"Anti-Putin" Alliance Fraying: Germany, Slovakia, Greece, Czech Republic Urge End To Russian Sanctions

Tyler Durden's picture

Last week Germany reported that in the second quarter, its GDP declined by 0.2%, worse than Wall Street consensus. This happened a few shorts days after Italy reported a second consecutive decline in its own GDP, becoming the first Europen country to enter a triple-dip recession. What's worse, Europe's slowdown took place before the brunt of Russian sanctions hit. Surely in the third quarter the GDP of Germany, a nation whose exports accounts for 41% of GDP, will be even worse, with whisper numbers of -1% being thrown casually around, but one thing is certain: Europe is about to enter its third recession since the Lehman collapse just as we forecast at the end of 2013, a "triple-dip" which may become an outright depression unless Draghi injects a few trillion in credit money (which will do nothing but delay the inevitable and make it that much worse once the can can no longer be kicked), and unless normal trade ties with Russia are restored.

Which means one thing: for Europe to resume the status quo, it needs to break away from the "western" alliance and the sanctions imposed upon the Kremlin which solely benefit the populist agenda of Washington, and certainly not Europe proper, which it is now quite clear, is far more reliant on Russia than vice versa. it is also something Putin apparently was aware of from the very beginning.

And now, that realization is starting to spread to Europe's own countries, which - while the new cold war was only one of rhetoric were perfectly happy to go for the ride - but now that trade war has finally broken out, suddenly increasingly more want out.

As we reported previously, it all started with the Greeks, a nation of heavy food exports into Russia, who were the first to announce their displeasure with the "Stop Putin" coalition:

the moment Russia retaliated, the grand alliance started to crack. Enter Greece which has hundreds of millions in food exports to Russia, and which was the first country to hint that it may splinter from the western "pro-sanctions" alliance. According to Bloomberg, earlier today the Greek foreign minister and former PM said that "we are in continuous deliberations in order to have the smallest possible consequences, and if possible no significant impact whatsoever."




And making it very clear that this will be a major political issue was a statement by the main opposition party Syriza which today said that the Greek government's "blind obedience to the Cold War strategies of Brussels and Washington will be disastrous for country’s agriculture." In a moment of surprising clarity, Syriza asked govt to immediately lift all sanctions to Russia, as they don’t contribute to a solution of the Ukrainian crisis, and "instead fuel an economic and trade war, in which Greece has unfortunately become involved." Syriza concluded that the government hasn’t weighted Greece’s special interests and bilateral relations with Russia.

Then it was Slovakia whose premier Robert Fico criticized Ukraine for preparing sanctions against Russian persons and companies, and he has called on Ukraine not to approve them, expressing concerns that the legislation could result in a halt to natural gas supplies.

If the conflict between Ukraine and Russia escalates, the legal norm could cause interruption of natural gas supplies to Slovakia (and to Western Europe) via Ukraine from Russia, he said.


Slovakia depends on supplies of Russian gas. However, if gas supplies via Ukraine were interrupted, Slovakia would get gas through backflow from the West.


"It is strange that a country that has signed an association agreement with the EU and which we are trying to help is taking one-sided steps that endanger the individual economic interests of EU member countries, instead of coordinating its approach with the EU," Fico said.


"We do not want to be a hostage in the Russian-Ukrainian problem. We expect Ukraine not to adopt formal steps that, if implemented, can endanger our interests. A country that has signed the association agreement should not behave like that," Fico declared.

Poland too complained last week, however for now it finds the fault not with the "alliance" but with Russia for daring to retaliate to western sanctions.

Poland's agriculture minister went on television to announce the country was taking action against Russia's new import ban. "We believe Russia has broken international law in both its embargo against Poland and its embargo against the EU," Marek Sawicki said. Russia banned the import of Polish fruit and vegetables in early August - a move Sawicki said would cost Poland 0.6 percent of GDP.




"If a WTO member state believes another WTO member state has taken a measure that is not in conformity with WTO rules, the affected WTO member state may request mediation," attorney and WTO expert Eric Pickett said.

Good luck. It is only a matter of time before this futile anger at Putin turns not to the logical response to sanctions, but at the instigator of the sanctions themselves.

