Erdogan accesses Baku oil

Brussels 12.11.2020 Anna van Densky OPINION The result of the military campaign for Nagorno-Karabakh is the entry of Azerbaijan into the NATO orbit. Turkey is NATO, even the first NATO army in terms of military personnel.

This Turkish military base presence agreed with Azerbaijan means unhindered access to Baku (pictured) oil, which is imported by Turkey, lucrative contracts of the Turkish energy company BOTAS with the Azerbaijani SOCAR, and in return President Erdogan will export Islam. In short, the Turkish expansion in the Caucasus will proceed in the military, political, economic and cultural spheres.
Do svidania, Azerbaijan!
It doesn’t make sense to have a “poker face” and declare Putin a “great winner”. Russia got a burden of protection of the poorest country in the Caucasus, which became even poorer after the N.Karabakh war, and at the same time suffers from militant chauvinism and high levels of anti-Russian sentiment, while the wealth of oil fields went to Turkey under the leadership of Erdogan.

It is not clear what is so victorious in the duty of protecting Armenia, which is in the deepest economic and political crisis? After the pogrom in the parliament in Yeravan, and hospitalisation of the speaker caused by mob attack, and further vandalism in Prime minister Pashinyan residence, Armenia resembles a failed state.

Meanwhile “Sultan” Erdogan received what Germany did not get during the Second World War, and because of what, in fact, the Battle for Stalingrad, where two million perished – access to Baku oil. Now, Erdogan gained access to the Baku oil rigs during a campaign that lasted a little more than two months. And he fought mainly with the forces of the Azeri army and with their funds from the sale of the same oil. And the Russian peacekeepers went to defend the dilapidated quarries of N. Karabakh, used for graveyards.
Concluding mentioned above, N.Karabach war opened Turkish era in Caucasus, which will change the region entirely and without return, launching its Islamisation. Sunset of Russian influence. One more failure of President Putin.
Image below: Turkish Defence Minister and former Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar is on official visit to Baku.
The fraternal gesture between the two military Azerbaijani and Turkish have been duly displayed in the official images, flaunting Ankara victory.

Nagorno-Karabakh: Russia deploys 1960 peacekeepers

Brussels 09.11.2020 According to Russian TASS Agency a peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation will be deployed along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor in the amount of 1,960 servicemen with small arms, 90 armored personnel carriers, 380 units of automobile and special equipment, the statement signed by Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan says. President Putin confirmed the decision to send peacekeepers in an TV addresse.

The peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation is being deployed in parallel with the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces. The duration of the stay of the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation is 5 years with automatic extension for the next 5-year periods, if none of the Parties declares 6 months before the expiration of the period of intention to terminate the application of this provision.

In order to increase the effectiveness of control over the implementation of the agreements by the Parties to the conflict, a peacekeeping center is being deployed to control the ceasefire.

The Republic of Armenia will return the Kelbajar region to the Republic of Azerbaijan by November 15, 2020, and the Lachin region by December 1, 2020, while leaving behind the Lachin corridor (5 km wide), which will ensure the connection of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and at the same time not will affect the city of Shusha.

By agreement of the Parties, in the next three years, a plan for the construction of a new traffic route along the Lachin corridor will be determined, providing communication between Stepanakert and Armenia, with the subsequent redeployment of the Russian peacekeeping contingent to protect this route.
The Republic of Azerbaijan guarantees traffic safety
along the Lachin corridor of citizens, vehicles and goods in both directions.

Internally displaced persons and refugees return to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent areas under the control of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The exchange of prisoners of war and other detained persons and bodies of the dead is carried out.

Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenia confirms complete ceasefire

The text of the statement of the presidents of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan is being distributed on social networks (information needs to be confirmed)

Statement
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan,
Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia
and the President of the Russian Federation

We, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan I. G. Aliyev,
Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikolai Pashinyan and
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin
announce the following:

1. A complete ceasefire and all hostilities in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are announced from 00:00 hours Moscow time on November 10, 2020. The Republic of Azerbaijan
and the Republic of Armenia, hereinafter referred to as the Parties, stop at their positions.

