Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International and CEO of Corporate Vision, has been honoured in Florence, Italy, for his business career as an internet entrepreneur and for his philanthropic work in developing a stronger European identity and citizenship via the initiatives and projects BRAND EU® (The European Union Brand Centre) and Captain Euro®, Europe’s Superhero™.
The Florentine ‘Premio Pinocchio’ of Carlo Lorenzini (creator of famous Pinocchio character) includes categories for excellence in business, culture, sport and philanthropy.
The Award Ceremony, organised in collaboration with the Office of the Mayor of Florence, RAI Television, Istituto Lorenzo de Medici and Erasmus programme of the European Union, took place at the studios of RAI TV in Florence. The Award was presented to Nicolas De Santis by Enrique Baron Crespo, former President of the European Parliament, Monica Baldi, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Montse Aguer, Director of Salvador Dalì Museum, and Massimo Fratini, Consigliere of the Florence City Council.
Past winners of the ‘Premio Pinocchio’ include: Ferruccio Ferragamo, President of Salvatore Ferragamo spa,Vittorio Sgarbi, cultural commentator and television personality, Rocco Forte Hotels,Maria Cristina Gribaudi of H-farm, Maria Letizia Sebastiani, director Biblioteca Nazionale di Venezia, Andrea Barducci, President of Florence Region, Fulvio Pierangelini, Italian chef, Roberto Innocenti, artist, Cecile Hollberg, Director Galleria Dell’Accademia art museum in Florence, Gabriele Rossetti, skeet world champion, Eric Buffat, music composer and Pippo Zeffirelli of the Franco Zeffirelli Foundation.
“Pinocchio is an Italian but also a global brand and its narrative describes how a wooden puppet manages to make his dream come true and become a real boy, despite the hardships and adventures of life. It is a metaphor for the lives of all peoples. I am honoured to receive this Italian and Florentine award for my career and my work towards making Europe’s brand stronger and more accessible to its citizens. I thank the City of Florence and the Pinocchio Cultural Association for this excellence Award.” said Nicolas De Santis.
Nicolas De Santis recognised many years ago the importance of fostering a European identity to improve citizen involvement in the project of the European Union. He warned EU institutions that without a strong EU identity, the project was at risk. Now with Brexit and extreme nationalism on the rise, Europe needs to focus on its own identity.
His work to improve brand Europe, includes the creation of BRAND EU®, the European Union Brand Centre and Captain Euro®, Europe’s Superhero comic character. Both projects develop and support the development of a European identity and strengthen citizen involvement in the future of the EU.
As an internet entrepreneur, Nicolas De Santis has been involved in major technology start-ups, like beenz.com (the first ever digital currency) and opodo.com, one of the world’s largest travel portals, reaching €1.2 billion in gross sales. As a strategy advisor and the CEO of Corporate Vision, the strategic visioning consultancy, he has develop several frameworks to prepare companies for the future. As part of his role as President of Gold Mercury International, the global think tank and Award, he has developed several philanthropic projects to advance global governance, including GLOGO, the global governance monitoring system.
Here is Nicolas De Santis acceptance speech (In Italian)
Illustri Autorità, Comune di Firenze, Istituto Lorenzo de Medici, Associazione Culturale Pinocchio di Carlo Lorenzini, Rai Italiana, Erasmus, Cari ospiti,
È un onore essere qui nello storico STUDIO C di Rai Toscana, per ricevere questo Premio Pinocchio, parte integrale della diffusione della cultura italiana ed europea nel mondo, grazie al grande Carlo Lorenzini (Collodi).
Come imprenditore e uomo di affari, ho sempre creduto in creare valore per la società. Per questo ringrazio i miei genitori. Mio padre Eduardo De Santis, per essere sempre stato il motivante di grandi valori umanistici. Ringrazio mia madre, Maria Cuadra, famosa attrice europea, e difensore della democrazia e la liberta durante la dittatura di Francisco Franco. Ci voleva molto coraggio!
Volevo spiegare le motivazioni del nostro lavoro sull’Europa e l’ Unione Europea.
E stato sempre molto chiaro per me che il progetto per l’unione europea è uno dei progetti più importanti della storia e ha creato le fondamenta per mantenere il progresso e la pace nel nostro continente. Ma il progetto Europeo e a rischio come abbiamo visto con Brexit nel Regno Unito e in altri parti dell’Europa.