Then it was most vibrant economy in central Europe, the Czech Republic, where overnight the finance minister voiced the loudest anger at Russian sanctions yet. From Bloomberg:


And finally, it is the country whose fate is what this conflict is all about, because should Germany decide it has had enough of DC's geopolitical brinksmanship, one which always "costs" European allies far more than it does the US, and aligns with the Russia-China-India axis, then the "Eurasian Crescent" will be complete, and the countdown to reserve currency transition may officially begin.

Sure enough, Bloomberg reports that sanctions against Russia are hurting sentiment at German companies, according to Focus magazine which cites the BGA Federation of German Wholesale and Foreign Trade, and the DIHK German Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

According to the magazine, "loss of trust in Russian partners is hurting business more than the sanctions themselves, as German companies cut trade more than required."

The implications are clear: cost-benefit analysis has shifted too far to the left, and while Germany was ok with supporting  the "west" in its game of escalating sanctions vs Putin, at this point there is no further support, and in fact the pendulum is starting to swing in the opposite direction.

So with increasingly more eastern and central European nations vocally opining against Russian sanctions, and with the Ukraine government now clearly engaging in open provocations to curry popular support for some "unfathomable" warmongering cause (unless of course it can provide evidence it did indeed destroy a Russian military convoy on its territory), how long until the "western" alliance finally folds under its own weight and has no choice but to roll back the sanctions and de-escalate, in the process handing Putin the biggest diplomatic knockout round yet?

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TahoeBilly2012's picture

They just started them. Jeez make up your minds.

y3maxx's picture

Putin 100%

Obama 0%

Cold War Batting Avges.

Escrava Isaura's picture


You post it too biased to be taken seriously.

And, what is 100% sure in foreign policy... or anything in life, for that matter?

Latina Lover's picture

Europeans get that the USSA instigated a coup and is trying to provoke Russia into war. They are not interested in suffering for the USSA agenda.

Moreover, the europeans do not want to be on the losing side, since the Ukies are getting their asses kicked in the Donbass. Check out this most disgusting video of Ukie casualties. I could only watch it 4 minutes of it.


Also there is this video with english subtitles, 2 minutes.


Theta_Burn's picture

Ah yes, the coalition of the fuckingfedup, coming along swimingly...

Headbanger's picture

Is this the part where Barry throws a real hissy fit and breaks a few golf clubs while screaming something in Kenyan about putting a spear through Putin??

Theta_Burn's picture


There will be absolutely no comment on this at all..

Keep your eyes and ears peeled tho for some pearls of wisdom about ferguson reflections. and take special note of the goon squad standown to help prolong the fun.

From beanbags and gassing, to a warm welcome.


El Vaquero's picture

After witnessing events such as Katrina, the stand down is going to have the opposite of the intended effect on some of the more open minded individuals.  Some of them are going to say "What?  I need to look out for my own ass because the cops won't do it for me? "

Anusocracy's picture

Europe is in the same situation regarding the US gov as is the middle class regarding the US gov.

What is occurring is not for their benefit.

markmotive's picture

Of course Europe is backing off. Winter is coming and they need natural gas!

Don't bite the hand that feeds you.


jeff montanye's picture

indeed you are right anus.  the term "populist" (a member or adherent of a political party seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people), used in the post to describe washington's policies in the ukraine, couldn't be more wrong.

these policies represent the interests of international zionism, the military industrial complex and those who wish to see russia "conquered".  not ordinary people who don't give a shit about any of that (except to the modest degree they have been propagandized into believing this somehow is going to protect them from attack by the russkies).  

you want populism, see ferguson or the reaction to the assault on our southern border.  

conscious being's picture

Middle class USA and Europe getting trashed. Make common cause.

El Vaquero's picture


Check out this most disgusting video of Ukie casualties. I could only watch it 4 minutes of it.

Go back and make yourself watch the rest of it.  This is a globalized economy.  The periphery is burning, and that fire is going to spread inwards.  That shit is coming here, but it will be worse.  You need to get used to it for your own sake.  Then you need to understand that that video doesn't capture the smells of death. 

Freddie's picture

The Ukies need to go after the dual citizen oligarchs in Kiev.   Greece should work closer with Russia because they are being screwed by the EU-SSR and corrupt Greek pols.