2. The Aghdam region and the territories held by the Armenian Party in the Gazakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan shall be returned to the Azerbaijan Party until November 20, 2020.

3. Along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor, a peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation is deployed in the amount of 1,960 military personnel with small arms, 90 armored personnel carriers, 380 units of automobile and special equipment.

4. The peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation is being deployed in parallel with the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces. The duration of the stay of the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation is 5 years with automatic extension for the next 5-year periods, if none of the Parties declares 6 months before the expiration of the period of intention to terminate the application of this provision.

5. In order to increase the effectiveness of control over the implementation of the agreements by the Parties to the conflict, a peacekeeping center is being deployed to control the ceasefire.

6. The Republic of Armenia will return the Kelbajar region to the Republic of Azerbaijan by November 15, 2020, and the Lachin region by December 1, 2020, while leaving behind the Lachin corridor (5 km wide), which will ensure the connection of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and at the same time not will affect the city of Shusha.

By agreement of the Parties, in the next three years, a plan for the construction of a new traffic route along the Lachin corridor will be determined, providing communication between Stepanakert and Armenia, with the subsequent redeployment of the Russian peacekeeping contingent to protect this route.
The Republic of Azerbaijan guarantees traffic safety
along the Lachin corridor of citizens, vehicles and goods in both directions.

7. Internally displaced persons and refugees return to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent areas under the control of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

8. The exchange of prisoners of war and other detained persons and bodies of the dead is carried out.

9. All economic and transport links in the region are unblocked. The Republic of Armenia provides transport links between the western regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic in order to organize the unimpeded movement of citizens, vehicles and goods in both directions. Control over transport communication is carried out by the bodies of the Border Service of the FSB of Russia.

By agreement of the Parties, the construction of new transport communications linking the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic with the western regions of Azerbaijan will be provided.

EU vs.Trump+33,284,020 Republicans

Brussels 08.11.2020 Anna van Densky OPINION On November 7 the Saturday evening in his Tweet micro blog the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell congratulated Democrat Joe Biden, who proclaimed himself the President-elect of the U.S. in spite of the wide-spread protest of the Republicans who openly accused their opponents in endemic fraud with postal ballots. Meanwhile Georgia State top election official has dispatched a team of investigators after a ballot “issue” was discovered in one of the counties most responsible for giving former
Joe Biden (D) the lead over President Trump (R). The U.S. election process is clearly not over.

However soon Josep Borrell was shortly joined by the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, who said she was looking forward to working with “President Biden”, following the European leaders footsteps: Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, who also rushed to congratulate Mr.Biden.

The question is what happens when the Republicans start their lawsuits in the Courts, demanding investigation into fraud, and re-count of the votes? The was one 20 years ago in Florida in 2000 during contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore. The Florida vote was settled in Bush’s favour by a margin of 537 votes in manual recount in Bush v. Gore lawsuit.

Nowadays while the mainstream media has announced Nevada and the election race in favour of Joe Biden (D), President Trump’s campaign claims that the race is not over and litigation is just beginning on Monday, November 9.

Governor Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota) noted on November 8 on ABC’s “This Week” programme that during the 2000 election, former Vice President Al Gore was given 37 days to run the process of legal challenges to the election.
Therefore, she said we should “afford the 70.6 million Americans that voted for President Trump the same consideration.” She has also underlined that it was not only about this election, it was about the entire institution, and if Joe Biden was not willing to “break-up the nation” he should allow the legal process to take place to proof that he had really won. The governor’s words were reflecting the position of the Trump voters, who point at too many evidences of fraud during the postal ballot count.

In case in legal procedures there will be no change of results in his favour, President Trump’s term expires at midday on January 20, 2021, and many leaders are showing reserve unlike the EU top executives, who rushed with their congratulations to a candidate who they consider to be more favourable to the EU project.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he would not congratulate Biden on his victory until all legal challenges are resolved. Similar stance took Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China Xi Jinping.
There was silence from President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, and many others who preferred not to gamble. From the other hand, they wished to keep good working relations with the Republicans, respecting their concerns of illegitimate postal ballots.

