Please, Reduce Already

Germans in favor of ‘reducing reliance’ on US.

Germany

A new YouGov poll has found that a majority of Germans are in favor of reducing reliance on the US and increasing ties with Russia. Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany cannot defend itself alone.

And good luck with those increased Russian ties!

It Can’t Happen Here

Or at least we’ll pretend that it can’t.

Russia

Russia was behind the murder last month of a former Chechen rebel in Germany, U.S. officials said on Tuesday, rekindling concerns that Moscow is ramping up an assassination campaign against the country’s perceived enemies abroad…

The absence of a German government reaction to Mr. Khangoshvili’s murder has sparked criticism from opposition parties that Berlin is eager to avoid a confrontation with Russia. A spokesman for the German government declined to comment and said the investigation was continuing.

“The United States believes that Russia is responsible for this assassination.”

“Treacherous Manslaughter?”

Getting shot in the head twice with a silenced Glock 29 by an electric bicycle-riding man in a Berlin park in broad daylight?

Russians

Except for the broad daylight part I’d say yeah, that’s pretty treacherous (“treacherous manslaughter” is what the suspected killer is being charged with).

The killing of a former Chechen separatist commander in central Berlin has raised concerns that Russia may have deployed an agent to a European nation to target a Kremlin opponent, a tactic it has been accused of using many times in the past.

The victim, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, who fought against Russian troops in the second Chechen war 20 years ago, was on his way to Friday prayers last week when he was shot in the head twice by a bicycle-riding man using a handgun with a silencer, according to witness accounts cited in the German news media.

The Russian government in 2006 legalized the killings abroad of people who were judged to pose terrorist threats, resuming a Soviet-era practice.

Russischer Geheimdienst womöglich in Mord an Exil-Georgier verwickelt.

German Of The Day: Mangelhaft

That means deficient. As in the deficient quality of the oil being imported to Europe via a Russian pipeline – this import having now been suspended by Poland?

Oil

That means Germany can’t get the oil, either. It’s not like Germany’s dependency on Russian gas and oil is deficient, however. That’s as high a quality dependency as you can get.

Germany and Poland have suspended imports of Russian oil amid contamination concerns, prompting a rare crisis over supply from the world’s second-largest exporter.

The sudden suspension of imports from the Soviet-built Druzhba pipeline, which runs from Russia via Belarus to central Europe, risks starving major European refineries of their major source of crude.

Händler großer Ölkonzerne, die Raffinerien in Deutschland betreiben, bestätigten dies: Die Versorgung über die noch von der Sowjetunion gebauten “Druschba”, auf Deutsch “Freundschaft”, sei gestoppt.

Warn?

Warn? Sure. But nothing will change.

Warn

German Conservatives Warn on Russian Pipeline Project – Contenders for Angela Merkel’s seat as head of the CDU question controversial project amid mounting Kremlin aggression.

An official close to Ms. Merkel said the German government wouldn’t have any legal means of stopping the pipeline as authorities have already issued permits and construction was under way.

How convenient.

“Many people inside Germany are coming to realize what most people outside of Germany already know: It is unwise to give Russia more influence over Europe’s energy security,”

Make Law International Again

Ouch. The Kremlin certainly wasn’t expecting that one.

Maas

After Russia’s latest display of disregard for territorial sovereignty, Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas has bravely stepped forward and told the roughhouse renegade of a nation that it must now respect international law again. Or else. Or something.

To achieve this, Germany and its European allies need clear principles and a “true dialogue” on common security in Europe, Maas added.

Wow. Dialogue. That’s never been tried before. This guy is the greatest thing since Bismarck. No, not the herring. That chancellor dude.

“The aim must be that Russia sticks to international rules again and that it does not violate the territorial sovereignty of its neighbors.”

PS: The EU ITSELF would have done the lecturing but it’s too busy trying to get rid of daylight savings time. Actually, it’s not all that busy anymore. It just failed at that attempt. Kind of like it always does at practically everything it tries. But to be fair, it was way too ambitious a project for the EU to handle in just one generation.

This Guy Needs Immediate Medical Attention

After Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea, Ukraine’s ambassador in Berlin has called for – now get ready for this – the deployment of German warships to help clear up the situation.

Ukraine

Either he’s been drinking too much happy juice or he’s living in some parallel universe none of the rest of us have access to. Germany doesn’t have any worships to begin with (that are ready for deployment) and how can you expect a country that isn’t even willing to defend itself to defend somebody else’s country? Coo coo for Coco Puffs!

Kann Deutschland der Ukraine in der neuen Krimkrise militärisch beistehen? Zumindest wünscht sich das der ukrainische Botschafter in Berlin. Die Nato berät in Kürze über das weitere Vorgehen.

German Of The Day: Zusage

That means pledge – like the one Germany just made (increase in defense spending to 2% by 2024 instead of 2028 or 2030).

Zusage

President Donald Trump appeared to declare victory on Thursday in his battle with America’s closest allies to get them to contribute more money to the NATO alliance. Mr. Trump acknowledged that he had taken a tough stance with his European counterparts, demanding they contribute more of their national budgets to defense and saying after Thursday’s meetings, “they upped their commitments and I am very happy…”  

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Mr. Trump on Wednesday turned a harsh spotlight on Germany’s own ties to Russia, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel’s government “totally controlled” and “captive” to Russia.

Auch Deutschland habe große Zusagen gemacht – das Zwei-Prozent-Ziel solle nun wesentlich früher erreicht werden als ursprünglich geplant – laut Trump nicht erst 2028 oder 2030, sondern schon 2024.

German Of The Day: Gefangener

That means prisoner or captive. You know, as in “Germany is a captive of Russia.”

Yeah. A captive who finally got caught.

Germany

“It pays billions and billions of dollars to Russia for energy. Germany is a rich country. Why should the U.S. protect you against Russia when the two countries are making deals? You tell me, is that appropriate?”

Deutschland ist ein Gefangener Russlands.

Poland Gets It

The U.S. doesn’t stand to lose anything by accepting Poland’s generous proposal and gradually relocating troops there from Germany. A move of this kind would be consistent with stated U.S. goals, such as deterring Russia. It would also allow the U.S. to support an ally eager for closer military ties.

Poland

It might also force Germany to give more thought to its position. Would it feel unprotected with a smaller U.S. presence? Would it, perhaps, be motivated to enhance its own defense? Or would it still be secure in its apparent conviction that no one is interested in attacking it?

The U.S. should offer protection to the countries that want it most, and reduce its involvement with nations that benefited in the mid-20th century. The American military presence should be aligned with its allies’ sense of being threatened. This anxiety gets stronger the closer a country is to Russia’s borders. Ignoring that makes little military or political sense.