Parte del problema è che il marchio del’Unione Europea e debole. Non e riuscito a comunicare una visione di lungo raggio o certe emozioni positive a molti cittadini Europei. E rimasto un marchio troppo distante e istituzionale, che ha bisogno invece di comunicare i veri valori europei di pace, solidarietà, e innovazione. Con i nostri progetti europei BRAND EU e Captain Euro, il nostro obbiettivo e arrivare alle persone con un marchio dell’Unione Europea che comunica emozioni più intense e una visione piu chiara per coinvolgere i cittadini nel progetto europeo piùintensamente, creando maggiori sinergie tra le parti, siano persone, aziende, governi europei e con il resto del mondo.
È un grande onore il ricevere un premio che si chiama Pinocchio. Carlo Lorenzini, creatore delle ‘Avventure di Pinocchio’, utilizza la storia di un burattino, come una metafora per parlare della strana condizione umana. Un burattino che deve affrontare le vicissitudini e pericoli della vita, ma riesce a trasformare il suo sogno in realtà, e diventare un vero bambino. Siamo in un mondo che ha bisogno di sognare e avere la speranza che un giorno il nostro pianeta sarà un posto migliore per tutti. Ma per riuscire nel nostro sogno abbiamo il dovere, come cittadini europei e globali, essere parte della soluzione non del problema.
Il nostro lavoro non e facile e la strada sarà dura. Ma sappiamo l’importanza che ha il mantenere l’Europa unita e forte in un mondo che diventerà ogni volta più complesso e che continua ad avere grandi guerre e conflitti tra gli esseri umani. Questo dovere europeo, aspetta a tutti noi.
Gold Mercury President and BRAND EU founder, Nicolas De Santis, was interviewed on CNBC Italy by anchor Angela Antetomaso to discuss the key issues related to the upcoming EU referendum in the UK.
BRAND EU is the independent brand marketing champion of the EU, acting as a research and communications centre to promote the EU brand in Europe and the world. On the upcoming UK referendum on the EU, Nicolas De Santis said that via its BRAND EU programmes, Gold Mercury International will do everything possible to change the negative image of the EU in the UK.
The negative repercussions of a BREXIT are global and far reaching. It will destabilise economies, international security. BREXIT benefits no one except our enemies. So far we have been successful with BRAND EU in creating a communications base to build a campaign from. Brexit is a possibility as the issue will be put to the vote of the public. One of the biggest issues is that in the UK we have a brutally Eurosceptic media which will stop at nothing to sell papers and influence people in a negative way towards Europe. Hopefully the British public will be able to make their own mind up, do their own research, otherwise, we could be sleepwalking out of the EU and into oblivion. We will do the impossible to avoid it”.
De Santis had previously forecasted in the same CNBC programme in June 2015 on the impossibility of a Grexit saying:
Greece has been lent €240 billion so far and is in a technical bankruptcy, or let’s call it a ‘controlled bankruptcy’. Its lenders need to keep flowing funds into Greece while giving it more time to get its house in order and agree a payment schedule that allows the country manage its internal politics and funding needs. The world does not want a Grexit and neither do the majority of the Greeks”.
To watch the recording of the live interview click here.
Gold Mercury President Nicolas De Santis was interviewed on CNBC by anchor Angela Antetomaso to discuss the current Greek Financial crisis and the issues related to the upcoming EU referendum in the UK.
De Santis focused his remarks on the impossibility of a Grexit and his belief that a deal with international lenders, the IMF, the ECB and the EU can be reached. De Santis said:
Greece has been lent in the region of €240 billion so far and is in a technical bankruptcy or let’s call it a ‘controlled bankruptcy’ where lenders need to keep flowing funds into Greece while giving it more time to get its house in order and agree a payment schedule that allows Greece to manage its internal politics and funding needs. The world does not want a Grexit and neither do the Greeks.”
On the upcoming UK referendum on the EU, Nicolas De Santis said that via its BRAND EU programme, Gold Mercury International will do everything possible to change the negative image of the EU in the UK.
“So far we have been successful with BRAND EU in creating a communications base to build a campaign from. Brexit is a possibility as the issue will be put to the vote of the public. The biggest issue is that in the UK we have a very Eurosceptic media which will stop at nothing to sell papers and influence people in a negative way towards Europe. Hopefully the British public will be able to make their own mind up, do their own research, otherwise, we could be sleepwalking out of the EU and into oblivion. We will do the impossible to avoid it”.
To watch the recording of the live interview click here.