ChiangMai's picture

And also, Russia states yesterday to Ukraine and, by extension, the rest of Europe with, as if often the case, humor and subtlety (as opposed to the screeching and puerile threats of western "diplomats"): we don't need to do business in or with your country, especially in matters related to national defense — but your best engineers are welcome here.

Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Yuri Slusar:

I am very sorry... The project for resuming the production and upgrade of the unique plane Ruslan is off the agenda. That’s too bad. The niches that the Ukrainians and we might have taken... Designers there and producers here... Such chances and opportunities are very few to go around. In the world technological race such competences are in great demand. Any engineering company can merely dream of having them.”

Excerpt above is from:

Resumption of Antonov-124 jumbo jet project with Ukraine grounded - trade ministry

16 August


Escrava Isaura's picture

new Ginsengbull,

You're good!

Now, I have to rethink all my assumptions.

scrappy's picture

Escrava Isaura


You seem to be pardon my french, trollish.


Member over 4 yrs, posts only from june 2014 till now, where have you been and most importantly, WHO ARE YOU REALLY?


You seem "new" to me.

Escrava Isaura's picture



I discovered Zero Hedge when it was a blog, if I am not mistaken. I just liked it!

I learned a lot reading its commentators. I became I member so I could save the comments.

Anyway, to answer your question, I decided to join the conversation because I think it's a great mental exercise, for me, at least, challenging, and many of the comments went unchallenged—not that I expect to challenge all of them.

Not sure how much I will be able to add, but I am learning a lot by this experience.

Hope that I answered your question.

MontgomeryScott's picture

Alexander Graham Bell's first telephonic conversation (historically expanded):

"WATSON! Come HERE, I NEED you!'

(Watson comes obediently padding in to the room, sporting silicon implants. Bell smiles, pleased with the results, and says, 'All right! Now bend over, bitch, and I'll show you where the "wild goose" goes.')


robertocarlos's picture

Save the comments? This account is not mine. I've been hacked. I mean undo. "pulls computer plugs out of wall".

swmnguy's picture

I've noticed that the register of comments only seems to go back 3 months, regardless of how long the member has been a member.  I"ve checked a few of the venerable old-timers and that's what I've found.

Urban Redneck's picture


Google doesn't care whether the comments are on on the live server or the archive server... (or you can manually enter search strings through an anonymous Google/NSA front end, if you know the required syntax)

conscious being's picture

I like it Urban. Will likely use it. Thanks and bear in mind we've always been at war with East Asia. I mean the past is changeable now.

MontgomeryScott's picture

If 'hook'd on GOOKLE' werked for Lois Lerner, SURELY it werks for YOU!

Why is it that I can go back to the time when I sent my FIRST EMAIL EVER SENT and read it in its' entirety?

"I'm sorry, but you can't access records older than 90 days."

No, I CAN'T and YOU CAN'T, but SOMEONE (or SOMETHING) can.



"Thanks and bear in mind we've always been at war with East Asia."

(fix, repair quote...)

"Thanks and bear in mind we've always been at war with Eurasia."


aminorex's picture

What is 100% certain is that if you do business with Putin you will get screwed.

ChiangMai's picture

On the contrary, Russia respects contracts and law, particularly international law, rather than the USAs anything goes, we'll pervert, for our own political purposes, any and all systems entrusted to us (such as the SWIFT interbank clearance system), even if it hurts us more than you.

Note the constant screeching from the west that Russia will "turn off the gas" — which is what Russia won't do (so now the Ukrainian nazis and thugs, puppets of the USA, are threatening to do it).

Russia is much smarter than the idiot western governments than to "shoot itself in the foot," most clearly demonstrated by the genius, including the timing and execution, of the food import ban:

The birth of a new financial-economic system: the example of Russia and Argentina

12 August


Freddie's picture

LOL!  Like GM bondholders.  Oh wait....

JR's picture

These links reveal unbelievable statements regarding the untrustworthiness of the current US Fed junta.

From the 2008 interview, here’s Gorbachev, for example:

MOSCOW, (RIA Novosti - 07/05/2008) – Promises made by U.S. leaders cannot be trusted, former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph published on Wednesday.