Even if the lawsuits fail to establish the ballots count, allowing President Trump to stay in the White House for the second term, there are strong inclinations for Republicans to stay in control of the Senate, meaning the prospects of Mr.Biden to fulfil his campaign promises are dim, and the EU executive rush wishing him well largely misplaced. The neutrality of Europe would deliver more in every sense, keeping good relations with both camps, defining the ties with the EU as a bipartisan issue.

Turkey in EURONEWS: qui prodest?

Brussels, 06.11.2020 Anna van Densky OPINION The strangling of Freedom of speech policy of increasingly authoritarian Turkey at home, in the European Union and across globe, preventing 400 million audience of the EURONEWS to receive an objective coverage of the events concerning Ankara actions, is paradoxically rooted in the EU public funds being abused by Turkish government and used for the purpose, opposite to its original concept.
Unfortunately, the European Commission continues to subsidise EURONEWS TV Channel in spite of the fact that Turkey is in all structures, aggressively opposing and blocking the adequate news coverage.

Even previously, in the 2019 report by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) has underlined that EURONEWS is “not a public service broadcaster in any member state”, and analysing a total of €122M of funding for the channel from 2014-2018, concluded that the Commission “does not have a system to verify whether EURONEWS is achieving the objectives agreed in the partnership agreements.”
Today the European Commission has confirmed the continuation of subsidising Euronews TV, regardless Ankara opposition of freedom of speech – core value of the EU, and the fact of incarceration of more than 200 Turkish journalists.
Apparently, following the answer of the European Commission spokesperson they had no mechanism foreseen to freeze the payments.

Needless to say, that being in EURONEWS editorial Turkish broadcaster TRT uses their right to veto all the unflattering information about their country, preventing the global audiences to access to the information of tremendous significance, alerting public about Turkish actions alike supporting Muslim Brotherhood, defined a terrorist organisation by the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates.

Not least crucial is information of transfer of 2 000 jihad fighters from Syria to Nagorno-Karabakh by Turkey, reported by some media, but denied by Ankara. However at present it is impossible to deliver objective coverage of conflict taking place in Caucasus between Armenia and Azerbaijan in spite of the generous subvention to EURONEWS, because Turkish editorial is there to block it.

On top of using the channel to condemn the freedom of speech policy of the EU member-states in the articles of the Turkish editorial, Ankara earns from EURONEWS, being a shareholder, while the EU citizens pay tens of millions yearly to ensure the channel function, they supply profit to Turkish oppressive state which cashes on TV advertising.

Obviously when in February 2009, the Turkish public broadcaster TRT became a shareholder of the channel and joined its supervisory board, the context was different, and there were no major objection for Ankara to joint the team. The same year the TRT purchased 15.70% of the channel’s shares and became the fourth main partner after France Télévisions (23.93%), RAI (21.54%), and VGTRK (16.94%). Turkish was added as the ninth language service in January 2010 as a result of this purchase.

The EURONEWS TV channel was established in 1993 by ten European public broadcasters to “reinforce European identity and integration” and the EU has provided it with a generous financial support since then. In recent years, the channel has changed its ownership structure by acquiring private investors.

Continue reading “Turkey in EURONEWS: qui prodest?”

“Golden” passports vs. migrants welcome

Brussels. 30.10.2020 The EU President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that she condemned the “hideous act” in the Church Notre Dame in Nice, and the head of the EU diplomacy Josep Borrell tweeted that he was “shocked” by the “barbarism”. But do they really believe that the Islamist radicals care what the EU leaders think about their attacks? To whom do they address their condemnation?
To the radicals, who are considering themselves the “martyrs in Islam”, offering the ultimate sacrifice to Allah Akbar?..

(Image: actress, and devote Catholic Nadine Devillers, victim of Nice attack).