Enrique Baron Crespo, former President of the European Parliament and Gold Mercury Advisory Board Member, was awarded the "Order of the Italian Star" (Ordine della Stella d'Italia - OSI), presented to him by the former President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano.
Also hosting the event was Pier Ferdinando Casini former President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and currently Honorary President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union(IPU), President of the Christian Democratic International, and majority faction leader of the Union of the Centre (UdC).
The Award was presented at the Sala Zuccari of Palazzo Giustiniani in Rome, the official residence of the President of the Italian Senate. At the ceremony Mr Baron was accompanied by his wife, renowned painter Sofia Gandarias and their son Alejandro Baron. The ceremony was also attended by Eduardo De Santis, Chairman and Founder of Gold Mercury International, who is also a recipient of the Order, and Riccardo Monti, President of ICE, the Italian Trade Agency.
The ‘Order of the Italian Star’ is Italy’s oldest national honour and was established by the Italian Republic in 1947 soon after the end of the Second World War. The ‘Order of the Italian Star’ recognises the Italian Republic’s gratitude and solidarity for the efforts and services made towards the reconstruction of the nation, the preservation of national prestige abroad, as well as cooperation with other countries.
The Order is presented to both Italian expatriates and foreign nationals who have made an outstanding contribution to the Italian Republic after World War II. Other recipients of the Order include: Henry Cabot Lodge, American Ambassador to the UN; President John F. Kennedy, former President of the U.S.A; Russian composer Igor Stravinsky and Italo-American legend Frank Sinatra.
Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International, spoke live on the CNBC - UK Election Special 2015, broadcast from the Houses of Parliament in London’s Westminster.
De Santis explained to CNBC Italy anchor Angela Antetomaso, what the dramatic UK election results meant for the future of the UK including the Conservative promise of an EU referendum in 2017. With a clear win by the SNP in Scotland, De Santis believes that the issue of further devolution and a more federal Britain will prop up in the constitutional agenda very soon, creating great tensions in Parliament. He said on the interview:
We have seen today the resignation of not one but three political leaders: Clegg, Miliband and Farrage. Today the big personal triumphs are for the PM Cameron and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Today’s results will reshape the political future of the UK. The question is how these two leaders, of two countries – who now believe in very different futures – can live together or whether they will find that this is impossible”.
In regards to an EU referendum, he commented that there will be two great years of uncertainty, but believes UK will ultimately stay in the EU.
De Santis is an active PRO-EU campaigner in UK and Europe, having established the BRAND EU Centre and re-launching Captain Euro (Europe’s Superhero cartoon used to launch the EURO) to reposition the brand and image of the EU:
Gold Mercury International and myself are now preparing for the important mission to make sure that UK remains a member of the EU. We will be an active part of the upcoming campaigns and efforts to clarify what the EU stands for, generate a positive perception of the EU and promote its critical role in the world”
Winston Churchill, speech delivered at the University of Zurich, 19 September 1946
Read our press release here, which explains why the speech is so important and how we are remembering Churchill’s legacy on the 50th anniversary of his death.
I wish to speak about the tragedy of Europe, this noble continent, the home of all the great parent races of the Western world, the foundation of Christian faith and ethics, the origin of most of the culture, arts, philosophy and science both of ancient and modern times. If Europe were once united in the sharing of its common inheritance there would be no limit to the happiness, prosperity and glory which its 300 million or 400 million people would enjoy. Yet it is from Europe that has sprung that series of frightful nationalistic quarrels, originated by the Teutonic nations in their rise to power, which we have seen in this 20th century and in our own lifetime wreck the peace and mar the prospects of all mankind.
What is this plight to which Europe has been reduced? Some of the smaller states have indeed made a good recovery, but over wide areas are a vast, quivering mass of tormented, hungry, careworn and bewildered human beings, who wait in the ruins of their cities and homes and scan the dark horizons for the approach of some new form of tyranny or terror. Among the victors there is a Babel of voices, among the vanquished the sullen silence of despair. That is all that Europeans, grouped in so many ancient states and nations, and that is all that the Germanic races have got by tearing each other to pieces and spreading havoc far and wide. Indeed, but for the fact that the great republic across the Atlantic realised that the ruin or enslavement of Europe would involve her own fate as well, and stretched out hands of succour and guidance, the Dark Ages would have returned in all their cruelty and squalor. They may still return.
