The intriguing question is: politically, who is the bigger loser at the funeral for Mikhail Gorbachev? The West or Vladimir Putin? It is being answered now.
Those from the West cannot come, not least because of the bitter war in Ukraine. Chancellor Olaf Scholz rightly thinks it is not the time to talk about travel. And Putin doesn’t want to come, officially because of scheduling difficulties, but certainly also because he would then be judged even more publicly by the former Soviet President’s desire for peace.
So – with reasons – apart from the appreciation of the great failure, chances of approaching a dialogue are gone again. If Putin doesn’t want it, then one or the other in the West may want it – the West as a whole cannot go to Moscow in honor of Gorbachev. Despite everything that the world, especially the happily reunited Germany, owes him. His happiest hours, says Wolfgang Schäuble, who negotiated the unification treaty.
The entry ban is one of the obstacles, no question. What if the leaders of Western governments ignored him, even if it was to provoke Putin? It would not be a good idea – the Kremlin ruler is unpredictable. That is why nothing would be made better by a provocation, possibly even worse. Putin might feel challenged, who knows why.
Everything is now planned for Moscow, a funeral service not far from the Kremlin. After that, “Gorbi” is buried in the celebrity cemetery next to his wife.
And in the west? Something can also be planned there, even something reasonably large. Leftists, Greens and the former chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, had a better idea: an independent tribute to the deceased in this country.
The Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the Federal President, the Federal Chancellor, the President of the Bundestag, invites you to the celebration – and everyone in the world. In the Bundestag or at the Brandenburg Gate, according to history. Whoever comes with good intentions should be welcome. The airspace in Russia is closed to “unfriendly EU countries” – they are kind enough to keep theirs open. In their desire for peace, they honor Gorbachev. In any case, the West will be the winner.