German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung (FAZ) she wants to continue a relationship with Russia despite the continuing violence in east Ukraine and threats of invasion by Russian troops.
However, she said she would consider more sanctions. Meanwhile, editors at The Kyiv Post are aggravated with the West’s slow action against Russia’s multiple war crimes.
We have, no doubt, profound disagreements. Nevertheless, I am convinced that in the medium and long term close partnership with Russia should be continued. That presupposes a minimum of common values, which must also be reflected in concrete policy.
NATO told Eastern Europe to stop defense cuts due to Russian threats, but Merkel said the situation does not need to be solved with the military. She said she would not consider adding more money to the defense budget but did not rule out more sanctions against Russia.
She did not specify the types of sanctions or exactly what has to happen in order for her to support more penalties. One of Russia’s main exports is energy. The US did not place sanctions on Russia’s energy sector until April 28 when President Obama penalized Igor Sechin, president of Rosneft, Russia’s largest petroleum company which holds lucrative contacts with US gas powerhouse ExxonMobil. Rosneft itself was not named, and neither was Russia’s gas company Gazprom nor its owner Alexei Miller.
The European Union has imposed sanctions on Russia, mainly upon people involved with Crimea’s annexation, but has largely left alone Moscow’s energy companies. In fact, the EU stated Friday it would be foolish to sanction Russia’s energy sector:
European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said Friday that Russia is Europe’s main trading partner in natural gas and that there should be therefore no sanctions against Moscow’s energy sector over the crisis in Ukraine.
Sanctions against the Russian energy sector are “something that is inappropriate,” Oettinger told reporters through an interpreter after a meeting of EU energy ministers in Athens.
Needless to say, Ukrainians are impatient. The West constantly condemns Russia’s actions and showers Ukraine with promises of support and money. But actions do speak louder than words, and The Kyiv Post said, “[N]ow we know why two world wars started in Europe and the dangers of appeasement.” The Post singled out France, Germany, and Great Britain:
The EU still hasn’t grasped the reality that Russia is not a partner but rather a great threat to world peace, with the Kremlin richly deserving isolation and the harshest economic sanctions for its assault on Ukraine. This means the West should punish Russia’s energy, finance, military and hi-tech sectors – all of which the three nations play key parts in feeding.
Germany is playing a dangerous game of self-delusion by thinking that it somehow stands between the West and East. Some of the German news media have latched on to the Kremlin propaganda that Ukraine is part of a new U.S.-Russia showdown and that Ukraine is now run by “fascists.” The recent “peace” mission of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who represents the loathsome Russophile wing once led by the morally bankrupt Putin shill Gerhard Schroeder, underscores Germany’s lack of leadership. If any people should know what it’s like to live under the jackboot of fascist, mentally unstable dictators, it’s Germany.
The Kyiv Post lashes out at France for honoring a contract with Russia that involves Mistral helicopter carriers and Great Britain which “talks a tough game” but does nothing, since London is known as a hot spot for Russia’s rich.