Atlantic Council: "The US administration does not care about Europe"
The US think-tank Atlantic Council writes about Germany, which is taking steps toward Russia without US influence. An interesting feature of the recent security conference in Munich was the ignoring of European security issues by the US. The European leaders were not referring to the opinion of the United States, and Washington's priorities were more focused on the situation in Syria, and not on Europe.
This trend supports the theory that America's credibility as a leader of the transatlantic union is decreasing, and the opinion of many European observers and diplomats is probably true: the current US administration does not care about Europe. The reduced attention and influence from the White House supposes that Europe can be in a situation in which it will have to make important political decisions independently. Germany, in spite of the tough stance of Angela Merkel on the Ukrainian issue and anti-Russian sanctions, is increasingly leaning towards a resumption of the cooperation with Russia.
It is known, for example, that German business circles are trying their best to maintain economic relations with the Kremlin. Commercial motives play a crucial role in German foreign policy, and ‘carelessness’ on the part of the United States could play into the hands of both Europe and Russia. There is a great opportunity that the project Nord Stream-2, a gas pipeline to Germany from Russia, will be eventually implemented, which can become extremely favorable for Moscow and Berlin. In addition to the economic benefits from the construction of the gas pipeline, Russia will also get an opportunity to strengthen ties with Europe, despite the contradictions. Even Italy, which has criticized the project since the beginning, now has a different look at its prospects after Italy received a chance to participate in it.
For Europe to take decisions without the influence of the United States could be a chance to preserve the unity and democracy within the state, and a partnership with Russia offers new economic and diplomatic horizons.
The US publication The National Interest writes about the strengthening of Russian-Japanese relations. It has been over 70 years since the end of World War II, but still there is no signed peace treaty between Russia and Japan. However the situation may change in the near future, due to the fact that Japan intends to restore and strengthen relations with Russia, despite the pressure from the US.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly stated that the bilateral relations with Russia are of paramount importance. The attempt by the US leadership to influence the strengthening of the alliance between the two states was ignored in Tokyo: the Japanese Prime Minister did not cancel his planned visit to Moscow after Barack Obama’s call.
The question is why despite the territorial disputes with Russia Shinjo Abe seeks an alliance with the Kremlin? The fact that the improvement of bilateral relations will contribute to Japan's national interests. Firstly, a line is to be drawn under World War II, at least in terms of Russia. Secondly, it will serve as a stimulus for the development of economic relations. For example, Japan will be able to diversify its energy market in addition to the LNG investments in Sakhalin. The most important thing is that such an alliance would strengthen security in the region.
The Russian side, in turn, also has a very positive attitude towards the conclusion of a peace agreement and a resolution of the territorial dispute. This will be a symbolic victory for Moscow and an expansion of the Kremlin's influence in the Asian region. The Russian economy will also get the opportunity to develop due to the bilateral trade and economic cooperation. Most likely, Japan will agree to significant concessions in resolving the territorial dispute that would allow the countries to strengthen and develop their cooperation.