Unpleasant accents: it was not by chance that Putin smiled while presenting the bouquet to Angela Merkel

Former Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel he really should repent for something or at least publicly admit that he was wrong, as many are now demanding. But the former chancellor continues to say she did the right thing.

Yes, right, but only from the Kremlin’s perspective. It was no accident that the Kremlin’s “cavalier of roses” smiled like an old KGB leaf while presenting a bouquet to the outgoing German chancellor.

A. Merkel now says she understood early Vladimir Putin. But then why didn’t she draw the appropriate conclusions? After all, during the 16 years of her chancellorship, the contract on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was signed, the largest German gas storage facility was sold to the Gazprom concern, and at the same time the construction of liquefied gas terminals was refused.

“Germany is becoming a prisoner of Russia”, stated the then US President Donald Trump at the NATO meeting in the summer of 2018. The German press is then unanimously outraged as to why D. Trump interferes in matters other than his own and explains that Germany is not in danger of becoming Russia’s energy hostage.

And the chancellor herself kept repeating how reliable a gas supplier Russia is. Although “Gazprom” back in 2007 in August, he sent a blackmailing letter to the European Union in which he threatened to stop the gas supply to the whole of Europe if the Russians were prevented from expanding into the EU market, because the eastern EU states opposed Nord Stream. Russian gas imports to Europe then accounted for 25 percent. of all imported gas, and at the beginning of the war it already reached 45 percent, – notes the Bild newspaper.

Political scientist: chancellors Ostpolitik the result is complete disaster

According to Ralf Fücks, a Green Party member and head of the Zentrum Liberale Moderne think tank, Merkel knew she was dealing with a cynical politician whose promises could not be trusted. “However, it has always avoided moving from partnership, cooperation and dialogue to a policy of deterrence and restriction.” In other words, to what would have been necessary to do.”

R. Fücks suspects that the chancellor simply wanted to avoid a return to a period of confrontation in Europe. The politician does not doubt the integrity of the Chancellor’s personality, but he is waiting for an explanation from her as to why she held on to Nord Stream 2.

Stefan Meister of the German Council on Foreign Relations sees other, less noble motives for Merkel’s energy policy. According to him, the chancellor from East Germany should have understood the logic of Russian politics and seen when V. Putin was lying to her. “In the end, she acted opportunistically, thinking only of her own power and Germany’s economic interests,” concludes the political scientist.

Stephan Bierling, professor of international politics at the University of Regensburg, connects the energy policy of the former chancellor with Russia’s current war in Ukraine.

According to him, A. Merkel, being in a coalition with the Social Democrats, “clearly harmed Ukraine’s security interests.” She was critical of V. Putin, but she never supported him with her actions, on the contrary, she vigorously supported her country’s dependence on Russian oil and coal. S. Bierling’s assessment is merciless: “The final her Ostpolitik the result is total disaster.”

Former Minister: From today’s perspective, the stench rose to heaven

Criticism of the former chancellor and long-time leader of the Christian Democratic Party also comes from within her own ranks. It is true that Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU), the previous finance minister of A. Merkel’s government, does not want to put all the blame on the former chancellor alone, arguing that the entire country’s society had lost its vigilance, and “the understanding of unsafe situations has been low since the 1970s.”

However, according to him, there was a mistake, despite the 2014 the Russian occupation of Crimea, the start of construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and the sale of German gas storage facilities to Gazprom was a mistake. W. Schäuble himself says that he has never hidden his critical attitude towards these decisions.

At the latest last autumn, when the gas tanks were suspiciously emptied, the Germans must have realized what it smelled like. “From today’s perspective, the stench has risen to heaven,” the Christian Democrat said vividly in a March interview.

The former chairman of the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee, CDU politician Norbert Röttgen, accused the chancellor and her government of neglecting the security interests of Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states, and called her talk about Nord Stream 2 as a private sector project provocative.

The gas pipeline is “harmful”, “unnecessary”, “a project of power politics”, the influential Christian politician repeatedly criticized, but his persuasions did not affect Merkel.

CDU politician: acted as if they were direct recipients of V. Putin’s orders

Efforts by Arnold Vaatz, the deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group from 2002 to 2021, to influence the chancellor also proved futile. The politician, like the chancellor, came from East Germany, but his biography is different: he fought for the rights of citizens and even spent six months in prison.

After Russia’s annexation of Crimea, he founded the “Euromaidan Saxony” aid association for Ukraine, which brought charity to Ukraine and supported a mobile hospital that treated Ukrainian fighters wounded in the Donbas fighting.

In the CDU/CSU parliamentary faction, he has constantly explained how dangerous V. Putin is. However, A. Merkel and other members of the group did not take his warnings seriously, and even laughed them off. Now A. Vaatz’s accusations sound like painful blows of a whip. The last two German chancellors led the country “as if they were direct recipients of Putin’s orders,” he says.

“During the sixteen years of Merkel’s rule, Germany has become completely blackmailed – due to its dependence on Russian gas and oil, due to the undermined security of electricity supply, when nuclear energy and coal were abandoned like crazy, due to the draining of the Bundeswehr,” A. Vaatzas told the magazine. Tichys Einblik” immediately after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Military Historian: She didn’t care about the Bundeswehr at all

In Berlin in June, in her first public appearance since the start of the war, Merkel said military deterrence was “the only language Putin understands”. But since when did the chancellor know that military deterrence was the only language Putin understood?

