The 41st G7 summit was held in Schloss Elmau, Krün, Bavaria, Germany on June 7–8. It ended without producing any important results just as hospitable Chancellor Angela Merkel had predicted before. Much ado ‘bout nothing? Actually, there was a lot of ado raised. German newspapers emphasized how important it was to demonstrate the unity of Western democracies holding the meeting without Russia. Did they manage to do it? Who did they sent the message to? Russian President Putin? Did the G7 leaders and the EU leadership really believe that they could punish Putin? If an invitation had been sent, would he have accepted it under the circumstances? Was it kind of an attempt to call him on the carpet? A fancy so ridiculous! They have no leg to stand on lecturing Putin as the last year’s G20 summit proved. He left Australia before time as soon as the agenda had been practically exhausted.
Back then Angela Merkel demonstrated her gift of gab to impress the willing listeners eager to flatly condemn «the violations of law» on the part of Russia. Australia had made an attempt to expel or suspend Russia from G20. To no avail. China and Brazil effectively opposed the motion. Is there any reason to compare the 2015 G7 summit with what it was like in 1978-1988? Those days G7 held meetings to coordinate activities against the global «evil empire» as Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union. Today the United States can hardly be seen as the power that grabs the moral high ground and works for the common good as its foreign policy has become so intrusive and implemented in such an offhand manner. The USSR and G7, the both of them, have become things of the past. It’s clear the G7 leaders want to give Russia a wide berth so much. Now, can anyone imagine really important decision affecting the whole world taken without the participation of China, India and Brazil? It was not Russia only they condemned behind the scenes in Schloss Elmau. Did they manage to achieve agreement on vital issues without Russia, the country that does not matter, as they see it? The G7 displayed the so-called unity to impress nobody but themselves.
Is it such a great thing to meet like-minded (or to put it more precisely – those who are faithful to the United States) people once a year at a dinner party to cheer each other up? Go on! Let taxpayers say what they think about the great honor of providing funds to shoulder the expenses for such gala events. Many thousands of German protesters hit the streets in Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen. They were not so happy about the cost of summit. But the construction of fence to protect Elmau was launched as far back as last year! It served its purpose of protecting the sensitive ears of Frau Merkel’s guests from the noise made by protesters. 17 thousand policemen were not gathered from all corners of Germany to enjoy the beautiful view with the Bavaria Alps surrounding the place. Some of protesters were not allowed in, some were hurt. The organizers of protests said 60 demonstrators suffered as pepper spray and batons were used by police.
Protesters in Munich
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a proposed free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States, was the main target of protests. But who cares about the sentiments expressed by ordinary people on the street when a meeting of celestial beings exchanging compliments is taking place in an ivory palace? An average person, who takes part in the protests, is offered only one thing – and that is to become blind, deaf and dumb, as it has been eloquently said before in a Strategic Culture Foundation publication. If something goes awry, the game of «bad cop, good cop» is played again. For instance, public opinion in Germany was equally divided on the issue of Russia’s participation in G7 summit. Here is the picture to show what kind of protesters one could see in Bavaria at the time of event:
The poster reads «No to NATO, EU and Ukrainian Nazi Banderites!»
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier plays the role of good cop. Before the Elmau summit kicked off, he said in an interview that the G7 group needed Russia. It may make a contribution in finding a solution to some problems. Merkel is a bad cop. She spoke candidly saying that Russia’s participation in G7 summits is excluded. The Foreign Minister acts like a gallant gentleman. He may be viewed overseas as an unreliable person.
Does the rhetoric adopted by Merkel evoke any surprise? Not a bit. According to Wikileaks, in 2010 then US ambassador to Germany said with arrogant irony that the Chancellor was an extremely cautious politician. She has a reputation of being too wary of running risks. For instance, the Chancellor flatly refused to raise the issue of «cooperation» between US and German special services that has sparked a row recently. According to polls, over 60% of Germans believed the issue was important enough to shed light on.
One can understand the desire to paint the US-Germany relationship as a bed of roses with no clouds above. Before the summit Merkel also emphasized the fact that she enjoyed the relationship of mutual understanding with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
The Chancellor promised nothing less than to «inform» him about the outcome of G7 summit (!). She joined him in condemning Moscow for support of separatists allegedly violating the Minsk agreements. If the German Chancellor and Ukrainian President took the pain to get acquainted with official reports of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, (1) they would have known that the mission does not put the whole blame for violations on the Donetsk and Luhansk republics.
Ukrainian political scholar Alexander Kawa, (2) believes that the war in the east of Ukraine is purposefully provoked by Ukrainian leadership to distract the people from social problems. Kawa had worked for the Ukrainian government until recently.
It’s hard to avoid the impression that the OSCE reports are distorted on purpose to justify changes in the status of the OSCE mission.
Heidi Tagliavini, a Swiss diplomat who played a key role in negotiating a February cease-fire and peace deal, has decided to resign as special envoy of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It does not look like a voluntary resignation. There is ground to surmise it’s an element of well-prepared plan that dovetails with Western strategy. Perhaps, that’s what made part of the agenda during the Elmau G7 summit.