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  Tuesday, April 7, 2020
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A new European alliance comprising France, Germany, Russia, and Spain, emerged at the Paris summit last week
Although certain interests of these countries do coincide, it is still too early to say that the alliance is stable and Russia has any particular role to play in it, a weekly magazine, Itogi, believes. France, for example, once maintained proactive nuclear cooperation with Iraq, and is also interested in Iran's nuclear project. Therefore, Russia and the EU are rivals, rather than partners, in this sphere. More contradictions may emerge if, for example, Moscow is eclipsed on the Chinese arms market. This means real strategic partnership with the "old" European countries is only possible in political opposition to the United States. However, Mikhail Margelov, the chairman of the Federation Council's international affairs committee insists that Russia is not seeking Europe's friendship to counter America or vice versa. Margelov says Russia's objective is "to continue balancing between the EU and America's interests, while pursuing own interests that have never been and will never be the same as the EU's or America's interests." The Kremlin apparently views the new alliance as a kind of an informal society of Russia's friends that should focus on routine Russia-EU cooperation issues. Given Russia's approach to the alliance, some experts have already called Russia the weakest link in the new European political chain and put Spanish Premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in third place ahead of Vladimir Putin in an unofficial table of the most important leaders.
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