February 9, 2015
Paul Craig Roberts

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At this time we do not know the outcome of the meeting in Moscow between Merkel, Hollande, and Putin.

The meeting with Putin was initiated by Merkel and Hollande, because they are disturbed by the aggressive position that Washington has taken toward Russia and are fearful that Washington is pushing Europe into a conflict that Europe does not want. However, Merkel and Hollande cannot resolve the NATO/EU/Ukraine situation unless Merkel and Hollande are willing to break with Washington’s foreign policy and assert the right as sovereign states to conduct their own foreign policy.

Unless Washington’s war-lust has finally driven Europeans to take control over their own fate, the most likely outcome of the Putin-Merkel-Hollande meeting will be more meetings that go nowhere. If Merkel and Hollande are not negotiating from a position of independence, one likely outcome after more meetings will be that Merkel and Hollande will say, in order to appease Washington, that they tried to reason with Putin but that Putin was unreasonable.

Based on Lavrov’s meeting in Munich with the Europeans, the hope for any sign of intelligence and independence in Europe seems misplaced. Russian diplomacy relied on European independence, but as Putin has acknowledged Europe has shown no independence from Washington. Putin has said that negotiating with vassals is pointless. Yet, Putin continues to negotiate with vassals.

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