Berlin Starts Talking Tough To Russia After All

Sort of. Jeepers creepers already! This ought to stop old Vlad Putin dead in his tank tracks.

Tanks

Germany should remove a pair of World War Two-era Soviet tanks standing on pedestals next to Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate in protest at Russia’s actions in Crimea and Ukraine, Germany’s best-selling newspaper Bild said on Tuesday.

Launching a petition to get rid of the two green T-34 tanks that have stood in front of the Soviet war memorial since it was built in 1945, Bild and Berlin tabloid B.Z. urged readers to send letters of protest to parliament against the war symbols.

Wir wollen keine Russen-Panzer am Brandenburger Tor!

We Don’t Want To Ruffle Any Russian Feathers Here, People

European leaders have debated how to punish Russia for its actions in Crimea. But for many Germans, the key is not to ruffle Russian feathers.

Russians

And besides, “instead of playing the stooge of the US in the encirclement of Russia, Brussels must finally be able to build positive relations with Moscow and show understanding of Russian interests.”

Germany Says It’s “Very Worried” About Eastern Ukraine

Russia replies: “You must have confused us with somebody who gives a shit.”

Ukraine

Pro-Russian demonstrators stormed regional government buildings in the industrial hub of Donetsk on Sunday as well as security service offices in nearby Luhansk and the regional administrative building in Kharkiv.

“We must urgently renew our appeal to all those in positions of responsibility to help stabilise the region and avoid such escalation.”

Meanwhile… Gazprom-Gerd celebrates his 70th birthday in Hannover and everybody is having a ball! It’s unclear if Vlad Putin will be able to attend or not, however.

News flash! This just in: Vlad couldn’t make it after all but sent G.-G. some Happy Birthday fireworks instead! How cute or something.

We Apologize For Being Russia Apologists

But we’ve already gotten over it and we’re sure that you will soon, too.

Survey

Be they people who simply romanticize Russia, those with a penchant for realpolitik, those nostalgic for the Soviet Union or just armchair leftists, there are so many people seemingly sympathetic to the annexation that many are scratching their heads and asking if Germany is a country of Russia apologists.

No need to wonder about it, people. You are.

In the states that were part of East Germany, one encounters a bond with the former occupying power that at times borders on Stockholm syndrome.

PS: Between rounds of apologies for Putin, 100 German academics have found the time to get together and write an open letter in opposition to the planned honorary professorship of Henry Kissinger at the University of Bonn. They accuse the Nobel Peace Prize winner of being a war criminal, a criminal against humanity a Chilean putschist dude and an overall Emperor of Evil. I’m going to go out on the limb here, but something tells me that these professors were students back in 1968.

We Are Not Soft On Russia

Germany said today. “We’re pretty soft on China, though.”

China

When asked why this is, the craven central European country replied “Well duh. We’re just like real pushovers when it comes to Chinese cash, that’s all. Isn’t every exporting powerhouse? We had a trade volume with China of 140.4 billion euros ($193 billion) last year, after all. That makes them our number 3 trading partner! And here you thought we were just dependent upon Russian gas.”

Asked whether China should stand up more assertively against Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Xi said that “China has no private interests” on the matter and added that Beijing always insists on non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, as well as respecting nations’ territorial integrity.

“It can’t work without Russian gas”

The German energy turnaround can’t, that is. And that’s why the way things look right now, the turnaround is about to get turned around – yet again.

Power

If Germany makes its goal of having 80 percent of its power come from renewable sources by 2050, there is no question it will add to the country’s energy security. But along the way, as it takes nuclear power plants offline and builds up its renewable network, the country remains reliant on fossil fuels – and that means Russia.

Germany gets some 35 percent of its natural gas and oil from Russia, as well as significant quantities of coal, a dependency that weakens Germany’s energy switchover plan, according to Hans-Werner Sinn, a prominent economist.

“Es wird eine neue Betrachtung der gesamten Energiepolitik geben”

Königsberg War Schon Immer Eine Deutsche Stadt

In light of Russia’s recent righting of the “historical error” made by Nikita Khrushchev when he decided to hand Crimea to the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic back in 1954, the German government is now openly considering laying claim to the historic German city of Königsberg (OK, Kaliningrad) that was wrongly handed over to the Soviet Union back in 1945.

Königsberg

Talks with Moscow have not yet begun but are expected to proceed VERY slowly once they do, I mean once they don’t.

Kaliningrad, which as Konigsburg served as the capital of Prussia in the 1500s and 1600s and was home to German philosopher Immanuel Kant, still exudes Germanic history, despite having served as a closed military area in Soviet times. But today, Germans make up a mere 0.8 percent of the Russian exclave’s population of 940,000 — a far cry from Crimea’s significant ethnic Russian population and majority of Russian speakers.

Wandel durch Handel

Hey, that rhymes!

Merkel
It means “change through trade” and applies of course to German trade with Russia. And that policy certainly seems to be working great these days, don’t you think?

There’s more Wandel going on in Russia (and in what’s left of a certain country bordering it) than even the Germans can Handel.

Sanctions and other measures must come step by step, giving Mr Putin chance after chance to stop further escalation.

Russia

Beautiful German weapon sale of the week.

Russland

Because somebody has to admire them.

In addition to purchasing two French helicopter carriers for $1.6 billion, the Russians turned to the German firm Rheinmetall Defence to build a $132 million modern army training center — Mulino — near Nizhny Novgorod on the Volga.

Ein Gefechtsübungszentrum bei Mulino soll demnach noch in diesem Jahr dem russischen Heer übergeben werden. Im Moment sehe man keine Risiken für eine termingerechte Lieferung und wolle über die Folgen einer etwaigen weiteren Verschlechterung der Beziehungen zu Russland nicht spekulieren, sagte der Sprecher weiter.

Germans So Concerned About Crimea Annexation They Close A $7 Billion Energy Deal With Russia

The German utility RWE announced that it had reached preliminary agreement to sell its oil and natural gas subsidiary, RWE Dea, to two Russian billionaires, Mikhail Fridman and German Khan, for 5.1 billion euros, or about $7 billion.

RWE

After the deal is finalized later this year it will be one of the priciest for Russian business.

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