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How Germans Really Feel About Russia's Annexation Of Crimea

Tyler Durden's picture


While Angela Merkel has publicly threatened that Russia risks "massive economic and political harm" if it doesn't change course, Germany's envoy to Russia, Gernot Erler, has more realistic concerns. As Bloomberg reports, Erler warned that US sanctions are counterproductive and probably won't make Putin bow to Western demands.

The sudden German show of restraint is hardly surprising given their exposure to Russian energy provision and the fact that a stunning 54% of Germans believe the EU and US should accept Russia's annexation of Crimea.


Erler goes in to note that "starting the spiral of sanctions reduces possibilities for dialogue," and warned against completely excluding Russia from the G-8 (as Merkel had suggested a day earlier). 

Via Bloomberg,

U.S. sanctions on Russia are counterproductive and probably won’t make President Vladimir Putin bow to Western demands on Ukraine, said Gernot Erler, the German government’s coordinator for relations with Russia.


Erler’s comments in an interview in Berlin today reflect German restraint on punishing Russia for its annexation of Crimea and differ in tone from Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has said Russia risks “massive economic and political harm” if it doesn’t change course. Erler, whose Social Democratic Party is Merkel’s junior coalition partner, plans to travel to Moscow for talks with Russian officials on March 24-25.


Financial sanctions ordered by President Barack Obama yesterday and Russia’s response of denying entry to nine U.S. officials show that “we’re already seeing a spiral,” which makes “saving face” more difficult, Erler said.


Starting the spiral of sanctions reduces possibilities for dialogue,” Erler, 69, said at his office two blocks from the Brandenburg Gate. “That’s regrettable. Based on experience, I have low expectations about the short-term effectiveness of sanctions.”




“Russia views itself as a world power at eye level with America,” he said. “We’re dealing with a very self-confident power, that won’t change its policy under outside pressure. That wouldn’t work with America, either.”


Erler also warned against “completely excluding” Russia from the Group of Eight nations, a day after Merkel said the forum “doesn’t exist anymore” for now. Still, Erler said there’s “a strong consensus” in German policy toward Russia.




Restricting Russian energy imports probably wouldn’t be among the sanctions, he said, citing Russian gas flows that “always worked” during the Cold War.

Good-sanctioner, bad-sanctioner?


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Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:42 | 4586768 Dollar Bill Hiccup
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Shouldn't the Czechs be worried by this? And the Austrians. And the Poles. And ...

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:51 | 4586804 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Much ado about nothing and more sitzkrieg.  Crimea was a done deal from the beginning.  The area was more Russian than ethnic German, and Russia's only access to warm water was at stake.

Now if Russia roles tanks across a border, the cold war is on again, and all bets are off.  The real problem is that our Pussy in Chief understands none of this, and couldn't care less.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:09 | 4586917 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Fuck bowing to Western demands.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:40 | 4587058 DoChenRollingBearing
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"Western demands..."  Yeah, who cares.  The Germans are right, let´s sit this one out.

I will be curious to see if Putin goes after Estonia (with roughly 1/3 of their population being Russian).  Uh, and we do have Estonia in NATO, IIRC...


Since there are Americans in Saudi Arabia, would China and Russia let us grab a piece of that country too?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:43 | 4587094 ForWhomTheTollBuilds
ForWhomTheTollBuilds's picture

My heart sank when I saw Biden in Estonia beside the president announcing to Russia that even though they had announced no plans to invade Estonia that America was drawing a red line that had better not be crossed and that there would be severe consequences etc etc.  Where have I heard this before and very recently?

I'd be more worried than ever if I were them with the US there to help.


Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:55 | 4587149 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Why did your heart sink?  The USA is a joke now run by the NeoCons, NWO, Soros and dual citizenship types.  Anyone who has a kid in the US military should get their kid out unless they want them to die for some bankster or billionaire oligarch.  

The whole thing is a **cking joke and anyone dumb enough to die for the banksters is stupid.   The US govt f**ks over American citizens.  At least Putin protects the borders and is doing something for the Russians.  

What fool would die in combat or a phony war for the USSA, Obam or the NeoCons?  Only a total dumb ass.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:04 | 4587176 ForWhomTheTollBuilds
ForWhomTheTollBuilds's picture

The issue for me is that, in the short term at least, this whole mess with Russia would die-down if the US would just admit that it completely fucked up in the Ukraine.  They could just declare victory here and slink away and shut the fuck up.

Instead they go right back out there "informing" Russia that there is laundry list of other people they "better not fuck with or else".  The US is run by people even crazier than Putin.  People who think nuclear weapons are a waste if we can't even use them.