Yet all the while there is a remedy which, if it were generally and spontaneously adopted by the great majority of people in many lands, would as by a miracle transform the whole scene and would in a few years make all Europe, or the greater part of it, as free and happy as Switzerland is today. What is this sovereign remedy? It is to recreate the European fabric, or as much of it as we can, and to provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, safety and freedom. We must build a kind of United States of Europe. In this way only will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living. The process is simple. All that is needed is the resolve of hundreds of millions of men and women to do right instead of wrong and to gain as their reward blessing instead of cursing.
Much work has been done upon this task by the exertions of the Pan-European Union, which owes so much to the famous French patriot and statesman Aristide Briand. There is also that immense body which was brought into being amidst high hopes after the First World War – the League of Nations. The League did not fail because of its principles or conceptions. It failed because those principles were deserted by those states which brought it into being, because the governments of those states feared to face the facts and act while time remained. This disaster must not be repeated. There is, therefore, much knowledge and material with which to build and also bitter, dearly bought experience to spur.
There is no reason why a regional organisation of Europe should in any way conflict with the world organisation of the United Nations. On the contrary, I believe that the larger synthesis can only survive if it is founded upon broad natural groupings. There is already a natural grouping in the Western Hemisphere. We British have our own Commonwealth of Nations. These do not weaken, on the contrary they strengthen, the world organisation. They are in fact its main support. And why should there not be a European group which could give a sense of enlarged patriotism and common citizenship to the distracted peoples of this mighty continent? And why should it not take its rightful place with other great groupings and help to shape the honourable destiny of man? In order that this may be accomplished there must be an act of faith in which the millions of families speaking many languages must consciously take part.
We all know that the two World Wars through which we have passed arose out of the vain passion of Germany to play a dominating part in the world. In this last struggle crimes and massacres have been committed for which there is no parallel since the Mongol invasion of the 13th century, no equal at any time in human history. The guilty must be punished. Germany must be deprived of the power to rearm and make another aggressive war. But when all this has been done, as it will be done, as it is being done, there must be an end to retribution. There must be what Mr Gladstone many years ago called a “blessed act of oblivion”. We must all turn our backs upon the horrors of the past and look to the future. We cannot afford to drag forward across the years to come hatreds and revenges which have sprung from the injuries of the past. If Europe is to be saved from infinite misery, and indeed from final doom, there must be this act of faith in the European family, this act of oblivion against all crimes and follies of the past. Can the peoples of Europe rise to the heights of the soul and of the instinct and spirit of man? If they could, the wrongs and injuries which have been inflicted would have been washed away on all sides by the miseries which have been endured. Is there any need for further floods of agony? Is the only lesson of history to be that mankind is unteachable? Let there be justice, mercy and freedom. The peoples have only to will it and all will achieve their heart’s desire.
I am now going to say something that will astonish you. The first step in the re-creation of the European family must be a partnership between France and Germany. In this way only can France recover the moral and cultural leadership of Europe. There can be no revival of Europe without a spiritually great France and a spiritually great Germany. The structure of the United States of Europe will be such as to make the material strength of a single State less important. Small nations will count as much as large ones and gain their honour by a contribution to the common cause. The ancient States and principalities of Germany, freely joined for mutual convenience in a federal system, might take their individual places among the United States of Europe.
But I must give you warning, time may be short. At present there is a breathing space. The cannons have ceased firing. The fighting has stopped. But the dangers have not stopped. If we are to form a United States of Europe, or whatever name it may take, we must begin now. In these present days we dwell strangely and precariously under the shield, and I even say protection, of the atomic bomb. The atomic bomb is still only in the hands of a nation which, we know, will never use it except in the cause of right and freedom, but it may well be that in a few years this awful agency of destruction will be widespread and that the catastrophe following from its use by several warring nations will not only bring to an end all that we call civilisation but may possibly disintegrate the globe itself.
I now sum up the propositions which are before you. Our constant aim must be to build and fortify the United Nations Organisation. Under and within that world concept we must re-create the European family in a regional structure called, it may be, the United States of Europe, and the first practical step will be to form a Council of Europe. If at first all the States of Europe are not willing or able to join a union we must nevertheless proceed to assemble and combine those who will and who can. The salvation of the common people of every race and every land from war and servitude must be established on solid foundations, and must be created by the readiness of all men and women to die rather than to submit to tyranny. In this urgent work France and Germany must take the lead together. Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America – and, I trust, Soviet Russia, for then indeed all would be well – must be the friends and sponsors of the new Europe and must champion its right to live. Therefore I say to you “Let Europe arise!”
