April 24, 2024

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Does the specter of war haunt Europe?

Does the specter of war haunt Europe?

In recent days, some officials' statements have sparked a storm of reactions. Germany's education minister caused shock when she claimed schools should prepare students for the possibility of war. Then the President of the European Council, Charles MichelHe pointed out in his article that “If Europe wants peace, it must prepare for war,” while the French president said, Emmanuel Macron He said the participation of European forces “should not be ruled out.” Ukraine.

Could the conflict on Ukrainian territory escalate into a full-scale war in Ukraine? Europe; How does this debate impact our country? What does one mean? Trump's election Next November in the United States? The answers are provided by the Professor of International Relations in the Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies University of Macedonia And Reader in international security In the Department of Defense Studies at King's College London, Manos Karagiannis.

Reconstructing Ukraine will cost hundreds of billions of euros, and it is not at all certain that this money will be easily found after the end of the war.

— Mr. Professor, European Council President Charles Michel noted in his article: “If Europe wants peace, it must prepare for war.” Do you think that the specter of a broader military confrontation is hovering over the European continent?
The truth is that the Russian invasion of Ukraine caught many European governments by surprise, as well as the European Union itself. But what caused a great shock was the humanitarian catastrophe left by the Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities. Hundreds of thousands were killed and injured, while millions were forced to flee their homes. Thus, a united Europe is trying to manage the consequences of a major war, which few imagined would break out on our continent. Charles Michel, like other European officials, is trying to warn citizens that difficult days are coming for Europe.

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Mr. Manos Karagiannis

— What does the fact that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is developing into a signal of a protracted war mean? Could this have unintended consequences?
First, the longer the war lasts, the greater the destruction. Reconstructing Ukraine will cost hundreds of billions of euros, and it is not at all certain that this money will be easily found after the end of the war. But most importantly, no one knows what the Kremlin wants to achieve. Does he just want to annex some Ukrainian territory or does he want to change the borders in other parts of the region as well? What about Moldova, where there are already tensions with the largely Moscow-controlled breakaway republic of Transnistria? The only thing that is certain is that rivalries have been revived in Europe which has changed the geopolitical plans of many European countries.

– What position should Greece take and to what extent does this whole discussion affect us?
The Greek government decided from the beginning not to maintain a neutral position, but to stand unequivocally in favor of Ukraine. I believe that the decision serves the national interests and the strategy that was adopted decades ago, which is to keep pace with the great powers in the West. But there is something that deserves further discussion, and it relates to managing the relationship with Moscow. For example, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently decided not to invite Russian diplomats to events organized by our embassies to mark the national anniversary of the Revolution of 1821. I honestly do not understand the reasoning behind this decision. Athens' position is quite clear, as the country stood in favor of Ukraine. Why should our position be asserted in this way? Unlike Greece, Russia is a country with institutional memory. I deeply fear that for many years, even if the leadership in the Kremlin changes, the Russian deep state will rank us among the “king’s worst enemies.” So, there is no need to exaggerate, because we have many things in common with Russian society.

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Could the conflict on Ukrainian territory escalate into a full-scale war in Europe? Photo: EPA

Is the creation of a European army possible in the near future?
Such a development is unlikely to occur in the near future for at least two reasons. First, there are pro-NATO countries that do not want to create a common defense policy so as not to reduce the value of NATO as a collective defense organization. Second, many European societies are reluctant to contribute further to the cause of common defense as they have moved into a “post-heroic” era. In other words, they are unwilling to accept the human casualties of foreign wars. However, I believe that creating a common defense policy is the only way for the European Union to survive.

– How much impact does Trump’s election have on the American elections?
Look, no one really knows what will happen if Trump returns to the White House. Judging by his behavior as president in the period 2016-2022, we can reach 2-3 safe conclusions. First, he himself will try to practice personal diplomacy without moral barriers. However, the American deep state (Pentagon, intelligence, and State Department) will try in various ways to maintain America's credibility as the leading power in the West. Second, filling critical positions (e.g., Director of the CIA, Secretaries of State and Defense) in the new Trump administration will not be an easy task. The fact that he is accustomed to constantly changing his inner circle and relying more on his family members will prevent worthy and experienced people from accepting any offers of cooperation with the new president. Third, tensions with the European Union over trade issues are likely to increase. Overall, Trump's election will create uncertainty and anxiety among America's allies. It will not be good news for neither Europe nor Greece!

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