My heart sinks because they aren't stopping.  Because after three recent spankings from Putin they are *still* barking at him from under the sofa.  How will they react the next time Putin simply does as he pleases on a timetable either of his own choosing or on a timetable accelerated by American misteps?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:34 | 4587332 Freddie
Freddie's picture

The USA has been doing this since at least 1953.  We almost had World War 3 over the same corrupt illegal and murderous shit the State Dept aka El See Eye AA Duh was pulling in Syria.  Every President since Bush 1 and before him has been doing this.  They don't care who they murder.  

Anyone who let's their kid join the military so they can go die for this is a fool.   They get used and killed - often times they will be set up and killed by their own country. Seal Team 6, USS Liberty and many others.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:38 | 4587369 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

yea but they get that cool medal......or is it a trophy now?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:59 | 4587764 Keyser
Keyser's picture

The black swans are beginning to circle. It's just a matter of which falls first, then the rest will pick the bones. 

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 08:26 | 4589400 fx
fx's picture


Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:39 | 4587374 css1971
css1971's picture

This is why we need to start building guillotines.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 21:37 | 4588364 jwoop66
jwoop66's picture

Long guillotines!

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 21:40 | 4588377 jwoop66
jwoop66's picture

also I'm thinkin'... has russia ever invaded the west?    I know the west has invaded them numerous times.  Maybe those arrogant krauts oughta think about rebuilding an army?...

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:35 | 4587659 Lux Fiat
Lux Fiat's picture

"The US is run by people even crazier than Putin.'

Whatever Putin may be, I don't think crazy applies.  If the West had been successful in flipping the Ukraine, and Sevastopol was put on a quick path to closure, Russia would fall from the "superpower" ranks, or have to lose any pretense at it.  He and Russia had/have a lot more to lose than the West in Ukraine.

Interestingly, he has kept those dining at the corruption buffet in Russia largely Russian.  It seems to me tha this has become more of a trend in developing countries, forcing the "outsiders" who used to gorge at the developing trough to focus more on the developed world.  Which perhaps explains the more overt regulatory and political capture in the US and other similar countries.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:54 | 4586817 Wolferl
Wolferl's picture

The Austrians? Why? They are Germans anyway.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:42 | 4586773 Dollar Bill Hiccup
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If you take zee country, you can have zee country.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:43 | 4586774 Chupacabra-322
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You can now see the result of the 5 Billion American dollars invested in the Ukraine. They wanted your Country to implode right on Russia’s door step. Run by a Coup government Former leaders showing extreme signs of mental instability wanting war, widespread uprisings, Nazi elements ruling section of your Country, hate crime everywhere. On top of this you are about to be hit with more inflation because the EU misled you by making false promises...

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:47 | 4586784 i_call_you_my_base
i_call_you_my_base's picture

...and don't forget the pending wealth taxes.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:58 | 4586786 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

So you're saying the US got a good RoI , apart from hastenning the death of the

petr dollar ?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:38 | 4587072 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Hmm, good question!  Let´s break out the popcorn and wait & see.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:37 | 4587362 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Lots of dual citizens and billion oligarchs involved.  Merkel F's over the German people just like Obam F over Americans for their bosses.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:47 | 4586785 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

Obama Multiple Choice Test For The Crimea:

Russia Should Be Allowed To Take the Crimea:

[ ] Agree

[ ] Disagree

[ ] Let's Talk

[X] Which way to the first tee?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:39 | 4587075 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Is it unfair to ask questions that would get unanimous responses?


Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:48 | 4586789 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Like they give a shit about what the 54% think..

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:49 | 4586794 AG BCN
AG BCN's picture

Can me in my flat in Spain independantly join Russia?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:51 | 4586806 Black Forest
Black Forest's picture

Try it out. Let me know tomorrow what the outcome was.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:05 | 4586892 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Sounds like you already have.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:11 | 4586926 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Under worldwide panarchism.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:09 | 4587227 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Panslavic till the Atlantic is alluring to the slaves of the EUDSSR, choosing the lesser devil.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:33 | 4587331 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

If you are the one the government points its guns at, there is no lesser devil.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:49 | 4586797 Dr. Engali
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And we all know that the political class follows the peoples wishes.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:50 | 4586802 Brit_Abroad
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I have to admit that I really cannot read Merkel at all.

Normally it almost impossible to get her to say anything clear cut but here she is playing quite the hardcore role.

It is really worrying that so many Germans still think she is doing a good job, and that although she has been betraying Germany quite thoroughly.

