Vladimir Putin may have had his reasons for doing what he did in and about the Ukraine. But on this and on other occasions it’s hard to understand what benefit he envisioned in all this for Russia.
Didn’t he know for one thing that Germany was Russia’s biggest trading partner? Germany imports more than a third of its oil and gas from Russia and is the European Union’s top exporter to Russia.
And aren’t continuing good relations with Germany a much better way to protect Russia (even Putin’s predecessor, Joseph Stalin, understood that) than seizing two bits of Ukraine, the Crimea and a few sunflower fields in the near Eastern territories?
Of course the Germans understood all this. Putin was fooling nobody. Here it is well summed up by Michael Fuchs, a CDU deputy leader. After reading Fuchs Putin will be even more troubled by what he has begun, stupidly and thoughtlessly.
“It’s not acceptable that the Russians first annex territories — Crimea — and then on top of that have some militia fighting a proxy war in eastern Ukraine, which then leads to civilian planes being shot down.”
Hard to disagree with that.