OPINION

Economy willing, but politics weak

The three largest European natural gas companies have appealed to their governments not to harm their mutually beneficial cooperation with Russia’s Gazprom because of political conflict between the West and Russia. This is one of the most characteristic contrasts of our age: The rampant globalization of the economy has begun to feel the threat of an incipient «re-nationalization» of politics. The European Union’s western core is bearing the brunt of a polemic between Russia and the former communist satellites in Central and Eastern Europe. Yet it is to Russia’s benefit to realize that the EU is an institution with a duty to protect its members in times of crisis, even when that makes some of its decisions difficult. Meanwhile, new member states, such as Estonia, have to realize they cannot put Europe’s vital interests at risk with acts that offend the anti-Nazi sensibilities of an entire continent (such as the removal of a Soviet war monument).