In another of the (forgive the mixed metaphors to come) see-sawing, forked-tongue performances she’s become well-known for over the past 16 months or so, in the statement she delivered at the April 17 economic forum in Straslund, Angela Merkel made some more vague conciliatory promises to Russia — at the same time as Germany’s set to reactivate another of its 100 Leopard tanks, which it plans to progressively modernize and improve.
Germany’s Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced plans to re-stock the army’s battle equipment at the end of February, using as her pretext an “altered security environment,” which Merkel’s government, together with most of the other NATO country governments, has attributed not to their own regime-change destabilization of Ukraine and to EU’s November 2013 violation of Article 3 of the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 which had guaranteed Ukraine’s security and territoiral integrity, but to Russia’s “annexation” of Crimea and its (frequently alleged yet never factually corroborated) military support for Donbass separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Here‘s RT reporting on Merkel’s “Vladivostok-to-Lisbon” reference to Putin’s proposal for a Eurasian trading zone.
In the long view it is possible to create a large free trade zone, including with Russia,” Merkel said at Friday’s economic forum in Stralsund. “Step by step we do everything possible to create a common economic area – as Russian President Vladimir Putin once said – from Vladivostok to Lisbon.
Merkel’s speech echoes in part what Pepe Escobar has already pointed out in his April 18 article:
“Greater Europe” from Lisbon to Vladivostok inevitably depends on a solution to the German puzzle. German industrialists clearly see the marvels of Russia providing Germany — much more than the EU as a whole — with a privileged geopolitical and strategic channel to Asia-Pacific. However, the same does not apply as yet to German politicos. Chancellor Angela Merkel, whatever her rhetoric, keeps toeing the Washington line.
Escobar is right. Supporting a government in Kiev that has accepted neo-Nazi units into its Armed Forces and is using them in its attempt to kill or ethnically cleanse millions of ethnic Russian Ukrainians from Donbass and other parts of SouthEast Ukraine doesn’t inspire much confidence in Angela Merkel’s and her party’s real intentions vis a vis both Ukraine and Russia.