“We are in a situation where we no longer want to look bad”, according to Jacques Baud

Today, in connection with the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, it is a Swiss who will speak to us about Europe. Writer and intelligence specialist, Jacques Baud is the author of Z operation, Posted by MaxMilo. He is a member of Swiss strategic intelligence, a specialist in Eastern European countries and head of doctrine for peacekeeping operations at the United Nations.

franceinfo: You were also at NATO in Brussels, and we Europeans are precisely at the gates of this conflict. What is your vision of Europe?

Jacques Baud: As I have said many times with regard to this conflict, my idea of ​​Europe in relation to a conflict and not only of Europe – in fact of all the multilateral organizations in relation to a conflict – is to stay in the previous conflicts. . For me, it is a privilege of the multilateral institutions not to descend to the level of the parties in conflict. And in this context, I was disappointed with the approach chosen by the European Union.

And as I have also often said, I understand the Ukrainians. I was a soldier myself, so if I had to defend my country, I would. I understand that the Ukrainians do it and that is completely legitimate. But when you have the privilege of not being in a conflict, I am sorry that you deliberately enter it and become part of the conflict. And I have a feeling that we make decisions under the influence of emotion.

Do you like penalties?

There you have it, sanctions whose implications we have not really perceived, without knowing what the long-term consequences would be. And above all, obviously we did not analyze what Russia was, and obviously we did not understand what it was capable of, and the resilience of its economy. And now we are dragged into economic difficulties that affect us ourselves.

Energy as a weapon of war, that was predictable, right?

Yes, it was predictable because in 2014, sure enough, the West had already taken energy-related measures against Russia, and they had been relatively successful at the time, but in a very particular way, since the price of petroleum products was extremely low. Russia’s revenue was already naturally low due to the market, but was affected by the sanctions.

While in 2022, we are in totally different phenomena, since with the Covid crisis, we have had a contraction in supply in all areas, a contraction also in logistics chains, including in the areas of oil products. And when sanctions were applied to petroleum products at the beginning of 2022 in Russia, it only accentuated this contraction in supply. And when there is a contraction in supply, there is an explosion in prices.

We are in a situation where we no longer want to look bad. We can clearly see that Europe today has entered a kind of impasse, that it will suffer from an energy problem because of its sanctions. And I think that more generally, Europe and the West need to come back to reality. We have a Eurasian bloc that is becoming stronger with a China that is, without a doubt, one of the main world players.

And I go back to what the Indian Foreign Minister said in Bratislava this year, that Europe must stop thinking that its problems are the world’s problems and therefore take a more sober view of the world.

But you also say it in your book, the problem of the West, of the West, is to work in the short term while the others work in the long term?

That’s right, that’s true. And this is also a characteristic of large countries. We talk about China, we talk about Russia, which now forms the core, but also about India.

The famous Eurasia?

It is this famous Eurasia that is in the process of consolidation thanks to our sanctions. In a way, these are huge countries, and these are people who have to think for many years. They cannot simply ponder a four-year presidential term. I think everyone – China, Russia and India – think much more strategically than we do in the West, and we’ve lost that perspective.

We have modes of governance in Europe that today are based more on tweets than on well thought-out decisions. That means, in other words, that we are in the immediate response.

Z operation by Jacques Baud published by Max Milo.

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