The assailant, who was kindly assisted by the Italian Red Cross, issuing him a document, when he landed at Lampedusa, had been less than a month in France, when he had undertaken gruesome knife attack against Christians in a central church of Nice out of ideological motives, shouting “Allah Akbar!”, while stabbing, slitting throats, and cutting off head of an elderly woman. It did not look like he new any of his three victims, who came for the morning prayer.

What the “condemnation” of the EU top executives mean in practical terms of protection of human life (European Convention of Human Rights Article 2 – right to life)?
“Thought with families of victims”, “shock from barbarism” are only words, which protect no one.
The EU has launched an infringement procedure against Cyprus and Malta for “golden passport” scheme, exchanging citizenship for investment into economy. But why there are no infringement procedures against Italy and France, for neglecting Article 2 of European Human rights Convention, neglecting Islamist threat, and allowing extremists to acquire permits to stay, converted later to citizenship?

The served head of the teacher Samuel Paty by Chechen radical, or Chechen-Maghreb gangs fighting for drug traffic, – all these crimes have one feature in common: unrestricted access to settle in France to abuse the democracy, profiting from its fruit, and denying the values of the hosting society.

It is time to face the reality: for more than a half of Muslims living in Europe Sharia law is more important than the civil law, and even more so for the newcomers, who by no means are interested to embrace European cultures, but to preserve their own, they have fled.

The European Commission has started an infringement procedure against Cyprus and Malta over European citizenship, which should not be “for sale”, but should it be granted freely to any migrant landing in Europe under asylum-seeking pretext? What is “dignifying” about distribution of the European permits and passports for migrants with obscure past and dim plans for future? Denouncing 800 Maltese “golden passports” to distribute more than half-a-million yearly to migrants whose claim is based on the length of stay. It is useful to remember that the very idea of ‘naturalisation’ is entirely “Western”, and is not practised across the world.

The trend of beheading in France should remind us about the history of asylum-seeking which was launched in Colonial era (1951), when nobody could imagine that the entire Africa would be free, and these Conventions of Geneva would be used to move populations massively from one continent to another, allowing Islamists to infiltrate. Nowadays there are more than 8 000 radicals in France on the surveillance list “S”, and 400 are not in possession of any valid document to stay. 

The “golden passports” scheme “undermines the European values” the EU civil servants claim, but indiscriminate welcome to migrants undermines the “right to life” of the European citizens. The issue that continues to be neglected and overlooked. 

Image above: Nadine Devillers, victime of Nice Notre Dame cathedral attack during her last performance in Phoenix theratre.

Erdogan anger amid fossil fuel decline

Brussels 26.10.2020 Anna van Densky OPINION Recent President Erdogan verbal attacks on France have many reasons rooted in frustrations, not least is the economic difficulty of Turkey, experiencing sharp decline of demand of fossil fuels on world markets. Related to COVID-19 pandemic reduction of demand has dropped to record 30%, however the experts explain that the trend is here to stay. Before the pandemic broke out Turkey has been gaining strength as an energy corridor, supplying oil and gas to Europe from oil-rich suppliers of the region. However now, in so rapidly changing world, will Ankara be able to preserve its plans, or following the hydrocarbons definite decline of demand, it will face the economic consequences of end of fossil fuel era?

In the beginning of the pandemic, China’s economy slowed down, impacting fossil fuel demand, subsequently the OPEC tried to negotiate with Russia the limitations of production, but failed, the price struggle erupted between Saudi Arabia and Russia, and oil prices collapsed. Moreover, end October crude oil prices sank after Libya’s National Oil Corp (NOC) announced the output would reach one (1) million barrels per day in four weeks. Futures in New York fell 2.3% to drop below $39 a barrel.

In this volatile context Turkey will begin to discuss the new long-term energy contacts with a number of suppliers – Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Algeria and Nigeria, of total 45 billion cubic meters of gas. Three of them are covering one third of the energy imports – with Russia, Azerbaijan and Nigeria – will expire next year. The Turkish state-owned crude oil and natural gas pipelines and trading company BOTAŞ and Russian Gazprom had to negotiate delivery of 8 billion cubic meters of gas; the contract with Azerbaijan is covering 6.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas and with Nigeria for 1.3 billion cubic meters of LNG will – all of them expire in 2021.

