Words from Helsinki, which the world has been waiting for

Words from Helsinki, which the world has been waiting for

by Willy Wimmer

Sometimes it is quite in order to come straight to the point. Such an occasion was provided in the press conference given by the two Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump after hours of talks on 16 July. It was simply the mention of the “security of Israel.” Perhaps in the foreseeable future, the world will find that something that has brought the world to the brink of an abyss can be seen in connection with both personalities. In their statements, both presidents emphasised the situation in the Near and Middle East and the resulting dangers for the entire globe. However, it was palpable that the world is given a special chance precisely in the persons of the Presidents Trump and Putin.

It was striking in the weeks and months before this memorable event taking place in Helsinki, that it was not only two personalities from that Armageddon region, who had come and gone in Moscow: President Abbas of Palestine as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were almost constantly present there. High-ranking consultants from Tehran followed quite hot on their heels. With the Russian Federation stepping in on the side of the legitimate Syrian government – in full compliance with the rules of international law – in the externally initiated conflict in Syria, the Russian Federation and its President Mr Putin are, according to the circumstances in the Middle East, in a unique position with regard to an actual pacification of this region. Since the First World War, the fate of almost the entire world has been determined by this region and its challenges.

With regard to this question, the Russian President Putin has found an almost congenial partner in his American counterpart. Everything that has ever been heard or read on the question of how there came to be a candidate Trump and then even a President Trump in the US was and is linked to this question. President Trump has made that clear, right down to his own family and by means of universally highly controversial decisions affecting the US presence in Israel.

It was surely no coincidence that the name George Soros was mentioned at this press conference, quasi as an antipode for rational state action by both powers. But this is describing not so much a coincidence as a challenge. It is possible that, in the event of their success, the world will owe the two presidents more than an invitation to Oslo.

An emergence of businesslikeness in the relations between the two states made itself felt, and it was almost more than that. Given the media history and the profound conflicts in the United States itself, it was a very special message to the world, when Russian President Putin, at the end of his meticulous opening statement, spoke in a very affable and friendly manner of “Donald” when he addressed President Trump.

Europe was shown and set a high standard. The Crimea, Ukraine and generally the European energy supply served this purpose. President Trump has his own idea about the Crimea, and Russia has a different one and so considers the matter to be over. In certain circumstances, even Ukraine might no longer be exposed to any substantial concerns over natural gas and oil transit, even though it may be more than ever constrained to take the Minsk process seriously. Yes, both countries are competitors for the market of natural gas and oil in Western Europe, and the American president makes that clear, even if he points out Russia’s market proximity.

This eliminates the over-exaggeration of this question, which has been ongoing for decades among the NATO varlets. Business is business, and you can imagine the very hard bandages used in this context.

There will be other meetings and thus all those will be globally marginalised who did not understand President Trump’s doctrine: diplomacy is everything, ignorance is nothing. Concerning President Trump, one is under the reasonable impression that here once again we meet an American head of state who is in the process of honestly earning the name of “president” and of not just making himself be seen as a puppet pushed to and fro by neocons. Being a model of German diplomacy, Heiko Maas will complain about Helsinki – as well as Mr Soros, presumably – as constituting the swan song of a “Western community of values” which only he still detects. It is said that the members of the American government regularly seek refuge in their panic rooms when confronted with his assessments of the world.

Helsinki was a humdinger.     •

(Translation Current Concerns)