As difficult as it may be to believe for those who only casually follow International Relations, it’s indeed possible for Merkel to have been controlled by the US for years while still being friends with President Putin and even building pipelines together.
The Russian Security Chief’s Scandalous Conclusion
Secretary of the Russian National Security Council Nikolai Patrushev mentioned in an interview earlier this week that “For years, the White House controlled [former chancellor] Angela Merkel.” This remark contrasts with the Alt-Media Community’s (AMC) prior perception of her since it was popular among some top influencers to speculate that she envisaged a multipolar partnership with Russia and China. Those who held such views should obviously reassess them in light of Patrushev’s latest conclusion.
To be sure, President Putin himself didn’t seem to regard her that way either up until recently, which was proven by the shock that he expressed after Merkel admitted to never having any interest in implementing the Minsk Accords that she said were really just to buy time for Kiev. The reason why the AMC’s prior perception of her was so alluring to many was because of her close years-long friendship with the Russian leader, which tangibly manifested itself in the two Nord Stream pipelines.
Russia has obviously reassessed everything about Merkel since then as evidenced by Patrushev’s remark about her having been controlled by the US for years, but that just makes her friendship with President Putin and their prior pipeline accomplishments all the more intriguing. After all, it’s difficult to believe that the US secretly supported both behind the scenes while simultaneously condemning them in public, hence the confusion.
The Limits Of US Influence Over Its Proxies
What’s therefore required for observers to better understand her vision in light of this revelation that was just shared by one of Russia’s leading policymakers is a cogent explanation that connects these seemingly contradictory facts with the benefit of hindsight. As difficult as it may be to believe for those who only casually follow International Relations, it’s indeed possible for Merkel to have been controlled by the US for years while still being friends with President Putin and even building pipelines together.
The US very rarely exerts full control over anyone, Zelensky included per Politico’s latest report titled “‘Little fissures’: The U.S.-Ukraine war unity is slowly cracking apart”, which is about their widening differences on several key issues. The AMC and its Mainstream Media (MSM) rivals tend to oversimplify relationships between countries and their leaders, such as the first claiming that the US fully controls Zelensky while the latter claims that Russia fully controls Belarusian President Lukashenko, for instance.
Nevertheless, the reality is that both figures in the preceding example still retain degrees of independence despite the near-total alignment of views with their much larger partners. For reasons of “narrative/political convenience”, however, it’s much easier for the AMC and MSM to oversimplify such ties between countries and their leaders instead of explaining the detailed nuances that the vast majority of their audience who only casually follows events usually doesn’t care to learn about.
President Putin’s Criticism Of Wishful Thinking Analyses
Having clarified this crucial shortcoming in the AMC and MSM’s information products on this subject, the reader should have a better understanding of how Merkel could be controlled by the US at the same time as she expanded energy ties with Russia. The first factor clearly wasn’t powerful enough to influence the second according to that country’s wishes, which explains why this US-controlled leader was still able to achieve impressive success on that front even in the face of enormous pressure.
Despite Merkel’s pragmatic economically driven approach towards ties with Russia, which were motivated by Germany’s objective national interest in procuring inexpensive resources from that country in order to fuel her own’s continued growth, it would be a mistake to describe her as multipolar. The AMC’s prior speculation that she secretly envisaged a game-changing trilateral partnership with Russia and China was nothing but wishful thinking of the sort that President Putin criticized last summer.
At the time, he told current staff and veterans of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) that “[it] and other security services prioritise strategic forecasting of international processes. And this analysis must be realistic, objective and based on verified information and a wide range of reliable sources. One should not indulge in wishful thinking.” The relevance of his advice to the analyzed subject of Merkel’s geostrategic vision is that some positive moves in public don’t always suggest some larger secret plan.
Russia’s Grand Strategic Calculations During Merkel’s Tenure
President Putin never believed the AMC’s fantasy that she was plotting a trilateral partnership with his country and China that would liberate Eurasia from the US’ unipolar hegemony, but he was definitely duped by her role in the Minsk Accords despite the AMC’s conspiracy theories to the contrary. He knew that there were limits to Merkel’s independence due to US influence, but he sincerely thought she was strong enough to promote peace in Ukraine in spite of that just like she got the two Nord Streams built.