As part of the continued global media coverage into the launch and programmes of the BRAND EU Centre, RT (Russian Television) visited Gold Mercury International's London Headquarters to find out more about the BRAND EU Centre and its activities.
The interview looks into the reasons for the BRAND EU Centre’s creation, and offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into BRAND EU’s work at its London Headquarters.
“The EU is currently distant and boring; our role is to make it interesting, relevant. So if we can make you smile about it, and we can turn the European Union into something cool that you can actually talk about at a dinner without putting people to sleep, then we’ve done our job.”
Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International, interviewed by Polly Boiko for RT (Russian Television).
At the BRAND EU Centre, we believe in building a strong brand for the European Union; an identity which its citizens can be proud of, fully understand, and support moving forwards. Our work focuses on keeping Europe together and building the Union with the participation of European citizens. To do this and defend the EU from Eurosceptic EU myth making, we need to create a clear vision of Europe and a strong EU brand to support it.
BRAND EU POSTER CAMPAIGNS
The interview also touched briefly on the poster advertising campaigns which have been recently launched, with the aim of creating a completely new approach to talking about the EU and foster a new common European identity.
To further the BRAND EU centre’s goal of making the EU fun and engaging for citizens, the centre has launched the first set of posters in its series of campaigns about the EU – starting by looking at the World Cup. The advertising posters aim to combine humour with serious, emotional messages to elicit a response from the reader and get people thinking about Europe in a new way.
As of today there are still 4 European Union teams contending for the world cup! France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands…good luck EU!
“At Brand EU HQ, tongue-in-cheek posters talking about EU teams in the World Cup are interspersed with more serious messages about the inception of the European Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall.”
RT Correspondent Polly Boiko talking about Brand EU’s poster campaigns in the interview.
Gold Mercury have recently launched the BRAND EU™ Centre: a pro-EU, independent initiative designed to reposition the European Union’s poorly communicated “brand image” and clarify its future vision. It will also deliver critical analysis and insights on the current state of the EU’s identity, and provide solutions for increased citizen involvement and improved EU governance.
The launch of the European Union Brand Centre is already attracting world media attention. As part of the media campaign leading up the full launch of the center, Gold Mercury President and Brand EU Centre Founder Nicolas De Santis has been appearing on live television interviews to discuss the European Union’s branding problem, and why it so desperately needs a dedicated centre to manage its brand.
De Santis was interviewed by Richard Quest of CNN on “Quest Means Business,” concerning the current identity and branding crisis which the European Union is suffering. During the interview, they discussed the “shambolic” situation with regards to how the EU connects with its citizens, and how the EU has safeguarded peace in Europe for 50 years now.
De Santis was also interviewed by leading anchors Ross Westgate and Louisa Bojesen on CNBC. During the interview, De Santis talked about the branding problem of Europe and why focussing on helping citizens connect with the European brand is so important for the future of the EU and of European peace and stability. Over the course of the discussion it was noted how the typical discourse surrounding the EU tends to focus on the negatives (and/or how the negatives are avoided and mitigated by the EU in the pro-European forum), rather than the actual positives the EU brings to its citizens, such as its current moves to abolish roaming charges across the EU.
Gold Mercury’s President also spoke on Al Jazeera and RT. On Al Jazeera he talked about the outcome of the European elections and how it is a reflection on the recent Eurosceptic discourse, and the growing need to solidify a strong brand and identity to help keep Europe together.
RT (Russian Television) conducted an interview at Gold Mercury and BRAND EU Headquarters in Mayfair London, where Polly Boiko, RT Correspondent, looked into BRAND EU’s recent poster campaigns, and their potential impact on driving home both humorous and serious/emotional messages about the EU to citizens.
As part of the launch of Gold Mercury's Brand EU Center, Gold Mercury President Nicolas De Santis, and Former President of the European Parliament, Enrique Barón Crespo, were interviewed on CNBC about the current situation in the upcoming European elections and the aims and goals behind the Brand EU Center, which Gold Mercury launched today.
The Brand EU Centre is Gold Mercury’s initiative to reposition the brand of the European Union and clarify its future vision.
Enrique Barón Crespo stressed the importance of the upcoming European elections, and the need for ever greater political and economic integration throughout Europe, which is currently suffering from a brand management crisis; which has created an atmosphere of popular dissent and Euroscepticism which threatens the foundations of European peace. Barón Crespo stressed that these upcoming European elections are especially important because they are the first elections in EU history which have featured a real “European” electoral campaign, at a time when voter apathy is at its highest.
