MR. PUTIN’S NEW FRIENDS
It was quite a spectacle when the camera panned the stadium at the World Cup final only to see none other than Germany’s energy conscious Chancellor, Mrs. Merkel seated next to Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff followed by the FIFA president seated to the left of Vladimir Putin.
Germany, with its private oil pipeline from Russia (NordStream), has been the greatest voice of recalcitrance against Mr. Obama’s ongoing insistence that only economic sanctions will stave off the Russian President’s aspiration to re-unite the former Soviet countries under the auspices of the Eurasian Union.
This week, a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane was brought down by Russian BUK missiles. Ostensibly Russian, the missile operators mistook the passenger plane for a Ukraine Army cargo plane carrying supplies to an isolated group of Ukrainians on the Russian border. Following the carnage, the caravan of missile launching trucks was taken back to Mother Russia and dismantled in haste to obfuscate investigative efforts. Meanwhile, Mr. Putin made a tour of Latin America, where he signed energy deals with Cuba, Argentina and Ms. Rousseff’s Brazil.
Perhaps instead of sitting beside the world’s enemies watching football in wait for Mr. Putin’s next chess move, Mrs. Merkel should have a talk with her Russian counterpart about attenuating the crisis he has created in the Ukraine, even if it temporarily jeopardizes a tenth of a point in German total GDP.