The Russian leader’s previously repeated references to his country’s role in facilitating trans-Eurasian trade as a result of its geostrategic location took for granted that Germany would help implement the Minsk Accords in order to unlock the resultant bonanza that the EU’s leader would then benefit from too. This made as much sense in theory as his prior calculations regarding its interests in building pipelines to Russia under the Baltic Sea despite immense US pressure for it to cancel those projects.
President Putin therefore can’t be faulted for expecting Merkel to be sincerely committed to the Minsk Accords since precedent proved that there was a reason for him to believe that she was strong enough to defy the US on this issue as well. In fact, that outcome might not even have defied the US either, at least during Trump’s time in office, since he openly spoke about wrapping up problems with Russia so that the US could then focus exclusively on “containing” China instead of dividing its efforts.
Explaining Merkel’s Duplicity Towards Presidents Putin & Trump
Trump couldn’t accomplish this grand strategic goal due to unparalleled opposition from the liberal-globalists in his country’s permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) who were obsessed with “containing” Russia instead. President Putin was aware of these factors inhibiting his American counterpart’s freedom of action in this respect, but he seemed not to have realized that those pernicious “deep state” players already had their claws deep into Merkel.
The aforesaid observation that was only revealed in hindsight explains why she later admitted that she never had any interest in implementing the Minsk Accords, which means that she had also duped Trump as well in collusion with his “deep state” opponents. Even if she was free of their influence and ultimately helped end the Ukrainian Civil War, however, it’s unrealistic to imagine that this fiercely anti-Chinese leader wouldn’t have pulled out all the stops to prevent her from allying with China afterwards.
The US always exerted powerful influence over Germany since the end of World War II, though it wasn’t ever omnipotent as Merkel’s close friendship with President Putin and her successful overseeing of the two Nord Stream pipelines’ construction proved. Russia recognized this but erred in assuming that the US would successfully prioritize “containing” China, ergo why it expected Merkel to be able to force Kiev into implementing the Minsk Accords, the outcome of which would have advanced German interests.
This calculation precluded her being able to clinch a game-changing trilateral partnership with Russia and China sometime afterwards that would liberate Eurasia from the US’ unipolar hegemony under those conditions, which is why the Kremlin never entertained the AMC’s speculation about that. Where the latter erred was in misreading her pragmatic economically driven approach to Russia as suggesting the existence of some larger secret plan, one which they imagined was anti-American to its core.
These presumably well-intended influencers projected their wishful thinking fantasies onto Merkel and then proceeded to incorporate them into innumerable related information products, which were just discredited in a single sentence by Patrushev’s conclusion that the US was controlling her for years. Whether under the leadership of Trump’s conservative-nationalists or the Democrats’ liberal-globalists, no American administration would ever allow Germany to partner with Russia and China to that end.
It's important for observers to correct whatever inaccurate perceptions they may have had about Merkel’s vision prior to reading this clarification thereof in order to no longer be influenced by them. The scenario of a German-Russian-Chinese alliance liberating Eurasia from the US’ unipolar hegemony was always nothing but a wishful thinking fantasy. At best, Merkel might have been able to have Germany more effectively benefit from ties with both, but she’d never to go against the US like that.
Merkel (same as her political benefactor Helmut Kohl) was a manager, not a visionary or leader. She reacted but did not provide new ideas. Germany is an occupied country with 35,000 active duty U.S. soldiers and 40+ major U.S. military installations. This sets tight boundaries for any German 'leader' even if they aspire make changes, which was outside of Merkel's scope. The last visionary leader in Germany was Willy Brandt, who, in my opinion, promptly got taken down via a trivial but trumped-up scandal because his visionary leadership (opening to the East, dialog with Poland and Soviet Russia) threatened to become too popular with the German public. Later German 'leaders' learned from this and thus behave meekly towards their occupier.