Last Monday Germany announced it would not send arms to Kiev. Angela Merkel stated quite clearly that she was not going to supply weapons to the government there and that the conflict in Ukraine should be resolved solely through diplomatic means. This was an unexpected statement, given the Frau’s reputation as someone who is hardly able to think of anything but her own public persona. Actually, the whole system of Western democracy is designed so that only extremely cynical people ever rise to power, for whom even the interests of their own country are not particularly compelling.
So why did Mrs. Merkel claim that Germany would not provide weapons to Kiev? On the one hand of course, the last thing Germany needs right now is a conflagration on her eastern border and a conflict with Russia. But on the other hand, if Mrs. Merkel was acting in accordance with her own nation’s interests, she would have insisted on action to enforce the plan Yanukovych signed back in February 2014, in which he capitulated to the anti-government protesters.
However … what can Washington offer her as compensation?
Threats are no longer effective. Otherwise German weapons would have already made their way to Kiev. In recent months, Washington has been forced to bribe its allies instead of merely issuing orders – as happened in the Netherlands, when the US suddenly agreed to return 120 tons of gold after the tragedy that befell Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
Perhaps Washington will also offer cash to Germany? After all, approximately 1,400 tons of German gold are being stored in the US. Perhaps 200-300 tons could persuade Frau Merkel to be more accommodating … However, we can’t be at all certain that such quantities of gold still remain in American vaults. Germany is not some small nation of tulip-growers, and a few truckfuls of gold are not going to impress anyone there.
It will be interesting to see what the hawks in the US try next. They don’t have the resources to bribe all their allies – they could never find enough gold to satisfy every little whim of Germany and France. Nor can they directly supply Ukraine with weapons themselves – Americans have a twice-proven strategy that essentially consists of sitting back on the sidelines while Europe fights Russia, carefully avoiding any chance of getting close enough to that furious bear to risk a swipe from his paw.
The Americans’ only option is to launch a financial attack – such as disconnecting Russian banks from SWIFT. But that would be very risky, given the latest wave of the financial storm that is expected to crest, which could very well reveal the true worth of all of Washington’s latest triumphant reports about the US economy pulling out of its nosedive …