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Catastrophe in the Balkans

Published Monday, March 17th, 2014

Once again we find ourselves looking on in fascination and horror at events that have more place in a novel than in real life. This weekend the seeds of a Third World War have been planted. They may never reach maturity but whatever happens it is difficult to see an outcome that does not have a negative impact for the region, the continent and the world.

Germany has been a reluctant mover in responding to Russia’s threat to annex the Crimea given its commercial and energy inter-dependence. Therefore when Angela Merkel warns of a “catastrophic” fall out and of “massive damage to Russia economically and politically” you know that she realises that the West has no alternative than to respond robustly to the disadvantage of all concerned.

If history only had one lesson to tell it would be firstly to never allow yourself to be put in a position to be bullied or blackmailed and secondly never give in to either if you ever want peace of mind. However bullies are invariably articulate and persuasive and one person’s bully is another person’s liberator, as a 95% yes-vote in the Crimea attests. Sergei Lavrov cleverly strikes a chord when he argues that the Crimea means more to Russia than the Falklands do to the UK.

To read the rest of the report, please click here 

Posted by David Hufton