Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How should Europe respond to the US spying scandal?

Today, the US President Barack Obama‬ has cancelled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin,‬ after Russia's decision to grant asylum to Edward Snowden‬. The issue was a very embarrassing one for the US Government and it almost had an impact on the EU-US relations and recent trade talks. 

After Russia decided to grant asylum to Snowden just a week ago, tensions between the two nations have been rising. The two have never signed an extradition treaty between them, though the US President has claimed that America has tried to respect if there’s a law breaker or alleged law breaker in their country. "We evaluate it, and we try to work with them," said Mr Obama on Jay Leno's show on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” last Tuesday. (ABC News)

Mr Obama also accused Russia of slipping back to the Cold War mentality. Well when you use Cold War practices to spy on everyone, even your allies and your own citizens, you can not point the finger on others. Both Russia and USA are continuing treating each other and Europe, with the traditional post Cold War mentality. So why is America surprized? 

Aren't they the ones who insist on establishing their missiles on European soil to protect us from any "threat," pointing them directly towards Russian soil among others? And with every EU expansion, the new states are almost simultaneous entering NATO as well, angering Russia even further. They are both seeking in expanding and safeguarding their interests in the region and that is fair enough.

But what should Europe do, if their squabbles over Snowden become more serious? Well we should not side with either of them and be neutral on this. Because of them Europe was bitterly divided during the Cold War, but now it is reuniting. What good will it do us to take sides? We rely on and we are close partners with both. 

We rely on the Russians for their gas and we cooperate with them on our space exploration. Likewise we rely on USA for our defense and trade. Besides, America's mistrust towards Europe, its older allies, leaves us no option but to keep low and watch the space. Let them sort it out. Why should Europe become once more their battleground for dominion? 

Russia has every right to act as it pleases, as they have no obligation to the US. And since the Americans showed their real "feelings" for Europe, then we have no obligation to support them in this either. In fact Snowden made us a favor by doing what he did and leaking the top secret files. So we should just watch the space and do not make the mistake to rush criticizing Russia for its actions on this.

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