Russia, and a rebuke from a very old ally

Serbia, the country that dragged czarist Russia into World War I, now wants to reduce its dependence on Putin’s Russia, and draw closer to the European Union. So reports the Financial Times.

This is a major blow to Russia and Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, as Serbia has close cultural and historical ties to Russia. 

But now Serbia clearly sees the West as a better bet. This is roughly equivalent to Canada choosing closer ties with China than with the United States.

We should not be completely surprised. Even the Soviet Union, misguided, brutal and tragic as that whole project was, offered a transcendent message. Never mind that the message was a sham, it was still internationalist in its appeal. The Soviets offered you something, even if they offered you false hopes.

Putinist Russia, however, has nothing to offer any nation, save the furtherance of the interests of Vladimir Putin and the totalitarian Russian state.

China, Iran, and North Korea have all reached alliances of convenience with Russia, because these three nations are hostile to the United States. But as the history of the 20th century proves: anti-Americanism only keeps strange bedfellows in bed together for a limited time. 

The Sino-Russo alliance will likely be the first to crack. Russia and China, we should remember, almost went to war over their shared border in 1969.