Certain EU members eye Russia with great suspicion, and want to take a harder line with Moscow than the rest. This is notably the case with the Baltic states and Poland, former soviet satellites.
Poland’s foreign minister went so far as to compare Russia’s attack on Georgia to the Soviet Union’s assault on his country in WWII. For these EU states a united stance is the key, but not if unity means not doing enough:
“I think we now have to take a second look and a hard headed approach about where we agree, where we are in competition, and where Russia has quite frankly overstepped the bounds of acceptable behaviour,” said Radoslaw Sikorski.
Georgia is dividing the EU. So some of the frontline states are exploring other options should western Europe not go as far as they would like. ‘We told you this might happen’ is Poland’s cry:
“Unfortunately we’ve been vindicated and so I think more attention needs to be paid to the eastern neighbourhood of the EU. We have the Med Union, very good idea, but I think the Polish/Swedish project that has now been accepted by the EU Council for eastern partnership now requires more energy and more fundings,” added Sikorski.
An eastern partnership certainly would need more energy, but of the non-Russian sort if Poland and Sweden are to realise their ambition of uniting all the EU’s eastern members, who are the most dependant on Moscow’s oil and gas.