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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Elections to the Bundestag: Merkel is “lost”, but Putin didn’t win

Auf Wiedersehen, Frau Merkel, auf Wiedersehen! Good-bye, our unkind ( at least against Russia) Chancellor! The results of the elections to the German Bundestag did not lead to the immediate outcome of Angela Merkel with Berlin political Olympus. But all Patriotic citizens of the Russian Federation has all the formal reason to be feeling which in German is called “shadenfreude – sense of Schadenfreude.

Moreover, the party led the main German advocate of the preservation and strengthening of sanctions against Russia, showed in the election the worst result since 1949. The third largest faction in the German Parliament is now the proponents of a speedy normalization of relations with Moscow. Cool? Unfortunately, not really.

photo: pixabay.com

According to Mark TWAIN, as known, there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Allow yourself the nerve to slightly tweak a classic and add a fourth category — a shameless blatant lie in the form of the German election statistics. And no, I do not mean that the country is Angela Merkel’s “creative” counting the votes. I mean something fundamentally different: if you look at the results of the elections to the German Bundestag through the prism of Russia’s interests, then you can easily big to fail and come to an entirely wrong conclusion.

The results of German parliamentary elections at first glance looks like a political triumph of Moscow. In reality, they are a good reason to think seriously about the need for a subtle recalibration of the political line of Moscow in Europe.

Now let me start a session of exposure “is a very blatant lie” as the result of German parliamentary elections. Remember the phrase “Merkel’s party has shown in this election, the worst result since 1949”? From a formal point of view in this phrase there is no word of a lie. The result of the Merkel-led CDU-CSU in parliamentary elections of 2017 33.2 percent of the votes. The result of the CDU-CSU in the first parliamentary elections after the creation of the FRG in 1949 to 31% of the vote. Less Christian Democrats in the entire history of the Federal Republic has not gained.

You do not understand, in what here a trick? And it is this: according to the results of the parliamentary elections of 1949, the leader of the CDU-CSU Konrad Adenauer formed a government which was in power for 14 years — until October 1963. In principle, Adenauer could lead Germany to further his base of political support to 1963 has not disappeared. But the Chancellor by that time was 87 years old and he thought it best to retire.

And here’s another example of evil official results of German parliamentary elections. In 1969, the CDU-CSU led by former member of the Nazi party Kurt-Georg Kiesinger won the election with 46.1 per cent of the votes and became the most popular political force in the country. But guess who eventually formed a new German government?

Not Kiesinger, as expected. German Chancellor, became the leader of the social Democrats Willy Brandt, whose party won the election with only 42, 7% of the vote. In 1976 this story was repeated. The formal winner of the election was received 48, 6% of the vote, the CDU-CSU led instead of Helmut Kohl. But the head of government was still the leader of the social Democrats of Helmut Schmidt, whose party has secured the support of only 42.6% of voters. The Russians, who used to live on the principle of “winner takes all” is not very clear how this could be. But what is a mystery to us, is not that of the Germans.

In the history of Germany was only one case when a party could obtain an absolute majority of votes and form a pure single-party government. This achievement in the form 50.2% of the vote in 1957 managed to achieve the same Konrad Adenauer. All the rest of the German government was a coalition. It turned out that if you’re not part of the ruling coalition, is not so important how much you have seats in the Bundestag. To influence the strategic course of the country you will still not be able.

And now let’s finish history and fast forward to these days. Long before the 2017 elections, many of my German friends were absolutely convinced that the new party “Alternative for Germany” is rapidly gaining political weight, relying in particular on the powerful financial support from Russia. The Kremlin is, of course, categorically deny. And I’m inclined to believe these denials. Germany is a country in the political sphere where all is illuminated. If the facts material support really would be, they long ago would have been published.

But what in political circles in Moscow to the “Alternative for Germany” sympathetic, not particularly concealed. “Why should we alienate those who favor normalization of relations with Russia?!” – asked me a rhetorical question, a prominent member of Putin’s entourage. Right, alienate possible, nobody should. But at the same time do not have excessive illusions about the possibility of “friendly foreign forces” is really something to influence.

The “Alternative for Germany” will be the third largest faction in the Bundestag. But will it change for the better relations between Moscow and Berlin? Unfortunately, no. “Alternative” in the Bundestag will be securely locked on all sides. And this example is not unique. Have you changed for the better relations between Russia and France due to the fact that the presidential election of 2017, the leader of the party “national Front” marine Le Pen took second place? No, not changed. Meanwhile, Russia has invested in Le Pen a considerable amount of political capital. When in the spring of this year in a matter of weeks before the first round of the French presidential election, Putin received in the Kremlin the leader of “National front”, is noticed not only by politicians in Paris. It is noticed throughout the Western world.

Of course, Putin as a very experienced servant of the people tried to open part of the meeting in advance to discourage all possible reproaches: “you Know, of course, that now actively developing the campaign in France. We in any case do not want to influence events, but reserve the right to communicate with all representatives of political forces of the country, as well as do our partners in Europe and the United States.” The weak point of this position is that before the meeting with Putin, marine Le Pen has never been allowed in “polite society” – or at least in “polite society” at the level of leaders of the leading countries of the world.

Giving an audience of marine Le Pen, the GDP raised its political status. Of course, the French political elite clearly took it as support. But I won something in the end still Makron. And the party of Le Pen is now 8 seats in the lower house of the French Parliament ( just sits there 577 deputies). The object for their political investments we choose? And concerned, in my opinion, this question is not only France or Germany. Among the leaders of the EU countries, Putin has developed a warm relationship with, say, the Prime Minister of Greece Alex Tsipras and Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban.

The question of the extension of EU sanctions against Russia is decided strictly on the basis of consensus. In other words, theoretically even one of these friends of Putin could destroy all the current European sanctions mechanism. Could — but does not destroy. Why? The strength and influence is not enough. For actions of such level need not “those who are on the flanks”. For actions of such level need those who are in the center of the policy of the rank of Chancellor of Germany. No matter what Merkel us (and only us) bored to death and that she does not want to have anything to do. The art of diplomacy is not to negotiate with those who you like and with whom you agree. The art of diplomacy is the opposite. If someone forgot about it, then the results of the elections to the German Bundestag can be considered as a very loud reminder.

Sanctions . Chronicle of events

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