The situation before us today is not analogous to 1938, but rather to 1919.

If there is something to remember, it is what the attempts to humiliate and isolate Germany after the First World War led to: the Germany of the Weimar Republic and the tragic Treaty of Versailles that led to Hitler’s rise to power.

Aside from the creation of the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction in 1991, and the G-8 in 1992 – both at the initiative of France – nothing has been done since the collapse of the Soviet Union to bring Russia closer to Europe and join a common area of the rule of law. If Russia has never been candidate for membership in the European Union, one does not have to be a genius to see that if an offer had been made, or at least a proposition to join European Free Trade Association or what was left of it, it would have been accepted, to the greatest benefit of Western Europe.

Today’s ongoing confrontation will get us nowhere at best. At worst, it will invite a repeat of history when a series of absurd events resulted in the outbreak of world war.