It seems that regarding the currently suffering EU-Russia relationship an alternative to sanctions and diplomatic punishments could be coming up. The German newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered Russia negotiations over a free trade agreement between the European Union and Russia. The German government sees this offer as an incentive for the Russian government to really implement the Minsk protocol in Ukraine as Merkel states.
The idea of a free trade agreement between Russia and the EU goes back to a proposal from Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2010.
Despite that the German government’s proposal might only be a political maneuver in the light of the planned and highly criticized free tradeagreement TTIP between the EU and USA, the old and logical idea of a free trade agreement with EU’s direct neighbor Russia has now been placed into the world by the German government. As also mentioned in several articles on Novorossiya News, the idea of securing a good relationship with Russia who is to be considered as part of Europe anyway could be achieved with a common free trade agreement that would tie both closer together on the long run probably with positive impact on freedom of speech and democratic structures in Russia if seen from the Western point of view.
The USA would naturally not be so happy about this, but considering that US interests can have negative impact on Europe, it would be an important step.
It always has to be remembered that due to America’s geographical position the US government can take higher risks in foreign policy. Just as an example, a war in Europe or at it’s borders would not threaten the US as much as the EU – despite impacts on world economy. So US (military) engagements close to Europe for whatever reason potentially threaten Europe more than the USA and also the impacts are felt more in Europe despite US military casualties. Iraq could be a paragon for this.