Monday, August 18, 2008

How to win friends and influence people

It still looks like the Russians are stalling on even beginning their withdrawal, and the increasingly blood curdling threats against all and sundry suggest that all is not well in the Kremlin.

The longer the Russians continue their occupation, the more united the voices in Europe calling for sanctions are becoming. While it is disappointing that Germany remains "unconvinced" about taking firmer measures, the tart comments from Helmut Schmidt are placing the dove-ish foreign ministry in Berlin firmly on the spot.

Even with Germany, Russia has severely damaged its long term relationship.

Unless we see a withdrawal and a far more conciliatory tone from Moscow, the scale of the likely sanctions is only likely to grow.

Further delays will see an increasingly determined NATO and the EU. This is a major miscalculation from the Kremlin and one that has already caused significant damage.

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