Fighting on The EU's Eastern Front and Tusk's list of enemies.
The EU's Eastern Front and Tusk's list of enemies. It may be about to get worse for the EU than anyone had imagined.
Tusk, an un-Polish Pole, a very Brussels Pole, has put USA on his list of powers hostile to the EU and organisations which pose a threat to the EU. The list includes radical Islam (but not so much you would want to disrupt anyone's travel plans), Russia, China and was part of a letter to 27 leaders of EU-provinces. It did not go to Britain since Britain must be on that list of threats. Also on the list of mortal threats to the EU leaders must be the electorates of Europe because Brexit is Europe.
In their aggressive arrogance, the heads of the EU will probably not have compiled the other list, that of friendly forces. It is a very short list at the moment. Very short.
The EU will, as soon as it sobers up, realise that it is pretty much alone in the world.
The EU thinks it can deal with Trump by snobbery and sneering and by mobilising its young pioneers to demonstrate in a hope that this will weaken the alliance of those it considers enemies.
But even before Trump's election, EU-friendly parties were losing elections in countries in the EU's near abroad, countries the EU hoped to annex -or whatever the euphemism is nowadays.
Most celebrated of the EU's annexations that did not go quite according to plan was Ukraine. Under Obama, the growing maturity of relations between the West and Russia came to a halt and a new hostility developed. Obama's administration and the EU agreed on the Euro-maidan putsch in which a neutral government was overthrown and an EU-friendly (I mean democratic, of course) government was installed. Ukraine was a more complex and delicate construction than the EU realised. Maybe they thought it was like Sweden and it turned out to be more like Belgium and broke apart when they grabbed it too roughly.
The EU, not being the most reliable ally, has not given Kiev the support they were expecting and is somewhat demoralised.
Other things have changed. Not just Brexit. It is not just Trump. There has been an election in Poland and a change of government last year. Now Radek Sikorski is not in government. He was probably the brains behind the Euro-maidan. Well, probably - but it certainly wasn't Catherine Aston, was it? He has gone and the EU is fighting for its survivial - but without a brain. meanwhile, Europeans have been inspired by Brexit. And none of those 27 leaders are much interested in foreign adventures at the moment.
Hush! What is that sound?
There has been very heavy shelling these last coulpe of days (31st Jan) in Avdyvka.
This is a town in Donetsk, part of the county but not in the area controlled by the DPR government. It is just a few K the other side of the airport and rebelled in 2014 but was occupied by EU-backed Kiev forces.
The Kiev government's grip has weakened recently and trouble has flared up. We have heard reports of very many wounded and refugees pouring into Donetsk. People are fleeing the other way too and, we believe, Kiev is planning to evacuate and retreat.
Avdiyvka is strategically and economically important. To understand the economy of Donetsk just imagine South Wales on the Black sea. Well, Wales when it still had pits, steel mills and Europe's biggest coking plant. That is what is in Avdyvka - a coking plant. If Kiev's occupation is broken then western Ukraine and the EU and US investment therein looks shakey. With it, DPR economic viability is somewhat enhanced.
Now here is the rub, there are a lot of tanks in Ukraine, there is a lot of artillery and a lot of men. And a lot of civilians. The DPR has been contained in half of Donetsk. The EU has had two years to sort out a sustainable peace. And, if you listen to our interview with the then foreign minister recorded two years ago, peace was there to be had.
In any case, the world has now changed, the chance has passed and the Donald T who is president of Europe only has one list - and it is the wrong one.
If DPR choses, they will take Avdivka. They will take the port of Marjupol, too, if they want. Kiev forces still have some fight in them and a fleet of tanks. But how much mysterious foreign funding are those semi autonomous nazi battalions getting now?
What is to stop DPR retaking the rest of the Donetsk region? Crikey, what is to stop them taking Kiev? There is not an awful lot to stop them taking Brussels apart from French nukes. I exagerate. But you get the point? The EU is in an incredibly precarious state and Tusk only has one list.
Whether Brussels will celebrate Europe Day or Victory Day this May 9th, I do not know. But the only safe bet is on St George.