“The government led by her did not really speak that ‘language’. Are the coalition partners, the Social Democrats, the only ones to blame for this?” Jasper von Altenbockum, editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, asked at the time.

Military historian, Potsdam University professor Soenke Neitzel did not hide his indignation: “If this was her insight, and she talked to him a lot on the phone, why then since 2014 increased energy dependence? And what she said about the Bundeswehr was simply stunning.” After all, A. Merkel said at the June meeting with her fans that the state of the Bundeswehr is not so bad, and the defense budget was even increased when she was chancellor.

“The condition of the Bundeswehr is catastrophic! The chancellor is ultimately responsible for this. And it would be nice to hear a little self-criticism,” the military historian scolded. “Once again, we made sure that A. Merkel either does not understand anything about the Bundeswehr, or she does not care about the Bundeswehr. I would think that both. And that’s what all the representatives of the armed forces say when you ask them why the Bundeswehr is so weak after 16 years of CDU rule.”

And the current government led by Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, with Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht, also a Social Democrat (who, by the way, in 2014 spoke out against the provision of armed drones to the Bundeswehr) is arguing that it cannot support Ukraine more strongly with weapons, because the Bundeswehr itself lacks everything.

Security strategist: The worst mistake was not to support Ukraine with weapons

According to Christian Democrat A. Vaatz, Western Europe, unlike Eastern Europeans who never lost their vigilance, “did not realize the dangers posed by Russia”, they did not even realize their own “catastrophic misunderstanding”.

According to him, Chancellor Merkel’s decision with France to block Ukraine’s membership in NATO was an example of such misunderstanding. “This could still be justified on the grounds of security policy, although now we see with the example of the Baltic countries that the only hope to avoid a new Russian enslavement is precisely the umbrella of NATO and nothing else,” explains A. Vaatz.

Another example of former chancellor A. Merkel’s political ignorance is the refusal in 2014. supply arms to Ukraine. According to A. Vaatz, “by declaring loudly that there will be no arms supply to Ukraine, she left Ukraine unarmed and condemned it to Russian arbitrariness.”

Security strategist Joachim Weber blames the former chancellor for the same: “The most serious mistake was that after the annexation of Crimea, Germany and other European states did not properly delve into and understand Russia’s motives and actions. It was not necessary to blindly follow the illusion of “Minsk 2”, it was necessary to supply Ukraine with weapons for self-defense. “Instead, even after 2014, in typical Merkel fashion, she tried to subvert,” a security expert told Focus magazine, answering five questions for Merkel when the former chancellor herself refused to do so. .

Journalist and Publisher: It was a dilettante act at best

The former chancellor received a very sharp assessment from the director of the Global Ideas Center, the publisher of the online magazine The Globalist, Stephan Götz Richter. “History will judge former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s relationship with Russia harshly for her two great transgressions: the sin of action and the sin of omission,” he writes in a scathing article in The Globalist, “Empress Angela and Her Two Great Sins.”

“Her sin of action was complete strategic blindness in dealing with Putin. She pleased him and his kleptocratic regime by making Germany even more dependent on Russian gas and financing the Russian war machine,” SG Richter writes, adding, “It was a dilettante act at best, if we don’t want to attribute darker motives to her.”

The author of the article and A. Merkel’s current interpretation of why she in 2008 did not support Ukraine’s desire to join NATO, – allegedly, the oligarchs who ruled the country then, Ukraine was corrupt. “It was a mistake in strategic thinking: as a citizen of liberated East Germany, she should have dared to take risks and take the side of Ukraine,” SG Richter reproaches.

The author considers A. Merkel’s second great sin to be the sin of negligence – the fact that “the daughter of an evangelical pastor, who brought Germany into treacherous dependence on a corrupt and murderous regime, avoids taking any responsibility for her actions related to gas deals, Ukraine or Russia.”

“Merkel’s moral core is empty, she shows all the moral qualities that were characteristic of the apparatchiks of East Germany’s past,” SG Richter mercilessly pokes at the former chancellor.

Both the media and the majority of society should repent

The same author picks up on the topic of moral responsibility in another article in Wirtschafts Woche, extending it from the chancellor to the entire political elite. According to SG Richter, not only A. Merkel, but also all German parties should repent for the mistakes made.

And not only the parties, but also experts, the media, the public, because A. Merkel did not operate in an airless space, the informational background was basically in favor of her decisions.

As the journalist Ulrich Speck aptly noted in a tweet these days, the public and experts have had the opportunity since 2005 to put pressure on the government so that it does not lead the country to such energy dependence on Russia. However, this did not happen. Criticism was very rare, rather marginal.

The same applies to the issues of security and defense: A. Merkel was swimming on the same wave of illusions as the absolute majority of society, even after the annexation of Crimea, selfishly thinking only of her own well-being.

The brutal Russian war opened the eyes of many of them. Now it is important not to fall back into the previous sluggishness of heart and mind.

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