Till present Russia remains the largest gas supplier to Turkey – 33.6% of total imports, followed by Azerbaijan 21.2% and Iran 17.1%. The rest 28.1% is covered by the liquefied gas (LNG) from other sources. However fossil fuel companies have entered the state of “terminal decline”, and fossil fuel companies are set to face it because of falling demand and higher investment risks caused by competition from clean technologies and tougher government climate and energy security targets, according to climate finance analysts, because of falling demand accelerated by COVID-19 pandemic, and higher investment risks explained by competition from clean technologies and strict government climate and energy security targets.

In this contemporary context the belligerent rhetoric of Erdogan against President of France, reflects tensions in Turkish society, facing the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The government has no plan B to answer to the fossil fuel decline impact of the economy. According to official figures Turkey’s unemployment rate improved slightly to 12.8% in April despite the raging pandemic, while the alternative calculations indicate that more than 50% were jobless. These figures might grow sharply while fossil fuels demand is declining, and plans of President Erdogan to create Turkish energy hub became dim.

The exaltation of the crisis of the relations between Turkey and France did not come as a surprise: France had systematically criticised Turkey’s role in Syria and Libya, and nowadays the unfolding conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, defending human rights of the Armenian inhabitants there. This recent conflict has added to the other tactics of President Erdogan to deviate the attention of his compatriots from gravity of economic situation in Turkey to various conflicts and crisis he stirs in outside world.
But not only, the active Ankara political support of Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabach conflict, will certainly reflect on energy talks of next year expired contracts, the moment when Erdogan will attempt to convert his political influence into preferences and privileges enshrined in new energy energy agreements with Russia and Azerbaijan, allowing Turkey better gains from gas and oil transit.

#COVID19: Scientists against lockdown

Brussels 16.10.2020 REVIEW: From October 1-4, 2020, the American Institute for Economic Research hosted a remarkable meeting of top epidemiologists, economists, and journalists, to discuss the global emergency created by the unprecedented use of state compulsion in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. The result is The Great Barrington Declaration, which urges a “Focused Protection” strategy. (Image above: EU Council 15-16 October, Brussels).

DECLARATION:
he Great Barrington Declaration – As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection.

Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.

Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

Fortunately, our understanding of the virus is growing. We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza.

As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e. the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity.

The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection… (Full text on the site: https://gbdeclaration.org )

#TBT: BRAFA Art Fair

Brussels 1.10.2020 In the evening of the first day of October a sad for the art lovers news came – the cancellation of the Brussels Fine Art Fair 2021 due to volatile COVID-19 pandemic context. (Images: @AnnaVanDensky)

The members of the non-profit organisation (organiser of the BRAFA Art Fair) held an Extraordinary General Meeting during which they decided to postpone the event to 2022.

The first ever BRAFA was held in the Arlequin Hall of the Galerie Louiza in 1956. Charles Van Hove and Mamy Wouters, the long standing President and Vice-President of the Belgian Chamber of Antiques Dealers, were behind the initiative to set up the salon. This first Belgian Antiques Fair or ‘Foire des Antiquaires de Belgique’, as it was known then, followed in the footsteps of the fairs already held at Grosvenor House in London and at the Prinsenhof in Delft, but preceded those set up in Paris, Florence and Munich.

The growing success of the fair and the increasing number of participants meant that a location had to be found capable of keeping up with the event’s development. The range of art objects on display also continued to expand. From 1967 to 2003, the fair was held in the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. Up until 1994, only Belgian antiques dealers who were members of the Royal Chamber of Antique Dealers could take part in the fair which was, at the time, a purely national event. The number of participants fluctuated between forty and fifty.

