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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Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

Shouldn't the Czechs be worried by this? And the Austrians. And the Poles. And ...

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.

Anusocracy's picture

Fuck bowing to Western demands.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

"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?

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.


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.

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?

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.

smlbizman's picture

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

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. 

css1971's picture

This is why we need to start building guillotines.

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?...

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.

Wolferl's picture

The Austrians? Why? They are Germans anyway.

Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

If you take zee country, you can have zee country.

Chupacabra-322's picture

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...

i_call_you_my_base's picture

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

Winston Churchill's picture

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

petr dollar ?

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

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

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.

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?

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

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


Stoploss's picture

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

AG BCN's picture

Can me in my flat in Spain independantly join Russia?

Black Forest's picture

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

kaiserhoff's picture

Sounds like you already have.

Anusocracy's picture

Under worldwide panarchism.

TheGardener's picture

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

Anusocracy's picture

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

Dr. Engali's picture

And we all know that the political class follows the peoples wishes.

Brit_Abroad's picture

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.

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.

TheGardener's picture

The bitch of Stasi was worked through the KGB till the CIA got her files.

Our bitch, none of her compatriots ever loved her.

Freddie's picture

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

Itchy and Scratchy's picture

Sgt. Shultz says,  'I know notttinngggggggggg.'

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.

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.

magnetosphere's picture

is this a widely held sentiment in germany?  ive always wondered when you guys would throw off the american imperial yoke

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

Savyindallas's picture

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

Freddie's picture

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

buzzsaw99's picture

Merkel: First you must take zee siegfried oath.