ANOTHER CONSEQUENCE OF SOLEIMANI MURDER: MERKEL VISITS MOSCOW, MACRON CALLS PUTIN (BOTH SNUB WHITE HOUSE)
In the following you will find our translation of an article from RIA Novosti with commentary and notes [in brackets] by Vince Dhimos.
I summed this up on Quora:
What will happen if the USA joins the EU?
The EU is being attacked in a trade war by Trump.
The US has done everything in its power to bring down the European economy. Recently the US Congress slapped extraterritorial sanctions on all companies involved in laying the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. All of Western Europe will benefit from this pipeline and will be hurt if it is not laid. Why the sanctions? Because the US wants to sell its overpriced LNG to Europe, not caring that this would impair their economy.
Amidst this crisis of unfair competition, just after the Soleimani murder, Merkel travelled to Moscow to confer with Putin and Macron conferred with Putin by phone. Both leaders snubbed the US. And you think the US would be welcome in the EU?
Pay attention, the transatlantic alliance is breaking apart.
END QUORA POST
It is tempting to think that Trump is deliberately trashing his country's relations with other countries. However, his behaviour is typical of megalomaniacs who simply can't resist the thrill of going down in a paroxysm of testosterone-induced machismo.
Merkel: "with Russia and against the USA"
Januray 11, 2020
After a press conference by Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel, a Welt editorial issued the thesis that the Chancellor of Germany joined forces with Russia against the United States on significant issues.
However, even before the briefing, the very fact of Merkel's presence in Moscow became something of a problem for the Donald Trump administration. At a minimum, this problem was a matter of image, but after the press conference it also took on diplomatic implications. Not without reason, in anticipation of the visit, even the British Financial Times noted the importance of the chancellor’s visit to Moscow precisely in contrast to what was expected of her: “The fact that Merkel is not boarding a flight to Washington is remarkable.”
But Madame Chancellor went further and after lengthy negotiations decided to verbally touch on several American pressure points, demonstrating that the discussion with Vladimir Putin was held in the most constructive manner.
Firstly, Angela Merkel once again stated her rejection of American extraterritorial sanctions and emphasized that Nord Stream 2 is an economic project that will be completed “despite these sanctions.”
"The Russian president specified the deadlines: there’ll some delay, but it can in fact be completed. I want to repeat that we do not consider extraterritorial sanctions to be correct and therefore we support this project as before," Merkel said.
The Russian president confirmed that Russia will complete the gas pipeline: “We will certainly be able to complete it on our own. Without attracting foreign partners. The question is the timing. The completion of the construction will be postponed for several months, but I hope that work will be completed by the end of this year or in the first quarter of next year and the pipeline will start operation.”
Angela Merkel emphasized her commitment to upholding the so-called Iranian nuclear deal and did so despite the demands of Washington, which wants to organize maximum international pressure on Iran and the Iranian economy. And on this issue, there was an obvious synergy with the position of the Russian leader, who emphasized: “It is necessary for the INSTEX trade exchange institution to finally start working,” thus speaking in support of the European scheme for circumventing American sanctions, for the use of which Washington promised to punish its participants. [INSTEX, described as a special purpose vehicle, is designed to circumvent the Belgium-based but US-controlled financial message transfer agent SWIFT, by which essentially all electronic international bank-to-bank money transfers are currently made. The agency will not only permit payments to states under sanctions but will perform the secondary function of cutting the US dollar out of international trade settlements for which it is used – thereby weakening the dollar. This is an indirect result of US sanctions]
Answering a question from a German journalist about rapprochement with Russia to the detriment of the United States, Angela Merkel formulated the bold proposition that Germany and Europe pursue their interests first of all, and Russia their own and that it is now possible to find common interests on some issues, despite ongoing disagreements on others issues. The interests of Washington, which Merkel called an "ally," are defiantly "bracketed out" in this equation of interest.
The provocative question from the German journalist was asked almost by serendipity. The fact is that the visit of the German chancellor to Russia caused an interesting reaction among the Americans. If we were not facing negotiations at the highest international level, but a typical American sitcom, we could say that there was a real scene of jealousy, and the background of this scene was the burning car of an Iranian general killed by an American drone.
It is worth trying to look at the situation through the eyes of the White House and part of the American media community, if only to understand why the visit of the German chancellor to the Kremlin caused such a tempestuous reaction.
Recall that, from the standpoint of a significant number of overseas experts, Vladimir Putin personally gained from the Iranian escapade of Donald Trump, and the gain is not only in a strengthened role of Moscow in the Middle East, but also in the fact that the White House is actually pushing Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel toward a rapprochement with Russia.
German-Iranian political scientist Beruz Abdolvand denied US claims that there was no serious damage from an attack on US military installations in Iraq. He outlined his forecast for further developments in an interview with Sputnik.
As an evidence base for this theory, for example, the Associated Press cited the following observation of the actions of European leaders immediately after the news of the Soleimani murder.
"Putin was the first world leader French President Emanuel Macron spoke to when he heard of an American drone attack on Friday. Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is visiting the Kremlin to discuss the Middle East crisis."
All attempts by the Kremlin to explain that the chancellor’s visit is separate from the US-Iranian escalation, are unlikely to be heard. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that there is “no connection” between the murder of Soleimani and the reasons for Angela Merkel’s visit, but probably the very fact that they discussed the Middle East crisis will be enough for Washington journalists to interpret the whole visit as an anti-American gesture in the context of the Iranian agenda