial outcomes of this crisis.Sputnik: My final question. We see that the Verona Forum is being held in Baku, Azerbaijan. Now we see the new Eurasian space in reality. Italian businesses are here. They are coming closer to Russia and to Asia. Aren’t Italian businessmen afraid of the US sanctions when it comes to their meetings with Russians?Fabrissi Vielmini: This is a question for the Italian economic players, whether or not [they are afraid]. Actually, this forum shows how Azerbaijan together with Turkey, [who] now are quite a close pair of partners, are really taking the most advantage of the situation and they are rightly, wisely exploiting the opportunity that this war is presenting to them. And as the organizer of the forum, Mr. Fallico, just said before this interview, Azerbaijan is well-placed as a platform of dialog. It has all the right credentials towards Europe; [it is] part of the Council of Europe; they have a dialog with the European Union; they have a dialog with the Eurasian Economic Union; they are close partners with Turkey; they are now taking more and more trade flows, transit, and connection that before were going through the Russian Federation, but now they are taking the way from Central Asia, from Kazakhstan, the Caspian, Azerbaijan; and this Trans-Caspian corridor. Yes, I think if it will last, this condition of disruption of the direct connection between Europe and Russia, Azerbaijan is bound to be such a platform of dialog and probably there will be a format that allows Europeans to make easily, without fear of consequences a new platform like Azerbaijan. Kazakhstan probably will have a similar position in the future. And so yes, we are making a virtue of the necessity, and I think it arranges everyone. I don’t see this fear that you mentioned. Sputnik: Thank you very much.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button