Nicolas De Santis talked about the launch of the Brand EU Center, which he and Enrique Barón Crespo are jointly leading.
The mission of the BRAND EU – European Union Brand Centre at Gold Mercury International is to assist in the creation of a powerful EU BRAND identity that connects with citizens and the rest of the world. Via our various programmes, we aim to clarify what the EU really is, its global role and where it is going (vision). It is critical for citizens to get involved in the EU proj ect. To achieve this, we must re-position the BRAND EU and show its key benefits, while proposing ways forward, recognising the need for constructive EU reforms. The Centre uses Gold Mercury International’s extensive experience in global branding and identity issues, European Union affairs, strategic visioning and territorial branding.
Despite being the worldwide shining bastion of global governance and peace, the “brand,” or the identity of the EU has not been well managed, understood or communicated to the people. This has created a prevailing atmosphere of disenfranchisement and opposition, to what is undoubtedly an incredible global public good of peace and great stability for us all; given today’s increasingly unstable world. The European Union is the legacy and resolution of centuries of war and conflict in Europe; culminating in World Wars 1 and 2. It is crucial that we do not allow this legacy to be eroded by its own weak marketing strategy which does not reflect the current reality.
The BRAND EU Centre is Gold Mercury’s initiative to resolve this disenfranchisement, and will be run by Enrique Baron Crespo, former President of the European Parliament, and Nicolas De Santis, President & Secretary General of Gold Mercury International. The BRAND EU Centre will unofficially manage the EU’s Branding, and make it communicable and accessible for all citizens; to understand and appreciate.
Nicolas De Santis – President of London based Gold Mercury International, the Corporate Vision Strategy Think Tank, was interviewed by Angela Antetomaso of CNBC Italy about the political, historical and strategic background to the current crisis in Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula.
The crisis in Ukraine began when the Ukranian government suspended their plans to sign a Free-Trade Agreement with the European Union, in favour of closer economic ties with Russia; despite public support for closer integration with the EU. This increased widespread public perception of corruption within the Ukrainian government, and the government’s subsequent violent dispersal of what were initially peaceful protests paved the way to the escalation of the crisis, known as the Euromaidan. When Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych fled from Ukraine for fear of his life, and was subsequently replaced by an interim, pro-European government, Russian forces occupied the Crimean peninsula and parts of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, with Russian Presidnt Vladimir Putin claiming to be defending Russian interests, and the Russian population in Crimea, the majority of whom are Russian speakers. This clash of global superpowers and interests has been likened by some to be reminiscent of a Cold War struggle.
“Russia’s incursion into Ukraine is really about strategic interests, and in some ways, an assertion of power. The Euromaidan has threatened the power which the Russians had over Ukraine using economic and resource might, and so they feel they have been forced to respond to the threat of the new pro-European power with military might. Though it is not entirely bluster, the Russian military action and takeover of Crimea is more a display of power and a threat than a precursor to any armed conflict. It is not in anyone’s interests for that to happen, a fact which Putin knows very well.”
Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury, on Russia’s motives for recent action in Crimea.
De Santis provides an analysis and explains the situation as a geo-political ‘Chess Game’ getting out of control. De Santis explains the rising of the Euromaidan movement, fighting to join the European Union, the quest for Russia to have Ukraine join its own Customs Union (Eurasian Economic Union) and keep Ukraine in its sphere of influence (and out of NATO). These tensions led to the fall of the existing government in Ukraine and the Crisis in the Crimea (of Russian majority), a naval base port of critical strategic importance to Russia. De Santis also explains the importance of Ukraine for Russia as its conduit of gas to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Gas Pipeline. Ukraine also depends on Russia for over 50% of its gas. Recent gas-price wars between Russia and Ukraine also were part of tensions between the two nations, which have been gradually escalating as the crisis progressed; but have now diffused slightly.
De Santis also gives details on how the history of the Unity of Italy (Il Risorgimento) is directly connected to the Crimean War of 1853 where the forces of the Kingdom of Sardinia of Vittorio Emanuele II and Cavour allied with the French forces to fight the Russian Army in the Crimean Peninsula. Italy later requested French assistance in Italy in the fight against the Austrians to gain control of Lombardy in the quest for Italian Unity. De Santis argues that ultimately, the crisis in Ukraine, Crimea and Russia will diffuse without conflict, as it is not in any of the nations’ interests to engage in war with one another. It is ultimately a political jousting of wills; an assertion of control and a restatement of interests.