Joe Biden has invited the EU and Ukraine to join hands with the US around a campfire for a rousing rendition of Kumbaya. He’s playing the unity card. Biden has called for not one meeting, but rather, a series of them to show Russia how nobody’s fooling around. The closer Putin gets to launching his forces into Ukraine, the more they’re gonna meet, by golly. Thus far, concrete plans to stop the invasion have yet to reach fruition.
Both the US and the EU have been sending letters to Putin telling him to knock it off or else. Almost every one of them included the phrases “massive consequences” and “severe costs,” though none of them were specific concerning what those might be since they’re still meetin’ and stuff.
Germany is a major player in how things are going to play out for Ukraine. Out of the 27-nation EU, it has the wealthiest economy and totes the strongest diplomatic power. Next to the US, they stand the best chance of putting Putin in a headlock. Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin and Germany’s brand spanking new Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock are continuing to discuss the best course of action to take against the Russian madman who could strike at any second. Putin, and rightfully so, finds advance warnings to be s-o-o-o counter-productive.
Biden and Putin’s conversation just last week didn’t go so well. Putin listened while Biden issued the same generalized threats as the letters had, then, Putin said okay and they hung up. That’s the entire conversation in a nutshell.
Biden also spoke with Ukrainian President Volodmyer Zelensky while security advisor Jake Sullivan took care of his light work by speaking with the five Nordic nations in a group call. The results? Still nothing.
Though no specifics were mentioned outside of Russia paying a “high political and economic price” should they make the wrong choice, to her credit, Baerbock is one tough cookie that Putin doesn’t want to try to take a bite of. As the first German top diplomat in 16 years who doesn’t report to Angela Merkel, Baerbock has little to no restraint to stop her from taking whatever she threatens to do, straight to the bank.
Baerbock issued the following statement, “With regard to Russia, the common message of the European and American governments is clear. Russian actions come with a clear price tag (and) the only way out of the crisis is through dialogue. We have made this very clear time and again to the Russian government in recent days and weeks. We’re now going into a decisive phase, in which there will be important talks at various levels. And even though the formats of the talks vary, our message as trans-Atlantic partners to the government in Moscow is always the same.”
One of the things Germany must decide is if a conflict with Russia is worth shutting off the new natural gas pipeline that connects the two countries, a move that would inflict huge financial pain on both of them. It’s a tough call.
Germany has the ability to cripple Russia while at the same time Russia has the ability to level Ukraine’s landscape. If Germany decides they would rather sit this one out, count on the entire EU to follow suit. They won’t have much of a choice. This means Putin would yell “forward march” without a care in the world and win the prize.
But it might not be quite as easy for the Russians if Joe Biden decides it would be a great idea to send American troops over there for the next 20 years or so to complicate matters in a country most Americans don’t give three fornications about. What? You don’t think he’d be foolish enough to do it? Do you remember who we’re talking about here…?