“What can be worse than market crash?” one of our articles asked in December 2014 as the situation in Ukraine was the main reason for higher volatility on the financial markets and European leaders affirmed the absence of an accord about Ukraine would mean “war”. Following the signature between Greek and Russian Energy Ministers of a document on the Greek gas pipeline that is the continuation of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline that will transport natural gas from Russia through the Black Sea and while the financial situation of Greece keeps deteriorating there is good reason to forecast the Ukraine war will hit the headlines anew.
On the one hand, the United States likely much dislikes the rapprochement between Greece and Russia, interpreting this as a move from Russia to sow division within the European Union (EU). On the other hand, Russia has indeed managed to make a growing number of European officials both fear war between the West and Russia and raise questions about the growing US involvement in Ukraine, and thus in European affairs. Former Prime Ministers like François Fillon of France and Romano Prodi of Italy have met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and repeatedly voiced concerns about tougher EU sanctions against Russia which, they said, are mainly like blowing on the embers of a conflict that could turn from cold to warm in an instant.
Although the risk of a war throughout Europe seems low – thanks to nuclear deterrence notably – there is a real risk that this summer witnesses bloodier developments in Ukraine.