As president Obama arrives in Europe to meet German chancellor Angela Merkel, Pressure mounts on Merkel Over Sanctions in Ukraine Crisis.

When Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, meets Barack Obama, US president, at The Hague nuclear security summit on Monday, she will come under pressure to back economic sanctions against Russia.

Meanwhile, in Germany, belief is growing among top policy makers that economic penalties might soon come. Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee and a leading member of Ms Merkel’s CDU party, said in a newspaper interview on Sunday that “further western sanctions, including economic sanctions” were “inevitable”.

Günther Oettinger, German EU energy commissioner, late last week called for the imposition of economic sanctions on Russia in response to the annexation of Crimea, even without waiting for further aggression from Moscow.

“I consider sanctions, which hit economic relations, involving exports, imports and investment, as logical and understandable,” the senior CDU politician told Die Welt newspaper.

But those doing business with Russia have not given up the fight. Eckhard Cordes, the head of the Eastern Committee, the powerful Russia-oriented business lobby, argued, in an interview on Friday with Handelsblatt, the business daily, that sanctions on Russia would not work.

“We have a strategic partnership . . . to bring our peoples together,” Mr Cordes said. “And now we want to cover ourselves with sanctions? I find that difficult to imagine.”

Stupidity is Never Difficult to Imagine

Cordes finds sanctions “difficult to imagine” but Merkel’s CDU party chief says further sanctions are “inevitable“.

Upping the ante, German EU energy commissioner, Oettinger, a ranking CDU politician wants increased sanctions without waiting for further aggression from Moscow. Oettinger says sanctions, which hit economic relations, involving exports, imports and investment are “logical and understandable

Since sanctions won’t work and are a sure-fire Negative Sum Game, this is what Oettinger is really saying: “Stupidity is Logical and Understandable“.

Russia Imposes Sanctions on 13 Canadians, Including MPs

While waiting for inevitable stupidity from Germany, the Globe and Mail reports Russia imposes sanctions on 13 Canadians, including MPs.

The Russian government has banned entry to 13 Canadian senior civil servants and politicians in retaliation for punitive actions that Ottawa levied on Moscow elite over the annexation of Crimea and the destabilization of Ukraine.

The largely symbolic sanctions, which do not target Prime Minister Stephen Harper or Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, come hours before the Group of Seven is expected to suspend Russia from the G8 and cancel a planned summit in Sochi.

According to a statement circulated by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the list of targeted Canadians includes a handful of senior servants, a couple of senior ranking Conservatives, three Tory backbenchers and outspoken opposition critics.

Mr. Baird called Moscow’s tit-for-tat action against Canadian lawmakers and officials a “badge of honour” for Canada in its campaign against the annexation of Crimea.

Stupidity Is …

  1. Logical
  2. Understandable
  3. Inevitable
  4. A Badge of Honor

With all that going for stupidity, especially with major egos involved (see Buffoon Bluffery; What are Sanctions Really About?), no one can precisely answer the question “How stupid will things get?

Here’s one thing we do know for sure: Failure is Truly Success!

Mike “Mish” Shedlock