Saturday, July 19, 2014

We can do, what they can't do: boycot Putin's Russia!

Hardly a day after Flight MH17 was shot down near Donetsk Angela Merkel called the extension of sactions against Putin's Russia 'premature'. She was fast, too fast. 'First we need a thorough and careful investigation.' In the meantime the Guardian reports that the covering up by 'Seperatists' and their Russian allies has already begon. I think Anne Applebaum put it very right in the Washington Post: "The Malaysia Airlines crash is the end of Russia's fairy tail. The battle in Ukraine is now a 'real war'." Indeed, Angela was fast, too fast. As if she was reluctant to wake up. 'Just let me dream on for a while…'

To be honest: she, and her collegues in the European Union deserve a lot of credits. As a European in heart and soul I'm proud of what the EU has accomplished the last halve of a century. It is the world's best and most promising peace and justice project. It succeeded in making the EU a region of peace and prosperity with no precedent in history. And the EU did it by talking, by using diplomacy, by a system of peaceful and juridical interventions, by soft pressure. I suspect it is Angela's dream - and not only hers - to prevent Putin's Alleingang, just like Robert Schuman wanted - and succeeded - to integrate post-war Germany in a European economic structure. 'Two World Wars is enough.' That's why the EU got and deserved the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012. That's why I found the cartoon of Merkel in the Kyiv Post comparing her with Von Ribbentrop rather distasteful.

But enough is enough! We have to put an end to Putin's power politics in Ukraine. And not only in Ukraine. Putin has also to bear to full responsibility of the human disaster in Syria by preventing any UN intervention. Sure, he can boast on making the destruction of chemical weapons possible. But only at the prize of a total shoot out by Assad and his gang, and other sinister fundamentalist bandits. So enough is enough! Putin has to be stopped first of all in Ukraine. And we, the citizens of Europe have to do it. We have to give our politicians a hand.

Here is my plan. We, European citizens, can boyot Putin's Russia. We can decide not to buy Russian products. We can stop our cooperation with Russian cultural and scientific institutes. And, most effectively, we can put pressure on our national and internation enterprises, financial institutions, investors to stop investing in Putin's Russia and to use their influence to change its power politics inside and outside Russia. So we can boycot Gazprom. Just an example of course, but not a bad one. Or stop the take over of our soccer clubs by Russian oligarchs. Just kick them out. Of course we have to be very careful. Our goal is to hit Putin and his apparatshiks, not the common Russian citizen. Indeed, every Russian citizen who wants Russia to change, deserves our full support.

How can this be done? First, we have done this before. Think about the boycot of South Africa, and Shell in the seventees. We can do it again. But this time it needs to be an all-European initiative of decent European citizens. I suggest we create a 'network of networks' in the capitals of alle EU countries, who can coordinate this all-European initiative. It means that all citizens of the EU can be involved in stopping Putin, in making the next step to a Europe of peace and justice, and in supporting the Ukrainian effort in becoming an democratic and peaceful state.

This is my idea. I think we owe it to the 298 victims of MH 17, and by the way, the hundreds of Ukrainians who lost their lifes due to Putin's cynical power play. Ukraine = Europe! Who will join me?

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