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What a disappointment for President Biden, Warlord Boris Johnson, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg and other hawks

By: N. Peter Kramer - Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2022

After a three hour talk with German Chancellor Scholz, Russian President Putin confirmed withdrawal of some troops on the Ukrainian border.
After a three hour talk with German Chancellor Scholz, Russian President Putin confirmed withdrawal of some troops on the Ukrainian border.

N. Peter Kramer’s Weekly Column

What a disappointment for President Biden, Warlord Boris Johnson, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg and other hawks. After a three hour talk with German Chancellor Scholz, Russian President Putin confirmed withdrawal of some troops on the Ukrainian border.

‘We have always said that the troops will return to their bases after the exercises. This is also the case this time’, Kremlin spokesman Peskov said. He also told reporters that President Putin had joked about Biden’s repeatedly warning of an imminent invasion of Ukraine. ‘The President asked us to find out whether the exact time of the start of the war has been published by the US already’.

The West reacted ‘hysterically’ as the Kremlin called it, to the Russian withdrawal. Biden immediately made it known, that a Russian attack can’t be ruled out. Britain followed him and wanted a complete removal of troops. Also the German green Foreign Affairs Minister Baerbock stuck her oar in telling the Russians to remove their troops. But her US colleague Blinken seemed bravest of all by predicting that the Russian attack of Ukraine will still happen this week.

Also in the boardrooms of banks and companies an armed conflict and the risk of heavy sanctions against Russia are feared. For instance in the first nine months of last year, German companies exported a total of 25 billion euros worth of goods to Russia. That was an increase of 15 percent. At the same time imports rose by 48% to 29 billion euros. French and Italian banks each have EUR 25 billion in loans outstanding in Russia, Austria has EUR 17,5 billion, according to Reuters. Much is at stake.

German Chancellor Scholz has still to prove his competence after taking over from Angela Merkel. His visit to Moscow was a first major test. At least, it seems that Putin has taken him seriously, unlike recent important visitors before Scholz.

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