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Borrell Says EU Misplayed Russia—So, Central Asia Needs To Help Us Isolate Russia

EU Commission Vice President and foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, speaking in Brussels yesterday to the Global Gateway Investors Forum for the European Union-Central Asia Transport Connectivity, evidently just could not leave well enough alone. Instead of allowing a relatively sane investment project stand on its own, Borrell weighed in with both a woeful story and some geopolitical shenanigans.

He told the gathering that, despite the West’s best efforts to help Kiev and “weaken” Moscow, sanctions have largely failed to achieve their goals, and now more cooperation is needed from the Central Asian states, to isolate Russia. So, the EU-Central Asia Transport Connectivity is subservient to the geopolitical game of surrounding and containing Russia.

Borrell explained, also, that the Ukrainian conflict has been “a stark reminder of the critical importance of jointly defending the core principles of the United Nations. You know that in order to defend these principles, the European Union has imposed substantial sanctions against Russia, which have significantly weakened its war machine. But still, they are there, and the war continues. And if I can say it, the intensity of the fighting increases and we do not see the light at the end of the tunnel.” And then comes the threat: “In order for these sanctions to be effective, we need full cooperation from our partners. We are closely following the trade between us, between Central Asia countries, with them and Russia. We try to analyze which are the mechanisms that make sanctions being circumvented.”

Borrell’s presentation is notable as a clinical case of not quite grasping the “win-win” idea of the Belt and Road.