The EU Spits in Putin’s Eye
If there was anyone left among the wretched Russophile rabble who still thought Europe was on Russia’s side against Georgia, surely not even they could still believe so after learning that the European Union had awarded its highest honor, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, to one of Vladimir Putin’s most ardent and fearless foes, the Memorial human rights organization.
Coming on the heels of a Russian court convicting Memorials CEO Oleg Orlov of libeling Chechen lunatic Ramzan Kadyrov by accusing him of being complicit in the murder of Natalia Estemirova, the EU’s spittle hanging from Putin’s rancid yellow eyeball was plain for all to see.
For years now, of course, the EU’s own court for human rights has been repeatedly convicting Russia of state-sponsored murder and torture in Chechnya. Now, it has formally recognized Russia’s home-grown champion of the Chechen cause, which has been toiling far longer and under direct threat of murder, as Estemirova’s barbaric assasination (and the earliers shootings of Stanslav Markelov and Anna Politkovskaya) make clear.
First the EU issued a report on the Russo-Georgian war of 2008 which scathingly condemned Russia for repeatedly violating international law, and now it has given one of the Kremlin’s most strident remaining critics its most prestigious prize. There can be no doubt whatsoever about where the EU stands on Russia, it stands appalled. The EU countries themselves have been repeatedly victimized by Russian energy terrorism, and they routinely see their fundamental values trashed and their basic security interests threatened as Russia wipes out civil society and home and thrusts its military forces at helpless tiny neighbors abroad.
But, of course, the EU needs to do much more. It needs to reach out to Ukraine and Georgia and bring them within the protective confines of NATO and the EU governmental structures, just as was previously done with Estona, Latvia and Lithuania to the north. It needs to demand that Russia observe the basic strictures of international law, and if it won’t do so then it needs to boot Russia out of any European organizations of which it is a member and impose tough economic sanctions until the Kremlin changes its neo-Soviet mind.
Still, these firm actions by the EU are encouraging. The EU is complex body with many consituent nations, and any resolved, determined action by such a group is welcome, especially because it pointedly shows the Russian people that the propaganda being heaped upon them by their rulers about friendship and approval in Europe, and alliances with Europe against the United States, is nothing but smoke and lies.