The bitch.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:03 | 4586882 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Agree about Merkel, a tough nut to crack, but what Euro leader has done anything but shovel smoke?

Try this.  Merkel hopes Putin is not an idiot, the land grab is over, and all the hype is for the home crowd, drunk on vodka and old glory days.  But if it isn't, Europe has to rely on the US as it's only real defense against blackmail and Stalinist evil, which means they are counting on Bath House Barry.  Shit meet fan.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:14 | 4587249 TheGardener
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The bitch of Stasi was worked through the KGB till the CIA got her files.

Our bitch, none of her compatriots ever loved her.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:46 | 4587407 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Yes - she is Stasi.  I think all of the leaders now were in intel or are totally owned by them.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:51 | 4586809 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

Sgt. Shultz says,  'I know notttinngggggggggg.'

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:54 | 4586814 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Germans, "Mach Hündchen!" for the Americans

So "Obrigkeits Bewust" (Authority-conscious).  Germans will protest whatever their Masters tell them to protest. 

Centuries of breeding and conditioning has turned them into ruly, obedient sheep.  Especially the conditioning since 1945.  And just in case they get any 'funny' and independant ideas, there are the 60,000 US troops still stationed there, just to make sure.

Sorry, nothing personal and not intended to be hurtful, but you know it's true.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:05 | 4586878 Wolferl
Wolferl's picture

What is true today can be a nightmare for the ´murricans tomorrow when we switch sides. The US political elite is taking too much for granted. The anglo-american empire is toast if and when we side with the Chinese and Russia. But timing is everything if you want to make a bold move. Just think of good ol Arminius.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:49 | 4587124 magnetosphere
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is this a widely held sentiment in germany?  ive always wondered when you guys would throw off the american imperial yoke

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:27 | 4587287 Wolferl
Wolferl's picture

90% of the German population is clueless like in any other country and just want their schnitzel and beer. But you can see a growing anger about the US in the elite, especially after the NSA surveillance afaire last year. The way Obama and the US politcal elite openly showed their arrogance will be remembered.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 10:11 | 4589795 fockewulf190
fockewulf190's picture

Don´t forget the BND has been a willing player all along.  That little fact made the press for awhile and was then quickly dropped.  There were plenty of "elite" faces splattered with copious amounts of egg.  Snowden´s revelations have been proven a double edged sword.

Another thing, Germans don´t protest unless they are members of IG Metal or the Verdi Labor Union...who are currently taking part in warning strikes in order to get more cash.  The Germans are not at all like the French who will protest a 1 cent hike on baguette prices.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:45 | 4587403 yt75
yt75's picture

The sooner the better

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:11 | 4587239 Carl Popper
Carl Popper's picture

That is 19th century thinking.  


Germany has worked hard to avoid "sides".  


Germany is not going to "ally" themselves with China and Russia against the USA.   It is unnecessary. 

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:26 | 4587301 Wolferl
Wolferl's picture

It´s unnecessary today. And as long as an empire rules you better take advantage of it. But you better step aside when the empire falls. And there are some huge cracks in the base of the anglo-american empire already.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:30 | 4587318 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Germany will at some point have to ally herself to her own interests, once destruction of such hopes is focused not upon her again. She might go down anyway, whoring herself out to the US as she used to or the ultimate marriage of convenience with Russia proper, where at least she would be going down in style with the mongol fake white power.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:11 | 4586927 FlyingDutchman
FlyingDutchman's picture

Actually I don't : most people on the street in Germany are a lot more savvy of geopolitics and history then in any other country that I've been to.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:38 | 4587912 Savyindallas
Savyindallas's picture

Do they still buy the mainstream Hitler/Holocaust version of history in it's entirety? 

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:48 | 4587422 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Like the USA is any different.  Idiots watching TV including you with your kosher space TV show.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:55 | 4586829 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Merkel: First you must take zee siegfried oath.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:56 | 4586836 basho
basho's picture

this may be miss merkel's political swan song. her germany just lost another war with russia.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:07 | 4586886 Manthong
Manthong's picture

I would not be surprised to see a non-aggression/trade deal between the two.

Also, Angela speaks Russian and Vlad speaks German..

Angela grew up in East Germany and Vlad's kids go to school in Germany.

Germany gets 30% of its natgas from Russia and they have a vibrant trade relationship.

All may not be what it seems on the surface.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:58 | 4587466 Freddie
Freddie's picture

One of the things I read somewhere was that Germany will get much closer to Russia and will shun the USA (  mullato) country more.   I think it was Jim Willie.  It makes sense.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:59 | 4587168 Carl Popper
Carl Popper's picture

You, sir, are an idiot.  


