European diplomacy, and hypocrisy, in action.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said economic sanctions imposed on Russia remain “unavoidable” as long as President Vladimir Putin doesn’t yield on Ukraine.
Merkel defended Ukraine’s right to sovereignty and self-determination in a speech to parliament in Berlin today, hours before she and other European Union leaders planned to discuss Ukraine at a summit in Brussels. While Russia deserves respect and there is no military solution, violations of international law are unacceptable, she said.
“It’s up to Russia to take up our offer of dialogue on the basis of the values of the peaceful European order,” Merkel said. “As long as we haven’t reached this goal, sanctions continue to be unavoidable.”
As the ruble was falling to new lows against the USD and Euro, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble made it a point to throw a nice little warning in Russia’s general direction…
“we can hold out longer” than Russia if Putin doesn’t cooperate.
Merkel’s speech reflected her approach throughout the Ukraine conflict of leaving the door open to talks with Russia while throwing the weight of Germany, Russia’s biggest European trading partner, behind sanctions to put pressure on Putin.
“We’re not letting up in seeking dialogue with Russia,” Merkel said. “The goal is European security with Russia and not against Russia.”
In the 18-nation euro area, policy makers haven’t fully vanquished the debt crisis and economic recovery remains fragile, meaning governments need to combat the root causes with economic overhauls, she said.
In Greece, where the crisis began in 2010 before spreading to Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus, “the prospects are considerably better than two years ago,” though “much remains to be done,” Merkel said.
Better for who Mrs. Merkel?
Is 30% unemployment the new normal…the new good times for an EU member state?
And while on the subject of state sovereignty and redrawing borders, where were you when NATO and Europe decided to redraw (more precisely carve up) Yugoslavia, and more specifically Serbia?
Germany’s fingerprints (in the form of heavy arms sales to Croatia) were all over the conflict in the Balkans, that tore central Europe to shreds.