“Ukraine-Krise: Bundesregierung lockt Russland mit Handelszone; Zur Belohnung gäbe es eine Wirtschaftskooperation: Die Bundesregierung hat laut Medienbericht dem russischen Präsidenten Wladimir Putin eine Handelszone angeboten, um ihn zum Einlenken im Ukraine-Konflikt zu bewegen,” Der Spiegel, 23 Januar 2015 (9:25 Uhr).
How could Vladimir Putin have the slightest respect for Angela Merkel and the EU?
He just signed an agreement with Ukraine in Berlin on January 21 to withdraw heavy weapons from the demarcation line established in the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, reached pursuant to the Minsk Protocol of September 5, 2014.
At the same time he was sending additional Russian troops and armor into the eastern Ukraine and launching attacks against the Ukrainian forces in a major offensive. His puppet, Aleksandr Zakharchenko announced he would not talk to Kiev and that the separatists were launching major offensives to liberate all of Donetsk and Luhansk provinces of Ukrainian forces, flouting the Berlin agreement, the September 19 memorandum, and the Minsk Protocol itself.
The response of pacifist Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Angela Merkel was to propose to Putin a large duty-free area joining the EU and Putin’s customs union.
The only possible conclusion to be drawn from the foregoing is that Steinmeier and Merkel are not only pacifists and appeasers, but also idiots.
How stupid do the Europeans think they have to be in order to win favor from the mighty aggressor and dictator, Vladimir Putin?
Is it a good idea to negotiate with terrorists?
Is it a good idea to negotiate with aggressors who are at that very moment intensifying their aggression and invasion of the eastern Ukraine?
With these clowns leading Europe, one can expect the sanctions regime against Russia to start falling apart as early as March, and Putin to intensify his invasion of the Donbas and to broaden it further to other regions, including the establishment of a land corridor to the Crimea.
Against clowns like Steinmeier, Merkel and the Europeans, why not?
What is holding him back?
They don’t seem to understand. Appeasement doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked with Putin for the last year. It won’t work with him this coming year. Or ever.
Will European leaders ever get it?
If not, will their peoples ever get it?
If they don’t, why not simply hold a formal ceremony dissolving NATO, and surrendering to Mr. Putin whatever territory he wants?
Forget international law and the United Nations Charter. Forget human rights in the Donbas and Russia, and anywhere else for that matter. Those are things that Steinmeier and Merkel obviously do not believe are worth fighting for.
If Merkel sees it differently, she has but one alternative: fire Steinmeier, appoint a strong foreign minister, and if necessary call elections to decide whether Germany will follow a policy of appeasement or one of containment of Putin and Russia.
Stop talking to the Russians with words.
Speak to them with actions, including great intensification of sectoral economic sanctions against them.
For starters, ban them from using the SWIFT international payments system, and act forcefully to move the venue for the 2018 FIFA World Cup to some country other than Russia.
Appease and surrender, or get real about effective containment of Russia.
The Trenchant Observer