France, Germany Aim for Putin Summit

Late last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande flew to Moscow for urgent meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a diplomatic attempt to forestall events that might drag the conflict in Ukraine into trans-European war.

Those discussions continue this week in hopes that a summit can be convened among the three parties and Ukrainian leaders from which, at minimum, a permanent cease-fire could result.

Meanwhile U.S. and NATO leaders are pressing ahead with plans to support Ukraine with military aid, Bloomberg reported. This includes consideration of personnel and ‘advisers’, a move that would escalate the already tense situation.

Putin continues offering strong rhetoric agains the West suggesting that the end-game is simply to keep Russia repressed after the fall of the Soviet Union. But tensions on the subject can be found here at home as well.

Former Nixon adviser and Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan penned a sharply worded op-ed last week in which he criticized both Republicans and Democrats alike in Washington for provoking Russia to take steps in retaliation that may result in some sort of global conflict.

With the Russian ruble taking more hits due to global oil prices and continued Islamic incursion on its southeastern border, Russia continues to feel the pinch in global affairs as a sort of cornered animal. The last thing we should be doing, Buchanan argues, is poking it with a stick. The hope, perhaps, of Merkel and Hollande is that they can coax the animal from the corner without a fight.