“The Americans promised that NATO wouldn’t move beyond the boundaries of Germany after the Cold War, but now half of central and eastern Europe are members, so what happened to their promises? It shows they cannot be trusted,” he said in Paris…

“I sometimes have a feeling that the United States is going to wage war against the entire world,” the former Soviet leader said.

“The United States cannot tolerate anyone acting independently. Every U.S. president has to have a war,” he concluded, also saying that the world had squandered the chance in the decade after the Cold War to “build a new world order.”

The link also has quotes from Gorbachev recently on Ukraine.

Moscow Times: (Mar. 19 2014) Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has defended Russia’s takeover of Crimea, saying that the referendum among the peninsula’s voters corrected a historical “mistake.”

“While Crimea had previously been joined to Ukraine based on the Soviet laws, which means [Communist] party laws, without asking the people, now the people themselves have decided to correct that mistake,” Gorbachev said on Monday, Interfax reported.

“This should be celebrated, not sanctioned,” he said.

MontgomeryScott's picture

@ 'aminorex':

"What is 100% certain is that if you do business with Putin you will get screwed."

Do you REALLY have an issue with sex?


If Putin had a sister in the 'oldest profession', would she be making money too? (PROBABLY)

Do you have something against PROCREATION? (PROBABLY)


Frankly; if I could get screwed by doing business with PUTIN, I (and all red-blooded males on the entire PLANET) would be lining up for the opportunity. The ads here on ZH that call me to have sexual relations with comely Russian women are quite tempting.

Oh, I GET IT now.


MontgomeryScott's picture
"BUSTED! Governments Hire Web Trolls to Sway Public Opinion": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYqyDiB3EYM

This seems appropriate.

Kawaii Empress Natalia Poklonskaya's picture

And that won't change any time soon as Right Sector on their own website promised to march on Kiev with all its reserve battalions and other fascist volunteers on Kiev in the next 48 hours if all the legal proceedings against their members are not withdrawn and they stop being used as cannon fodder in the war*. It turns out that having someone shoot back is a bit less fun than throwing Molotov cocktails at unarmed civilians and police.

*The post here http://pravyysektor.info/news/zvernennya-do-prezydenta-ukrajiny-vijskovo... does not mention being used as cannon fodder per se although they have suffered significant losses and they claim that those in the Interior Ministry are actively sabotaging them and their members etc. etc.

Maidan 3.0 here we come. I wonder what the EU and Barry would say if Chocoshenko was to use force against Right Sector.

Freddie's picture

These Ukies need to go after the oligarch dual citizens who started this shit.   Yats, the candy man and all of Soros/Nudelman's puppets in the Ukraine.   These morons need to wake up.

conscious being's picture

Its scary how easiy the Ukies are lulled into slaughter, supporting the banksters. That's some strong kool-aide.

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

I'm starting to get an ouchie! Make it stop!

MeMongo's picture

Hahaha.  hang in there Putin all them bitchez belong to you! F them yids and all their antics!

813kml's picture

He must get tired of dealing with the children of the West.

salvadordaly's picture

Ummmmmm,,,, FUCK THE EU ?

Putin is so tough he once played Russian Roulette with a loaded gun,,,, AND WON!

Terminus C's picture

Putin is so tough he killed Chuck Norris' meme and made it his own...


813kml's picture

"I don't always eat the hearts of vanquished foes, but when I do, I prefer Mom-jeans-wearing twats."

123dobryden's picture

Fico to dotiahol konecne po 20 rokoch lopoty az sem na Zerohedge a to este v roli peacemejkra a politika co dokaze dovidiet za roh :)

MontgomeryScott's picture

Plugged in to the'universal translator', this reads:

Fico's he finally after 20 years of busy here on Zerohedge and az's role in peacemejkra and co dokaze dovidiet policy for corner:) I understood a LITTLE of this filtered Slovack stuff, but, WHAT?
DeadFred's picture

How can anyone stop sanctions against a guy who looks like that? You can tell he's evil just by glancing at him! Even his mother would hate him!

813kml's picture

I heard on FOX Newz that his mother was Hitler!

digitalindustry's picture

his mother was Hilters mother , "its 1939 all over again !"