marton2_Sasha MordovetsGetty Images_merkelputin Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

Send Merkel to Moscow

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel has unique qualities, and a shared history with Russian President Vladimir Putin unmatched by any other world leader. She should be persuaded to come out of retirement to help rescue the international order she fought to uphold during her time in office.

BERLIN – As a horrified world searches for a way to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutal war against Ukraine, there is one person who might be able to get through to the Kremlin’s dangerously isolated autocrat. Angela Merkel, until recently chancellor of Germany, held Putin to some degree of good behavior during her 16 years in office, including by blocking his first attempt to seize Ukraine in 2014.

Merkel has unique qualities, and a shared history with Putin unmatched by any other world leader. She should be persuaded to come out of retirement to help rescue the international order she fought to uphold during her time in office.

Putin and Merkel’s complicated relationship began on November 9, 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall. That event marked Merkel’s liberation from the East German police state that had confined her for her first 35 years. She soon shed her scientist’s white coat and joined the Christian Democratic Union, later becoming the party’s leader and then Germany’s first woman chancellor.

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