TIME

Given the amount of blood still being spilled on a daily basis in the war in eastern Ukraine, it may seem premature, if not also in bad taste, to offer one of the more stubborn belligerents in the conflict a long-term path toward integration with the West. But on Thursday, that is what Russia got from some of the European leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. And it was Germany leading the charge.

During her afternoon appearance at the annual confab of investors and policymakers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel began by rattling off some of her typically harsh condemnations of Russia. With the annexation of Crimea last spring and the subsequent support for a violent rebellion in Ukraine’s eastern regions, Moscow had violated the “elementary principles of the European peaceful order,” she said. “It is a clear and flagrant violation of what has made us live and…

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