Germany Increases Pressure On Russia By Selling It An Oil Company

Berlin is set to approve the sale of one of Germany’s largest oil producers to a Russian consortium, in a move that may undercut U.S. and E.U. sanctions aimed at punishing Russia for its role in stoking the conflict in Ukraine.

Oil

Der Verkauf galt wegen der Rolle Russlands in der Ukraine-Krise als politisch umstritten. Die Bundesregierung hat bei derartigen Transaktionen ein Mitspracherecht nach dem Außenwirtschaftsgesetz.

Is The Party Over?

While Germany has so far led the regional recovery, it is feeling the pain of increasing political tension. The European Union agreed last week on its widest-ranging sanctions yet over Russia’s backing of rebels in eastern Ukraine. Russia counts Germany as its biggest trading partner in Europe.

Germany

“The manufacturing-sector outlook does not look encouraging.”

Die Konjunktur läuft nicht mehr rund – Industrie-Aufträge mit stärkstem Minus seit 2011

From Russia To Iran With Love

From Germany, I mean. It’s complicated.

German businesses are cooling on Russian investments amid anger over Russia’s role in the Ukrainian conflict, while simultaneously warming on another big country hit by Western sanctions: Iran.

Iran

According to Küntzel, German leaders have at least two other reasons for helping Iran defy the United States. The first is German resentment of defeat in the Second World War followed by foreign occupation, led by the US. The second reason is that Iran is one of the few, if not the only country, where Germans have never been looked at as “war criminals” because of Hitler.

Poll: Four In Five Germans Have No Problem With Germany Being World’s Third Largest Arms Exporter

No, wait. That was four in five Germans would like to see their armed forces take part in fewer military missions abroad. But still.

Arms

Damn. And almost two-thirds think Germany should show caution on foreign affairs. Even more caution than they are already being so overly cautious about already, I mean. Well the Germans certainly have been reckless these past few years, haven’t they?

Calls from abroad for greater German participation showed the respect Germany had won, but could also put Germany under too much pressure.

PS: Speaking of pressure, according to former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer himself, “Russia is striving a major power role. That must not and will not be accepted by Europe.”

Die russische Strategie, verloren gegangenes Territorium zurück zu holen, könne man nur mit Entschlossenheit und Härte begegnen, nicht mit Verständnis. „Ein starkes Europa ist Voraussetzung für Sicherheit“, sagte der Ex-Außenminister.

German Word Of The Day: Bluff

In German, “Bluff” means to mislead by a display of strength or self-confidence when in fact their is no strength or self-confidence there. To display, I mean.

Bluff

But there’s one problem with this weapon (real sanctions): It can only be used if all EU members agree. In the EU, sanctions need to be decided unanimously. This worked for levels one and two, because they were primarily symbolic acts that affected people close to Putin and imposed no real burden on the EU. But level three would be different, making it unlikely that the EU would agree on sanctions that would have a strong effect on Russia. Europe’s strongest weapon is actually a bluff.

“Clearly there will be economic sanctions if Putin sabotages the vote, but it’s unclear what would constitute sabotage.”

PS: Personally, I think there is only one person on Earth who could possibly stand up to this Putin person. And he’s not even a person himself

Stop Hurting Russia’s Feelings Already

Who would have expected that? The German Left Party itself (they used to be called the PDS or Partei der Stasi) has expressed grave concern over the EU’s aggressive stance toward the Soviet Union, I mean Vlad Putin’s democratic Russia.

Wagenknecht

Rosa Luxemburg, I mean Sahra Wagenknecht herself has sharply critisized European crisis management with regard to the Ukraine conflict, saying it consisted of “vile Russia bashing right out of the Cold War” and that the West is pursuing a vicious anti-Russian policy of exclusion and unniceness and rottenness and that everybody, those damned faschist Ukrainians included, should finally just leave our commrades, I mean Russian partners alone already.

May Day, May Day… Earth to Wagenknecht. Earth to Wagenknecht. Can you read me?

Das ist übles Russland-Bashing aus Kalter-Krieg-Zeiten.

Gerd Congratulates Vlad

No, wait. Or is it Vlad congratulating Gerd? At any rate, there sure is a whole lot of Schroeder-Putin schmoozing going on around here these days.

Gerd

Photos of Vladimir Putin and Gerhard Schroeder sharing an embrace have caused the German government to quickly distance itself from the former Chancellor.

“He does not represent the German government,” a senior government official said when asked about the pictures of Mr Schroeder’s meeting with Mr Putin. “It should be clear to everyone that Mr Schroeder left active politics some time ago.”

Mitten in der Ukraine-Krise wird Altkanzler Gerhard Schröder geknipst, wie er den russischen Präsidenten Wladimir Putin herzlichst umarmt.

German-Led Observers Lead Observer Team Into Captivity

For more in-depth observation, I assume. And understanding.

Hostage

Sheesh! I guess these guys must belong to the Woody Allen Brigade or something: “I’m classified as 4P. In case of war, I’m a hostage.”

Pro-Russia rebels have confirmed they are holding a German-led military observer team as hostages in the separatist stronghold of Slavyansk, as they announced plans to proceed with a referendum on May 11 to create a breakaway Donbass People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine.

“The Nato spies will be exchanged for our prisoners.”

Germans Show So Much Understanding For Putin Russia It Hurts

It sure hurts to read some of this stuff, anyway.

Understanding

Dear Mr. President, you have called for an economic community from Lisbon to Vladivostok for almost four years. It would be the economic basis for the“common European home”. Ukraine could make a perfect bridge for future cooperation between your intended Eurasian Union and the European Union, not least in cultural terms. We are persuaded that the purpose of the massive influence of the USA is to prevent the Ukraine from becoming such a bridge. The forces which have prevailed in the European Commission are supporting the policy of the United States against Russia.

“The aggression against Russia always comes from the West, Germany should exercise restraint.”

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