Putin cannot simultaneously try to divide NATO by trying to woo Germany, France, and Italy, and strike out with sanctions at those he’s trying to woo. Striking out would only serve to strengthen the USA, his enemy, by inciting Europe against him, spoiling years of work and scheming on his part. Also, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Obama is seeking to escalate the conflict in Ukraine to encourage Europeans to buy American natural gas and thus take income away from Russia. Aiding Obama’s strategy supposed natural gas export strategy and destroying his own income stream would just be idiotic for Putin.
In the end, Putin has few moves left but to dig in for a long, bloody, costly conflict in Ukraine, one that ensures that Obama and the EU never lifts the ban on Exxon Mobil's and Big Oil's projects in Russia. Putin cannot exert his full power either in a brute force masculine Russian way to achieve a quick victory, and risk more sanctions, sanctions his economy can ill afford. Obama and the EU would be no more likely to lift the sanctions if Putin launched a full scale invasion of Ukraine anyway. All outcomes in Ukraine are bad for Exxon Mobil, except Russia surrendering soon, and that is not going to happen. Already the Russians, according to their own propaganda news site, are drawing up plans for tax increases to buttress their flagging income, income made worse by the decline in oil prices. The way the Arab princes pay for war is selling more oil. Putin pays for war by selling oil, so he will have to deplete his existing reserves faster if he wants more income. Smashing the power of the terrorists in Syria and Iraq improves oil supplies and export routes, so war there, supported by Germany now, and led by an inspired Obama, is very bad for all who profit from high oil prices. If Obama destroy's Putin's ally in Syria it will open up a good oil & gas export route from Iran and Kurdistan to Europe...
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Sentiment: Strong Sell
Sources for the facts above:
German military activities: BMVg, Deutsche Welle
U.S. military activities: U.S. Department of Defense
Situation in Ukraine: OSCE, ZDF
The conflict in Ukraine is costing Russia enormously in monies, lives, and political influence for no gain for it. It is costing Germany nothing except trivial losses in trade, and the losses, as small as they are, will lessen with time as the Russian economy declines. It makes no difference to me if the conflict lasts a month or a decade.
If Scotland, Belgium, Spain, and Italy divide up, with the sections taking their share of government debt with them, as they will be forced to by the groups involved, it is of no consequence, except that it makes Germany that much more powerful relative to them. Germany is involved in the conflict in the Middle East now – the destruction of the terrorist Islamic State is a priority, expressed by Merkel and defense minister von der Leyen. Obama seems to be in full Genghis Khan annihilationist mode now, taking his lead from statements made by Germany's leaders. He was most unwilling to do anything until Steinmeier, Merkel and von der Leyen made their statements in recent weeks. The idea of shutting down the Arctic oil operations certainly came from the German EU Energy Commissioner too, not him. He seems very inspired now, talking of wiping Assad off the map if he attacks US warplanes in Syria when they go after the terrorists in Syria. Assad is a terrorist himself, as are just about all the warring groups in Syria so you can't go wrong bombing there.
Broadly speaking, the conflicts weaken and discredit the left, which has no solution for any of them, and strengthen the right, which is very beneficial.