Gifts for Kremlin boss
How do you make Putin happy? Merkel knows it
It’s really not easy for a man like Vladimir Putin, who has everything to please. Angela Merkel manages it anyway. And the Russian President also knows how to take revenge.
This article first appeared on March 12, 2018.
On March 18, Russia votes. Wladimir Putin is heading for another six-year term in the unopposed election. His re-election will be a blessing – of himself and of his politics. The Kremlin boss did not campaign. It just doesn’t suit a tsar. Adulation, on the other hand, does. On Sunday, his chief demagogue, Dmitry Kiselev, released a two-hour portrait film about the president, which is being shared on social media.
Members of the Russian leadership have their say – and only have praise to say. Ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder also gets an appearance. Unsurprisingly, given that he has been friends with Putin for a long time. But also Angela Merkel finds a place in the film. Not personally, but the chancellor deserves a special mention from the Russian head of state. After all, she knows how to give him a little pleasure again and again.
“Angela sends me a couple of bottles of Radeberger beer from time to time,” Putin said. And he really appreciates that. In the last years of the GDR, he worked as an agent for the Soviet secret service KGB in Dresden, where he developed a taste for his own.
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Vladimir Putin returns the favor with smoked fish
In return, Putin also returns the favor with goodies. Merkel revealed this on Monday. “Sometimes there is an opportunity to exchange ideas. I’ve had very good smoked fish before,” she said, causing a smile at the press conference on the Groko contract.
To Merkel’s love, whom he calls by her first name in the documentary, Putin does not intend to change his policy. When asked if he would ever give Crimea back, Putin just smiled wearily. “What, are you crazy?” he replied. That will never happen. Under no circumstances would he give up Crimea.
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