This is probably not what President Vladimir Putin imagined when Russia annexed Crimea: The United States and the European Union are not — as the Kremlin hoped — drifting apart, driven by totally different interests.
On the contrary, it seems, at least at the moment, as if the Russian advance was just what the trans-Atlantic partners needed to push them closer together. Not only militarily, but also economically and politically.
That stands to reason after the recent meeting in Brussels between the highest political offices of the EU and the U.S., in which U.S. President Barack Obama showed his generous side. If Europeans need liquid petroleum gas from the U.S. because diplomatic relations with Russia look dark: no problem, let him know.
The EU states, whose energy needs vary wildly, were all too happy to hear this offer. However, it is currently not much more than lip service. They do not have the necessary transport capacities for the gas, nor is it clear how much the U.S will charge for it. But that is not important. Suddenly no one is talking about the irritation caused by illegal NSA surveillance anymore, or about the possible negative side effects of a free trade agreement. Fear of Russia is covering up everything else.