Merkel’s farewell bow: Chancellor disrupts the operation of Washington and London

MOSCOW, 20 Nov 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute.

Moscow will clearly miss Angela Merkel, who is completing her tenure as German Chancellor. If Russian President Vladimir Putin received a mandate to lead the country directly from Russian voters, then Merkel’s appointment as head of government has always been the result of the creation of ruling coalitions and the coordination of the interests of the parties represented in them. But even in such a situation, forced to look carefully around and take into account the American ally, the chancellor managed to do a lot.

Her next step in this context can be called an attempt to untie the knot of intrigue that laced the Polish-Belarusian border and caused the migration crisis, which involved, in addition to Poland and Belarus, a significant part of the European Union, Turkey, the United States, Russia, as well as a number of Middle Eastern states. In this situation, Merkel took extraordinary actions.

Recall that a few days ago, Putin in an interview with the “Russia 1” TV channel said the following: “I understand from conversations with Aleksandr Grigoryevich Lukashenko and Chancellor Merkel that they are ready to talk to each other. I hope that this will happen in the near future and it will be possible to establish some kind of direct contact between the European Union, the leading countries of the European Union, in any case, between the Federal Republic and Belarus.”

After that, indeed, to the great surprise of many Western analysts, a telephone conversation between the chancellor and the Belarusian president followed. It lasted 50 minutes and was dedicated to finding solutions to the problems with “refugees on the Belarusian-Polish, Belarusian-Lithuanian and Belarusian-Latvian borders”. Later, Lukashenko “informed the head of the Russian state about a telephone conversation with Acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel that took place the day before.”

The fact of Merkel’s exit to Lukashenko caused great irritation in Washington and London. Why? After all, the migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border mainly affects the EU and Belarus, from which the US is separated by the Atlantic Ocean. And the UK itself has now come into conflict with the European Union in the person of France, which British Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused of being unable to keep its borders under control and of deliberately sending migrants to the island.

The key to understanding the situation is provided by a telephone conversation between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau. Judging by the State Department’s press statement, both diplomats decided to tell the world that allegedly “the actions of the Lukashenko regime threaten security, sow division and are aimed at distracting from Russia’s actions on the border with Ukraine”.

This is how the “Ukrainian factor” pops up, which the Daily Telegraph writes about more openly. “While Germany and France have maintained a discreet (in practice sinister and self-interested) silence over both the migration crisis and Russian troop movements around Ukraine, Britain has been on the front foot, sending logistical help to Poland and boosting Ukraine’s defence capabilities,” newspaper columnist Mark Almond confides.

Washington and London have recently been carefully preparing Ukrainian bridgeheads on land and at sea in order to rally their allies through provocations against Russia and demand that they blame Moscow for everything. To this end, the Americans also undertook seemingly unmotivated military manoeuvres. For example, the Russian president spoke about this during talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, stressing that the United States and a number of its partners are conducting “large-scale exercises in the Black Sea, which increases tensions between Russia and NATO.”

Meanwhile, as some European experts note, Washington and London have not yet managed to impose their version of events in the Ukrainian direction on the European Union, which does not seem to believe that Moscow is supposedly going to invade Ukraine. It is possible that this is due to the position of Merkel and Macron.

A lot is changing in the European Union today. The Anglo-Saxon political egoism of the United States and Great Britain can accelerate the distancing of continental allies from them, and will also lead to the loss of EU interest in the blocs dominated by the Anglo-Saxons. The migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border in this case may cause a serious discussion in Europe about what the new security architecture should be both in Central and Eastern Europe and in the EU–Belarus–Russia triangle in particular.

Merkel’s decision to contact Lukashenko, who is portrayed as an “illegitimate dictator” in the West, shows that the chancellor understands the danger that any provocation on the Polish-Belarusian border risks being shot by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo. Merkel clearly does not want such an end to her career.

Although she does not say goodbye to politics. The fact that the outgoing Chancellor will influence future German governments is obvious. This scares her opponents, who are sure that Merkel, as Der Spiegel magazine writes, wants to create a “shadow office”. Whether this is true or not, time will tell. Meanwhile, Merkel, in the interests of Germany and the sane part of Europe, makes her farewell bow, disrupting the operation of Washington and London.

Institute for International Political and Economic Strategies – RUSSTRAT

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