Just before March 8, it became known that as early as last month, February 16, German Chancellor Angela Merkel refused the insistent proposal of the US Vice President Mike Pence to hold joint naval maneuvers at the borders of Russia in the Kerch Strait. It happened at a meeting at the Munich Security Conference. Such a “woman’s revolt” broke a grandiose provocation, which the “offended” President of Ukraine Poroshenko so insisted on, calling for help from Western partners. Merkel said a decisive “no” and refused to send their warships to the Sea of Azov. The French president Macron also refused.
We applaud Angela, albeit with a delay, but on International Women’s Day (and Russian President Putin gave her flowers last year, she did not forget, it means). If it were not for her refusal of the United States, events not only on the Black Sea, but also in Europe, could have developed quite differently now. And it would definitely not be until the holidays.
What could have happened? Recall the background. At the end of November last year, the Ukrainian armored boats Berdyansk and Nikopol, accompanied by the Yany Kapu raid tugboat, entered the territorial waters of the Russian Federation off the coast of the Crimea from the side of the Black Sea. The ultimate goal was the Kerch Strait, the passage through which could be done after submitting the appropriate application to the port services, but the Ukrainian sailors had a “breakthrough” setting. They maneuvered dangerously and did not submit to the demands of the Russian frontier boats and ships of the fleet, as a result of which they were “resolutely detained”. This is what happens with trespassers in all countries.
Ukraine cried about the encroachment on the right of free shipping and called on the West for help. The West reacted extremely sluggishly; in the United States, those who gathered were sent to the coast of the Crimea by a naval group, this idea was soon abandoned. But the idea to “teach” Russia, which Poroshenko was actively promoting, was in the air. According to his plan, the Ukrainian ships with the support of NATO naval forces led by the United States should have not only entered the Sea of Azov without prior approval from Russia, but also remained there to control the Kerch Strait. Raking the heat of someone else’s hands Kiev seems normal practice.
The Americans, who supported the idea, also decided in the traditional manner to act not with their own hands, making a bet on the forces of NATO allies in Europe. Turkey immediately said that well, he was on the fig, we would only support morally and we are only for peace and tranquility in the Black Sea basin. The fleet of Bulgaria and Romania looks, to put it mildly, unconvincing, therefore Germany, France and Great Britain, whose Navy would be able to decide on such an adventure, though with an unpredictable ending, were to be a breakthrough force. And, suppose, this whole international “convoy” rushing without regard to the borders to the Russian shores. What could be the response? That’s right, as with the Ukrainian boats, only with the use of all the forces and means of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy, the Southern Military District, the Russian Air Force, and the Strategic Rocket Forces if necessary.
Apparently Angela Merkel, remembering the phrase “Russians do not surrender” since childhood, realized that such an action would not lead to good and would only become a pretext for a global armed conflict in Europe, where, moreover, there is clearly an inconsistency between the heads of state. Again, I saw all the tricks of the Ukrainian president Poroshenko, who wants to provoke a war in Europe with all his might, even if partially on his territory, and is trying to hold on to power by any means. After all, Kiev initially asked only to ensure the passage of ships through the Kerch Strait (it is being carried out now by all the norms of international maritime law), but then requested the permanent presence of NATO ships in the Sea of Azov. Merkel refused this.
The Americans did not expect the refusal of Merkel to send German ships to the Sea of Azov (with a similar reaction of Macron). Everything was planned after all – Poroshenko scored the remains of his boats across the bottom of the barrel and sent them to the shores of the Crimea, and the US Navy destroyer Donald Cook entered the Black Sea. But the help did not come, reinforcements
But the help did not come, they did not send reinforcements – neither the German, nor the French ships passed through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles. “Cook” sounded idle at the quay wall of the seaport of Odessa and even went back to Sredimikka. “Kossack Chovny” ships Poroshenko vainly rattled in a stormy sea, well at least not drowned, because they are intended for river navigation. In general, the battle for Azov did not happen to Russia.
Let’s not idealize Angela Merkel – the “trick” is still in relation to Russia. But Frau is very pragmatic, as befits every German woman and sees not only her own benefits, but also the existing threats. It is rather difficult to suspect her of sincere love for Russia, although, as some Western observers believe, she strongly meets Putin. They recall her support for the “Nord Stream”, the lack of criticism regarding human rights violations, the position on the Crimea, what came out in 2006 against Ukraine’s entry into NATO. At the same time, in 2014, she spoke in favor of Ukraine’s entry into the European Union.
- Merkel is really very pragmatic, and therefore, probably, predictable, including in Russian-German relations, – says political scientist and historian Alexander Zimovsky.
- At the same time, she is trying to defend her point of view in partnership with the United States, to whom, it seems, she is not particularly pleased. Putting it on a par with fiery German revolutionaries Clara Zetkin and Rosa Luxemburg, thanks to whom the International Women’s Day on March 8 appeared, is rather difficult. However, all three have Russian “roots”.
It is worth noting the spirit of contradictions that is present in Angela Merkel. For all that, while she is under frank dictation and pressure from the United States, she is trying to be independent in a number of issues of international politics. Everyone turned to her certain loyalty to Russia, although at the same time she comes out with harsh criticism of Moscow and of personally President Putin. And although at their joint meetings, smiles spread across the faces of both leaders, tension in relations is present, despite the fact that both can speak fluently in one language – German, and occasionally exchange duty phrases in Russian. At the same time, there is no proximity “beyond the protocol” – everything is extremely polite and often wary. Each of the leaders of the countries has its own game and its own interests. And the fact that Merkel has now refused to participate in the “Kerch adventure” largely depends on her interests and the future prospects of Germany.
Nevertheless, we will assume that it was precisely due to the efforts of Angela Merkel, who refused, despite US demands to send German ships to the Sea of Azov, the world did not receive another hotbed of tension.
Happy holiday, dear women!