MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s statement regarding the need of joint work with the EU member states in order to counter the alleged Russian threat will not cause any significant practical effect, Valdai discussion club program director Timofey bordachev told TASS Thursday.
"I think this will have a very insignificant practical effect," he said. "Because most NATO member states are already EU members. There are several insignificant countries in the EU that are not part of NATO."
According to the expert, the coordination of NATO and the EU may involve Brussels’ investments to the alliance’s military or infrastructure programs that "the Americans do not want to pay for."
"It would be convenient for the Europeans to fund them precisely within the cooperation with NATO, as they will therefore show that they too contribute to the collective security and defense against the mythical 'Russian threat'," he explained
Meanwhile, these agreements are unlikely to extend the US’s meddling in the EU’s foreign policy, because "it is unlikely to become even bigger." According to Bordachev, Washington’s intervention in Brussels’s foreign policy "defines" the European vector towards Russia and China.
However, the severance of diplomatic ties with Russia under the EU initiative is also not on the table, Bordachev believes.
"The Europeans will not cut ties with Russia, because they always need a reason to accuse Moscow of something," he continued. "I believe that diplomatic relations may fall from the level of ambassadors to the level of permanent representatives or temporary charges d’affaires."
Meanwhile, despite the conformational statements of NATO and EU leaders, business cooperation with individual countries will continue, the expert noted. He reminded about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remarks about his Monday phone call with European Council President Charles Michel. The Russian leader said at the time that Russia is ready to restore normal interaction with Europe, if reciprocal interest is present.
"Russia is always ready to have this dialogue. In the foreseeable future, our communication with the EU will look the same as it did before: Russia conducts business with individual countries. With Germany - on energy and investments, with France and Italy - on investments, as well. Investments from these countries to Russia have been growing for the last 4 years. We see that the Nord Stream 2 approaches conclusion. Therefore, in principle, the absence of diplomatic relations with the EU will bring no changes," the analyst concluded.