A top official from the European Union said on Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump is “undermining” world order. As the official pointed out, the international order at risk was created primarily by the United States, and it is the U.S. that has been responsible for protecting and maintaining it since the end of the second world war.
“The rules-based international order is being challenged … not by the usual suspects but by its main architect and guarantor, the United States,” said Donald Tusk, president of the European Commission at a news conference during the G7 meeting in Canada.
“We will not stop trying to convince our American friends and President Trump that undermining this order makes no sense at all, because it would only play into the hands of those who seek a new, post-West order, where liberal democracy and fundamental freedoms would cease to exist,” Tusk added.
The European leader’s comments came several hours after President Trump said that Russia should be added to the Group of Seven, making it the Group of Eight. When Barack Obama was president all member nations agreed to expel Russia after they illegally took the Crimea from the Ukraine in a violation of its state sovereignty. And now, after Russia is known to have interfered in elections in the U.S. and in Europe, nobody except Trump wants to let Russia back into the group.
Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska has been very critical of Trump’s actions toward Russia and said after the president’s remarks:
“This is weak. Putin is not our friend and he is not the president’s buddy. He is a thug using Soviet-style aggression to wage a shadow war against America, and our leaders should act like it.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden was also critical, saying:
“Putin’s Russia invaded its neighbors, violated our sovereignty by undermining elections, and attacks dissidents abroad. Yet our President wants to reward him with a seat at the table while alienating our closest democratic allies. It makes no sense.”
Tusk, expressing the European point of view, said G7 should remain the way it is:
“Naturally we cannot force the U.S. to change its mind. Of course we are open to reasonable arguments, whenever something doesn’t function well. There is always room for debate. Even in difficult times like these, and despite all the differences, there is still much more that unites us, than divides us. It is far too early for our adversaries and enemies to celebrate.”
Trump has gone out of his way to alienate and antagonize our European allies over such issues as trade tariffs, global warming, and the Iran nuclear deal. It appears, however, that Europe’s leaders are standing firm and united against the disruptive actions of the U.S. president.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.