Mon, Mar 10, 2014 - Page 9 News List

Merkel-Putin relationship forged in shared history

As the German leader takes on the role of mediator in the Ukraine crisis, her reputation with the Kremlin may be a factor in the unfolding of events in Crimea

By Noah Barkin  /  Reuters, BERLIN

If Putin refuses to follow her advice on pursuing a negotiated solution to the Ukraine crisis and consolidates Russian control of Crimea in the days ahead, she runs the risk of looking soft and naive.

“Merkel’s chances of influencing Putin are overstated,” European Council on Foreign Relations senior policy fellow Stefan Meister said. “She has a relationship with him, there is a certain trust and he listens to her, but there are limits to what impact that might have.”

“Putin has a very clear strategic goal in Crimea and he is not going to be persuaded by Germany,” Meister said.

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