Putin is determined not to give in on Ukraine, Carlo Masala, professor at the German Army College in Munich, said in an interview with the Munich tabloid Abendzeitung München. Western sanctions would only hit the oligarchs in Russia, and they had better not challenge Putin’s position—that may send them to jail rather soon.
NATO cannot do much, and it shouldn’t, Masala warned: “If NATO entered into a military conflict with Russia, we would instantly be standing at the brink of potential nuclear war. No human being can have an interest in that.” NATO channels to Russia should be kept open and used, to influence Putin in the direction of a non-military solution, Masala said.
More generally, the German government is not in line with Obama’s policies for sharpening the confrontation with Russia, just as Lyndon LaRouche has been forecasting (and eliciting) since at least December 2013. Writing in an article titled “US Increasingly Isolated on Russia Sanctions,” Colum Lynch says that Merkel signalled on Monday that she wanted to hold off on sanctions while pursuing a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis. She favors direct talks and dispatch of monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) who would assure Moscow that the rights of ethnic Russians are being respected.
Another German proposal, which Merkel has persuaded Putin to support, is establishment of a “contact group” on Ukraine. In that regard, it was announced Tuesday (3/4) that German Foreign Minister Steinmeier and Kerry were flying to Paris tonight, as was self-appointed Ukrainian Foreign Minister Deshchytsia, perhaps for a meeting of that “contact group.” The Deutsche Presseagentur, DPA, reported that top diplomats from several countries were to meet Tuesday evening in Paris. Also, Merkel suddenly scheduled a Wednesday trip to Moscow. The EU ministers meeting scheduled for Wednesday may also include Russian ministers, and it was announced that the NATO-Russia Council will also meet Wednesday.
These German-steered efforts are important and useful. Having lived through two wars with Russia in the Twentieth Century, the Germans are not eager for another such war, one they would not live through this time. But these efforts as such cannot avert the danger; rather, they should convince patriotic Americans that the danger is so very real and immediate, that they had better impeach Obama now, before he pushes that button.