The first major change occurred in 1995 when Christian de Bruyn opened the fair to foreign antique dealers for the first time. The Belgian antique dealers saw this as a revolutionary step and they were right; in no time the fair had outgrown the Palais des Beaux-Arts and a new, much bigger location had to be found. In 2004 the Belgian Antiques Fair therefore moved to Tour & Taxis, a gem of Belgian industrial architectural heritage situated in the north of Brussels, next to the Willebroek canal. Now that exhibition space was no longer restricted, the BRAFA actively sought to increase the number of participants. Having started with no more than twenty Belgian antique dealers it grew to incorporate about one hundred and thirty exhibitors from both Belgium and abroad in the space of a few years. The fair is now recognized worldwide as one of the leading international fairs in Europe.

BRAFA, or the Brussels Art Fair, is one of the longest running art and antiques fairs in the world and is organized every year by the nonprofit Belgian Antiques Fair Association.

The uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic in Europe is the main reason for the postponement. BRAFA, which is traditionally the first top international fine art fair of the year, showcases 130 exhibitors on average, of which two thirds come from abroad.

Last year, the fair welcomed a record number of 68,000 visitors, collectors and professionals, including a significant number from neighbouring countries. The current health situation and its potential evolution this autumn and winter have caused serious concerns. New restrictions on intra-European travel related to coronavirus pandemic and the safety measures imposed by the authorities have only added to the fear of the organisers.

Mali: EU-ECOWAS democratic dogmatism

Brussels, 20.09.2020 Anna van Densky, OPINION: An extraordinary pressure on Mali officers to transfer power to civilians without delay paves the way to one more failed state on the map of the world. During the anti-government protests, which led to the coup d’état, ousting of President Keita, there has been no single political force able to offer a comprehensive programme to reform the Sahel country and direct it firmly to the democratic future. Moreover, there is not such a clear path to democracy for Malians, plagued by extremism, sectarian conflict, ethnic divisions, and endemic corruption.

The European Union (EU)- the avid supporter of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) efforts in Mali- actively promotes a model of the democratic institutions, run by the civilians, without any consideration of the context, and previous failures of the similar kind – the state-building in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in Libya. Nowadays the ECOWAS, flanked by the European diplomacy, is pushing Malians towards pro-forma return to the “Constitutional” order, denouncing the idea of the country run by the military for the next 18 months. However the energetic push is performed in absence of a coherent strategy in dealing with corrupt and ineffective state structures, and detached local communities doomed to isolation in absence of adequate infrastructures. Last, but not least is the factor of the general instability in the region, aggravated by rise of Islamists in Sahel, affiliated with Al-Qaeda and Islamic State aiming to restore the legendary Caliphate of Sokoto.

