It is an essential British interest that Putin’s efforts to split Germany, France and Italy from the front line states fails.
Just as its energy dependence on Russia cannot be reversed overnight, decades of drift into quasi-pacifism reflect a deeply embedded outlook.
It is worth noting the lack of a German, and therefore European, consensus on the foreign policy challenges facing the West, particularly on Russia and China.
The front-runner to succeed Merkel has perfected the art of making not having a row, indeed not making a decision, sound reasonable.
A traffic light coalition? A Jamaica coalition? Who knows? What’s certain is that the CDU/CSU is struggling amidst a fragmenting landscape.