And I mean that in the kindest way. 

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:58 | 4586849 astoriajoe
astoriajoe's picture

" Russia risks "massive economic and political harm" if it doesn't change course,"

Did she ever say to whom the economic harm would accrue to? She doesn't actually say Russia, and I'm not sure that's who she meant.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:12 | 4586932 trader1
trader1's picture

this is the article to read to understand the current circumstances of german domestic/foreign politics:


Mon, 03/24/2014 - 15:59 | 4586853 Brennus
Brennus's picture

It's 1945 all over again. Germans are willing to to kiss Russian a**, and will give them anything that they want, so long as the sting isn't too uncomfortable...

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:15 | 4586895 trader1
trader1's picture

germany, america, and russia depicted as mental illness patients:



  1. germany - disassociative identity disorder 
  2. america - schizophrenia
  3. russia - bipolar disorder



Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:06 | 4586900 PaperBear
PaperBear's picture

Our lame leadership are getting their head handed to them ... by the people they are supposed to serve.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:07 | 4586901 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

Catherine the Great refused King George's request for 20,000 Russian troops and 2,000 Russian Cossacks to help put down the uprising in the colonies.

King Frederick II of Prussia sent 30,000 Hessians.

So, there's that.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:46 | 4586954 Wolferl
Wolferl's picture

Have you ever red a single history book? Don´t think so. Friedrich II of Prussia did not sent a single soldier to America. Even if he offically was "neutral" in the conflict he supported the colonists. Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben was a Prussian officer who led the colonial troops.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:19 | 4587276 gonetogalt
gonetogalt's picture

Yes, but Alex the great loaned Lincoln damn near the entire Russian navy to legitimize the North's blockade.

(In the long run, maybe that wasn't too smart.)

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:10 | 4586908 Duke Dog
Duke Dog's picture

Just trying to think it through and need your help. Could Obama be the very best US President ever (in a left handed sort of way) in terms of the US citizen - maybe he will be the catalyst to stop the goddamn "globalization" effort. He, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Reagan have already forced us past the point of no fucking return from a fiscal standpoint.

The sooner this shit crashes and US hegemony is gone, the sooner we can pick up the pieces and rebuild something better. I haven't figured out the nuclear ramifications and the fact that psycopaths hold the controls however.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:21 | 4587851 Savyindallas
Savyindallas's picture

The problem is that when the "shit crashes" they have no intention of letting the pieces fall where they may  and let the bad guys be punished  -that's why Homeland Security has stockpiled AR-15s., tanks, bullets, drones and set up FEMA camps.  Picking up the pieces will require a war in the streets. These criminals will not go away without a fight. Why? because they are criminals and know where they will end up if justice prevails. 

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:14 | 4586943 Haager
Haager's picture

Is it SHTF when Russia officially trades Oil for Yuan, as it is rumoured to take place in May?

Those pokings and threats seem to speed this things up, nothing else.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:37 | 4587065 The Count
The Count's picture


Whats so 'stunning' that over half of the Germans think the annexation is OK? Because all Germans over 70 know that the Krimea was always 'Russian'. It's that simple.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:55 | 4587155 Carl Popper
Carl Popper's picture

So. 46 percent of Europeans are idiots?


Who gives a fuck about Crimea?  

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:26 | 4587302 css1971
css1971's picture

Um. Lots of East Germans went/go to the Crimea on holiday. As far as they are concerned Crimea was/is Russian.

Doesn't Putin have a holiday home there?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:39 | 4587364 Hongcha
Hongcha's picture

Bottom line, it is yet another tactical blunder by our inept administration.

This time we pushed China into bed with Russia; with India as a spicy menage.  This is a major, major fuckup that undoes decades of work.

Tremendous blundering on the part of our hijacked government.  Where is the diplomacy?  Where are the adults?  Please.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:01 | 4587478 SKY85hawk
SKY85hawk's picture

Has anyone heard the legal basis for messing with selected citizens of a soverein nation?  This sounds more like a school yard fight over lunch-money.

I know our 'leaders' have eviscerated Graham/Stegall, Mark-to-Market and every common sense rule for generating a mortgage.

Could it be that O****** is relying on the war-powers-act?


Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:46 | 4587409 mendolover
mendolover's picture

Can't wait for the Hitler video!

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 20:35 | 4588150 Izznogood
Izznogood's picture

This is no time for dialogue; it's time to slowly strangle the Russian economy

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 09:51 | 4589715 Gavrikon
Gavrikon's picture

Mir ist es scheiss egal.

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