|Henning Voscherau and his new benefactor|
But you cannot blame Putin for not trying: Now he has chosen another leading former German social democratic politician to head the South Stream pipeline project (Putin´s admirer and friend, former chanchellor Gerhard Schröder is in charge of the Nord Stream project together with another "friend", former Stasi agent Matthias Warnig):
Gazprom chief Aleksei Miller has nominated the former mayor of Hamburg, Henning Voscherau, to head the board of the Russia-backed South Stream pipeline project.
Miller on March 19 cited Voscherau's "experience in working with international organizations dealing with legal regulation" and said his "weighty authority will make him a considerable contribution to the successful and timely implementation of the South Stream project."
After serving as the first mayor of Hamburg, Voscherau is also a former president of Germany's upper house of parliament.
The South Stream natural-gas pipeline aims to carry some 63 billion cubic meters of Russian gas across southeastern Europe to points in Italy and Austria.
Vladimir Putin seems to hope that surrounding Europe from the North and the South with the help of two former German socialist leaders, will make it possible for Russia to achieve a dominating position. But even comrades Schröder and Voscherau will not be able to prevent the crumbling of Putin´s house of cards.
Of course, European governments should do what they can in order to shorten the process, as the prominent Die Welt correspondent Gerhard Gauck suggests in his recent article (unfortunately only in German).
However, there is one question that remains a mystery: Why is it that former German socialist leaders cannot resist enriching themselves personally, even if they know - or should know - that what they are doing is contrary to the national interests of their own country, and - above all - the interests of the former Russian satellite countries in Europe?