This one was shared with me by Mr. P.T., a regular reader here(and a thank you to him for bringing it to our attention), and it appeared just last Thursday, March 27, 2014, on the Voice of Russia. It seems that, in spite of (doubtlessly engineered) child pornography scandals erupting around some of her federal cabinet ministers, Mama Merkel’s government is resisting US pressures to impose economic sanctions on Russia for that country’s “invasion” of the Crimea:
The reality of the situation is spelled out clearly in the article:
Merkel said in Berlin on Wednesday after talks with South Korean President Park Geun-hye that the West “has not reached a stage that implies the imposition of economic sanctions” on Moscow.
‘“And I hope we will be able to avoid it,’ she said. ‘I am not interested in escalation. On the contrary, I am working on de-escalation of the situation.’
“German experts say economic sanctions against Russia that Western countries could impose for Russia’s position on the situation in Ukraine and Crimea would negatively affect Germany’s economy.
“The German-Russian trade in 2013 totaled 76 billion euros; some 6,000 German companies do business with Russian enterprises; the overall volume of their investment totals 20 billion euros. Some 300,000 jobs in Germany depend on the country’s economic relations with Russia.”
The economics of the situation goes hand in hand with the energy politics of the situation: Russia has increasingly become more and more important to Germany’s, and hence to Europe’s energy needs. Russian oil is as important to Germany as the Middle East’s, and Russian natural gas even more so, and a simple glance at the modern-day map of Eastern Europe will also reveal why Russia and Germany are both interested in de-escalation of the tensions, for those energy supplies must flow through, or near, countries with histories that give good reason for their native populations to fear both European powers. For this reason, Russia’s Gazprom in conjunction with a number of German firms are together in the joint venture of the Nordstream Gas pipeline, as the following article(and its map), indicates:
The attempt to encircle Russia and to de-fang Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, and hence Russia’s ability to project power and influence in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East(Syria), via the engineered coup in the Ukraine, has for the moment stalled and failed, and without German support for economic sanctions, any sanctions imposed by the US or UK are likely to be very hollow and will be seen in Russia as such. And given the backdrop of what I outlined in my News and Views from the Nefarium for March 27, 2014, all that the reckless American meddling in the Ukraine has done is to ratchet up Russia’s expansion of its energy geopolitics with China and India, and to convince that nation to make its own domestic financial clearing free of Western sources, a step along the way to the eventual creation by the BRICSA nations of their own west-independent financial clearing. As I indicated in that News and Views, such steps inevitably imply a renewed commitment by those nations to beef up their own space resources, since control of adequate space-based assets is now essential to reserve currency status and international financial clearing. The fact that Russia has now signaled its clear intention to expand its domestic independent clearing is a significant step and signal in the fulfillment of that prediction.
Against this backdrop, what has the USA to offer Europe? Perhaps its own rapid expansion of domestic energy supplies is in part meant to challenge the growing Russian influence in Europe via its energy resources. But that will be stiff competition: the USA has an ocean dividing it from Europe, and Russia is, comparatively speaking, right next door, and thus has an inherent competitive advantage. Other than that, there is little elsethe USA can offer except GMO foods, bombs raining down from the skies, support of covert forces inside counties (which in the case of the Ukraine, the US has demonstrated its willingness to use that capability in order to influence domestic European politics), electronic snooping on all aspects of European communications, drone strikes, and so on. In other words, the US has little to offer in the short to mid-term, other than various forms of aggression.
So what might be the next moves from Germany and Russia? Indulging in our high octane speculation here, I suspect it might come in two forms: (1) expanded cooperation in space between the European Space agency, or even in the form of bi-lateral space arrangements between various European countries and companies, and Russia. Again, the driving motivation here will be international financial clearing that will be “US-free,” and Russian and German cooperation in cyber-security, particularly in international clearing, would openly announce that “the game is afoot.” (2) increasing though very quiet European(and in particular, German) purchase of Russian sovereign debt instruments, and vice-versa. This may result as the financial crisis in Europe appears poised to be headed for France next, and how the power elites in Paris and Berlin handle that looming situation will be a harbinger of the future direction of European geopolitics.
See you on the flip side.