RUSSIAN FEDERATION – Residents of Crimea are grateful to German Chancellor Angela Merkel for refusing to offer the US authorities to send Germany’s Navy to the Kerch Strait in what the US hoped would be the latest provocation. This was announced by the head of the regional parliamentary committee on inter-ethnic relations Yuri Hempel on March 8th.
“Crimeans are grateful to Germany for prudence and unwillingness to go along with provocations, which are incited by the American authorities. The United States, as always, tries to rake away the heat of others, pushing Germany, among other things, to inappropriate actions against Russia, ”the RIA Novosti news agency quoted him as saying.
Hempel noted that the inhabitants of the peninsula are “now feel a sense of calm” and are confident that in the event of a repeated provocation off the coast of the region “a tough response will be given.”
Yesterday US media reported that US Vice President Mike Pence suggested that Merkel send the German Navy through the Kerch Strait to demonstrate a tough position of the West towards Russia. At first, the Chancellor agreed to carry out such maneuvers once with the French Navy, but later rejected the proposal. She made the stunning announcement in fact in Paris, and said it would have been an unnecessary provocation.
The reasons for this announcement seem unclear, but taken together with the announcement by Siemens that they would be opening up production within Russia as a means to by-pass sanctions, may provide a better picture. What is clear is that the Euro-American rift is widening. At the same time, German-French relations are suffering on the diplomatic front, as Macron increasingly appears as a proxy of the City of London, Wall Street, and Washington.
On February 21st, the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Maria Zakharova, made clear their official position: that Russia would not allow provocations in the Kerch Strait. She added that appropriate diplomatic work is under way to prevent these in the future. Therefore, Merkel’s sudden about-face may be related as well to Russian diplomatic efforts indeed finding some degree of success
On November 25th, three ships of the Ukrainian Navy violated Russian territorial waters in the Kerch Strait, ignoring the demands of the Federal Security Service to stop. The ships made dangerous maneuvers and as a result were detained by force. In Moscow, the incident was called a provocation that Kiev needed to create an international scandal.