Sadly the list of problems does not end here, the Tuareg dream of creation of an independent state in the north of Mali – Azawad – has never faded, but retreated for time being under pressure of the overwhelming French army, while the experts unanimously admitted that there is no military solution to the ethnic conflict, and invited the belligerent parties to resolve the conflict at the negotiation table defining the region future status within Malian state. So far in vain.
Back in 2012, while declaring the independence, Azawad leaders claimed that Mali was an “anarchic state”, and Tuareg liberation movement has opted for a military transition period, to ensure the protection of their land and conducting the transition to the democratic institutions. The massacre (2014) of the Tuareg civilians by Fulani-Islamists has been too recent to be forgotten. Not least are the tensions between Tuareg and Chadians, caused by massacres of the civilians by Chadian army in the North of Mali in the region of Kidal.
In short, not only a clear path to democracy is absent, but also there is no path in view for national unity, allowing to construct a functional political system producing a corruption-free credible government, leading way to economic recovery, and well-being of regular Malians.
Struck by multiple systemic conflicts, causing a permanent state of crises, Malians are not able to rise out of poverty, in spite of the remarkable natural wealth.
The profound misunderstanding of capacities of a new born protest movement of 5 June (M5) to become a constructive political force over night will result in further turmoil in political life, and cause even more resent of the citizens, searching for responses to their justified claims. Being the prime victims of the ECOWAS blockade, the regular Malians will turn to an available alternative, finding warm welcome by the anti-Occident militant groups, and the extremists will rise again, feasting on poverty, and frustrations of communities.
The five thousand strong French military corps, fulfilling the counter-terrorist operation Barkhane in Sahel region has limited capacity to deal with the consequences of the ongoing failed state drama in Mali, and it would be too naive to expect them to defeat jihad, in absence of the state-building process.
The EU is a major donor of assistance in Mali, providing more than €350 million in humanitarian aid in the country since the beginning of the crisis in 2012, adding to €23 million in 2020. However the Europeans contribute without any pragmatic plans for the future of the country, preferring in the current crisis to support the ECOWAS blindly, joining the pro forma claims of civilian government, without any consideration of its notoriously poor quality, leading to the current state of affairs, while under President Keita 40% of state purse vanished in pockets of corrupt civil servants.
The ECOWAS-EU strategy of pressure on the Malian army by imposing border and financial transactions blockade, will destroy the relations with Malian patriotic officers, and cause further impoverishment of Malians, pushing them into the arms of extremists of various calibre.
Mali is far too significant to the West Africa to allow the Europeans to leave it alone, watching it’s descending to chaos, but it is far too big as a challenge to resolve the complex of state-building and security problems, through simplified linear punitive measures.
Recent Ursula von der Leyen sanctions policy concept will create nothing but remorse and discontent among Malians, who today still regard Europe as a friend. The enduring threat of Islamic extremism requires elaborate and flexible European diplomacy, navigating the country to effective forms of governance. Further escalation of tensions in name of democracy and “Constitutional order” will produce exactly the opposite effect – an explosion. An explosion, throwing Malians into hands of kleptocratic clans of war-lords, descending into chaos.
Instead of fearing of a hypothetical dictatorship led by Colonel Hassimi Goita as deviation from the imaginary path to democracy, the EU should embrace the co-operation with the patriotic and secular Malian army as the constructive force in disposal of capabilities to introduce reform, and allowing the political process to thrive towards the meaningful free and fair elections concluding the suggested transition period.
Let us not forget that Kemal Ataturk, and General de Gaulle were military man, however their remarkable contribution to democracy is ways more significant, than of many other statesmen in civilian suits. Rejection of enthusiasm of young generation of Mali officers, aiming at reforming their country and nation-building will end in one more fiasco, making Mali to follow the path of the other failed states. It is clear there are not simple answers to Malian crisis, and the obsession with the civilian rule, achieved by imposing de facto sanctions, will result in a huge bill for the European tax-payer for the humanitarian aid, and ever-growing burden for the French army, combating extremism in Sahel, transforming into another Afghanistan.
The EU diplomacy, led by Josep Borrell needs to regard the context, abandoning dogmatism in promoting of democracy and rule of law in Mali, and become flexible and adaptive, formulating short, medium and long-term goals, working on achievement of them in stages, with a focus on long-term stability of both Mali and Sahel.
Moreover, the EU needs to built genuine partnership with the Malian armed forces, investing in development of their capabilities to defend Malian state, and combat extremism. The essential element of the EU success in promotion of the democracy, is the demonstration of a genuine interest in problems of Malians, and readiness to compromise in search for attaining long-lasting common goals, as stability, prosperity and lasting peace.

However, today, when the Malian state is in a profound crisis, and its future is in peril, nothing is so detrimental to promotion of the European values in Sahel, as dogmatism and forceful imposition of European concepts within fragile Sahel context. Mali is on the crossroads, it is up to the EU to decide if it wishes to contribute to the push of the Malians down the slope, following Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, direction of the failed state, fanatically exporting European concepts to vast spaces of African Savannah.
Will the EU diplomacy in Mali adapt or become obsolete? The ability of the bloc to change, adapt and experiment will become far more significant in Sahel, than the capacity to punish and sanction. Above all, it makes little sense from the EU behalf to appeal to legality and return to the constitutional order – “Necessitas non habet legem” – Necessity has no law.