Foreign policy be damned and angst and tensity be forever served cold, very cold!
This isn’t a primer on how modern nations behave habitually in this day and age. This isn’t how Niall Ferguson would ever begin to define the Middle East’s growing unrest with the West either.
Rather, truth be told, this is perhaps what comes to mind when you take into cognisance the growing suddenness with which Russia is falling apart or rather, holding itself from nations with which it’s been connected on more than a front.
And make no mistake, these are nations with whom Russia has hitherto been close to and enjoyed a cordial bond with.
So just what makes us say that?
The piece of news that Russia, as of the last few hours, decided, much to the surprise of the world, to dismiss diplomats from no fewer than three different countries!
And these diplomats, lest it is ignored, hail not from insignificant nations with whom Russia has relationships that merely exist on paper or for the heck of it; rather diplomatic personalities that belong to countries like France, Spain and Italy.
Moreover, that as many as 85 diplomats belonging to France, Italy and Spain- collectively speaking- have been fired by Russia points to its bilateral relationships in the wake of the current war against Ukraine having gone suddenly awry.
In a world where the suspension of a single
diplomat by a country or one’s send off to one’s country of origin is widely reported, deeply visited and meticulously studied- this then is the suspension of eighty five separate diplomats by a Russia that seems to have begun taking hurried steps towards isolating itself from much of the wider Europe.
To simply understand, how strong have been the ties between Russia and France, for instance, you’ll have to appreciate a burgeoning stat from 2020- a year where Russia’s exports to Macron land were no fewer than $4.9 billion.
You’ll also have to take cognisance of the fact that, at present, Italy is Russia’s second most “commercial” partner in the EU and that Italy’s ENI had, not too long ago, signed a landmark agreement with Gazprom (Leading Russian firm) to import Russia’s gas into Italy.
But make no mistake for there’s some context and background to the Russian move that truly seems sudden and rough.
Apparently, from the onset of February – the very countries to which the recently expelled diplomats belong had been responsible for suspending Russian diplomats.
So in clear terms, there’s a plausible space to view the current decision from the Putin-domain as being some sort of a tit-for-tat move.
So was espionage a reason for some of that- what do we know?
Here are some excerpts taken from a report published on the Times of India on a story, which is believed to generate lots of interest in the forthcoming hours including that of historians, economists, lecturers and even, spymasters:
The Foreign Ministry said it was ordering out 34 diplomatic staff from France, 27 from Spain and 24 from Italy.
The three countries are among European nations that have collectively thrown out more than 300 Russians since the Feb. 24 invasion.
In many cases, they accused Russian diplomats of spying, which Moscow has denied.
Russia’s response has included sending home 45 Polish staff and 40 Germans last month. It has also announced tit-for-tat moves against Finland, Romania, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Japan, among others.