Dismissing European Outrage, Russia Turns Itself Into a ‘Great Pariah Power’

22 Sep 2020

(Eurasia Daily Monitor) With its latest double breach of norms of international behavior—poisoning the opposition leader Alexei Navalny and embracing the discredited Belarusian autocrat, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka—Russia has managed to unite Europe in outrage. Last week (September 17), the European Parliament approved, by a large majority, a harsh resolution not only demanding a strong response to the Navalny case but also calling for a new strategy on relations with the openly hostile Russia (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 17). Russian propaganda lashed out viciously against this firm stance and predicted that a confrontation with Russia would destroy the European project (RIA Novosti, September 19). Moscow is particularly upset because Germany, which used to be the moderating influence in setting the European Union’s course, is now among the strongest advocates of punishing Russia’s transgressions. Mainstream political pundits in the Russian capital interpret the cancelation of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Berlin as an unmistakable sign of the severe deterioration of this key bilateral relationship (Russiancouncil.ru, September 18). [...]

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