In his perennial quest for relevance, Dmitry Medvedev has granted a long interview to the German business newspaper Handelsblatt. It’s hidden behind a paywall on their site but posted in English on the official site of the Russian government. Naturally, Medvedev is pretending to be less than amused by the EU’s potential collapse from the refugee crisis. Underneath that mask, he’d probably love the whole European project to fall apart, and soon: his glee would mirror George Soros’ grief.
A: …you must come to terms on something together, because if you simply start ruining the Schengen space, this is likely, first, to entail what is in effect a disintegration of the European Union, and, second, you will achieve nothing because the extremists will only be pleased to migrate from country to country.
Q: Do you think this crisis will destroy the EU?
A: I’m not saying this.
Remark: Do you think so or do you fear it…
A: Frankly speaking, this would be a most dramatic turn of events for the EU.
Medvedev’s secret hope is probably as out of proportion with reality as are Soros’ fears. Days before the first Russian bombing raid in Syria, Soros suggested that the EU accept at least a million asylum seekers a year “for the foreseeable future.” Clearly he considered the union resilient enough to accomplish that feat. He even suggested the EU should borrow more to pay each refugee $1,400 per month for two years:
The EU should provide €15,000 ($16,800) per asylum-seeker for each of the first two years to help cover housing, health care, and education costs — and to make accepting refugees more appealing to member states. It can raise these funds by issuing long-term bonds using its largely untapped AAA borrowing capacity.
If the EU can accept and provide for a million people a year from non-European societies, it can sort out the Kremlin just fine.