Streetwise Professor

August 26, 2014

Merkel to Ukraine: Here’s Your Hat. What’s Your Hurry?

Filed under: Economics,Politics,Regulation,Russia — The Professor @ 8:50 pm

To compound Merkel’s obsequiousness to Putin, and her pushing Ukraine into his embrace, she broadly hinted that Ukraine should join Putin’s pet project, The Eurasian Union. Since Putin has made it clear that membership in the Eurasian Union and the Real EU are mutually exclusive, this is tantamount to turning Europe’s back on Ukraine and leaving it to Putin’s tender mercies.

Merkel’s remarks make it clear that her primary motive for abandoning Ukraine to Putin is to keep good relations with Russia, and to avoid riling Vlad:

“And if Ukraine says we are going to the Eurasian Union now, the European Union would never make a big conflict out of it, but would insist on a voluntary decision,” Merkel added.

“I want to find a way, as many others do, which does not damage Russia. We [Germany] want to have good trade relations with Russia as well. We want reasonable relations with Russia. We are depending on one another and there are so many other conflicts in the world where we should work together, so I hope we can make progress”

Nauseating. Like my grandfather said about a hostess trying to hint to  a guest who had overstayed his welcome that he leave: “Here’s your hat, Bob. Why are you in such a hurry to leave?”

For his part, during the Eurasian Union summit in Minsk, Putin made it clear that Ukraine had to choose between one EU or the other, and if it chose wrong, Russia would punish it. This is the fate that Merkel is willing to consign Ukraine to, so that Siemens can continue to sell to Russia, and Adidas can provide all the track suits that the gopniks desire:

In his public comments, Mr. Putin highlighted the dangers he said Russia faces if Ukraine pursues closer ties to the West. Since the onset of the crisis, Mr. Putin has accused the West of meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs and trying to spoil its relations with Moscow.

Mr. Putin said that a trade agreement between Kiev and Europe will flood the Ukrainian market with European goods, which may then find their way into Russia. “In this situation Russia cannot stand idle. And we will be prompted…to take retaliatory measures, to protect our market,” Mr. Putin said.

The interesting thing about this is just what it betrays about what Putin thinks about Russian competitiveness. Yes, Russia is so great. Russia is so strong. Russia is a beacon to the world. But it can’t produce things its own people and businesses want.

Note the phrase: “take retaliatory measures, to protect our market.” Remind me again: didn’t Russia join the WTO? Apparently Putin is unclear on the concept.

Further note whom Putin is protecting Russian markets against: Europe. Apparently Angela is unclear on some concepts too.

Putin and many (most?) other Russians inveigh about Russophobia. When he says things like that, it’s hard to think of a bigger Russophobe than Putin. He evidently does believe that Russians are inferior, and in need of protection.

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  1. The Finns are beginning to get nervous, as well, and apparently, might be willing to join NATO.

    Comment by Blackshoe — August 26, 2014 @ 9:37 pm

  2. @Blackshoe. I saw that earlier today, and think it’s hilarious. I told someone today, in his attempt to Finland-ize Ukraine, and keep it out of Nato (as if that was a real possibility anyways), Putin may just Nato-ize Finland.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — August 26, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

  3. To be more precise, he believes that his fellow KGB/nomenklatura “biznesmeny”, who luckily happen to own the bulk of Russian economy, are inferior to real businessmen, and so need protection to retain said ownership. Which kinda makes sense.

    Comment by Ivan — August 26, 2014 @ 11:35 pm

  4. In other news “Russia started an open war with Ukraine”. I’m kidding. You won’t see this headline anywhere. It is all ISIS on CNN, FOX News, Euronews, BBC World and other news channels. West is even afraid of calling it what it is. Somebody just beheaded a golf stick…

    Hold on Ukraine and kill the enemy! The victory will be yours.

    Putin will end at least like Hitler. Nazis never win. Sadly, the price of the Ukrainian victory might be milions of people.

    It it no more time for sanctions. It is time to arrange a new coalition – one which will act. So long, EU! You will not miss anybody, as you did not pass your main test since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine covert war.

    Comment by Europeo — August 27, 2014 @ 5:40 pm

  5. I mean “nobody will miss you” concerning the Frau Ribbentrop led EU.

    Comment by Europeo — August 27, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

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