(1) Julia Smirnova und Boris Kalnóky, “Mit Tspiras hat Russland einen neuen Verbündeten; Die neue griechische Regierung verfügt über bemerkenswert enge Kontakte nach Moskau; Premier Tsipras fordert schon lange ein Ende der Sanktionen, Außenminister Kotzias ist ein Fan von Putins Guru,” Die Welt, 28. Januar 2015.
(2) Daniel Friedrich Sturm, “POLITIK LAUT GABRIEL: Bundesregierung ist gegen neue Russland-Sanktionen Die EU-Außenminister dürften bei ihrem Treffen am Donnerstag vor allem intern nach einem Konsens suchen. Die vorgeschlagene Verlängerung der Sanktionen ist laut Vizekanzler Gabriel längst nicht sicher,” Die Welt, 28. Januar 2015.
(Vizekanzler Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) sieht wenig Spielraum für neue Sanktionen gegen Russlan.)
It appears that, as a result of the election of a leftist government in Greece on Sunday, January 25, Vladimir Putin may now have secured a blocking veto within the 28 members of the EU.
EU countries at present can only adopt economic sanctions by unanimous consent.
Consequently, a Greek veto could block renewal of the sanctions against Russia, which come up for re-authorization between March and September, 2015. This would occur even as Putin continues his illegal occupation of the Crimea and his ongoing military invasion and intervention in the eastern Ukraine, with Russian troops, armor and material.
This latest development demonstrates that Merkel’s and the EU’s austerity demands on Greece were too harsh, producing unexpected and sharply counter-productive consequences.
Even if the sanctions are eventually renewed, the battle within the EU is likely to be limited to re-authorizing existing sanctions, rather than adopting new and harsher sectoral sanctions in response to Puutin’s latest military moves in the Donbas, particularly against Mariupol.
Our current political leaders don’t seem to understand a fundamental truth: Everything is connected. We need leaders of great strategic vision, but have none.
The new Tspiras government, as a party, has been a strong critic of EU santions against Russia. Its top keaders are reported to have close ties to Moscow.
The EU voting requirement urgently calls out for a constitutional change, if Europe is ever to become an effective actor in the world. Yet even if there were support for changing the voting requirements–highly dubious at present– it could take years to adopt and implement any such changes.
Mr. Putin turns out to be a much better chess player than the pacifists and appeasers who lead the West. Many of them, including Barack Obama, don’t seem to have looked at the chessboard in over a month.
Moreover, it seems never to have occurred to them that they need to develop a strategy to take a queen, and even a king.
The Trenchant Observer