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  #81  
Old 08-11-2015, 04:56 PM
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The difference is that Maria has always bleated on about being politically impartial. By supporting Putin, she's clearly not doing so and IMO, shows how insincere she's been. Whilst she may personally like Putin, whilst the Russian people may support Putin and whilst she may agree in private with Putin's annexation of the Crimea, it isn't her place to speak out just as it wasn't the Prince of Wales' place to publicly bash Putin. Royals shouldn't intefere in politics. If anything, Russia is living proof of what happens when they do.
All royals are partial because they are human beings and have an own worldview and ideals they have a zest for. Even Queen Elizabeth II is not impartial seeing her warnings against a break up of the Union and Cameron's painful revelation to Mr Bloomberg that she "purred like a cat" when she heard about the outcome of the referendum (instead of being impartial and saying: "Thank you for your information, Mr Prime Minister"). So we can not blame Grand-Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, who has to find her way in a chaotic situation, in a minefield (social, familial and constitutional) and try to win a more semi-formal position for her House.
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  #82  
Old 08-11-2015, 05:05 PM
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All royals are partial because they are human beings and have an own worldview and ideals they have a zest for. Even Queen Elizabeth II is not impartial seeing her warnings against a break up of the Union and Cameron's painful revelation to Mr Bloomberg that she "purred like a cat" when she heard about the outcome of the referendum (instead of being impartial and saying: "Thank you for your information, Mr Prime Minister"). So we can not blame Grand-Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, who has to find her way in a chaotic situation, in a minefield (social, familial and constitutional) and try to win a more semi-formal position for her House.
Of course members of royal families have political opinions and some are even allowed to exercise a right to vote. But as Queen Margrethe once said, her position means that she must be impartial and therefore, she sacrificed an interest in politics at an early age so that she wouldn't favour one party over another. It's the same for all of them. Whilst the Queen may have offered a few indications of her views, she would never have openly said, "Do not criticise Mr Cameron's actions" - and had she done so, she'd rightly be living a quiet life as Mrs Windsor in Sandringham today. The Prince of Wales overstepped the mark but it was softened slightly by the fact that this wasn't a direct quote.

But for Maria to come out fighting, to issue an edict which praised Putin's actions (which the rest of Europe - and the wider world - regarded as unacceptable) and slammed Charles' comments tells us two things. The first is that she isn't at all politically impartial. She may be a friend of Mr Putin's in private but Elizabeth II was close friends with Harold Wilson. She never once praised his political decisions. The second is that she doesn't understand what her desired role would be. A future Empress of Russia would only ever exist in a constitutional role and that means she couldn't voice such opinions, especially when they are so controversial.

Whatever minefield she faced, constitutional monarchs do not offer public support for one political party or one particular candidate over another. It is the very opposite of impartiality and it shows that for all her talk, Maria can be just as autocratic as her forebears. Whilst 80% of Russians may support Mr Putin, a great many do not. Maria's role as a constitutional monarch would require her to support all of her people. And clearly, she wouldn't support those who dared criticise her friend Vlad.
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  #83  
Old 08-11-2015, 05:14 PM
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The fault was Mr. Cameron's for reporting what the Queen said. When the monarch meets with her prime minister, it's understood that all comments remain confidential; because of this, both parties have an opportunity to speak openly. It would have been odd had the Queen not expressed pleasure at her Kingdom remaining United.

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Even Queen Elizabeth II is not impartial seeing her warnings against a break up of the Union and Cameron's painful revelation to Mr Bloomberg that she "purred like a cat" when she heard about the outcome of the referendum (instead of being impartial and saying: "Thank you for your information, Mr Prime Minister").
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  #84  
Old 08-11-2015, 05:20 PM
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We also have no proof that what Mr Cameron said was true and that it wasn't being....embroidered...to impress. In the case of Maria, we have her words on record which read very much like a pro-Putin political broadcast. Which of course, it was.
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  #85  
Old 08-11-2015, 05:31 PM
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We also have no proof that what Mr Cameron said was true and that it wasn't being....embroidered...to impress.. [snipped]
It seems to me that the subjects can not elect Prime Minister, who has an ability to think before speaking. I can not imagine a Japanese Prime Minister making such comments.

As for the return, the following nicely sums up the situation.
Quote:
The head of the Institute of Political Studies, Sergei Markov said that the return of the Romanovs in no way will affect the mood of citizens.

— In most countries the population has no respect for Imperial houses, with the exception of the UK and the Netherlands, - he says. — In Russia, the Romanovs are viewed as either innocent victims because of the execution by the Bolsheviks, or traitors, who in the critical years of the Tsarist monarchy behaved irresponsibly. Many believe that the abdication of Nicholas II led to the civil war.
http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/06...to-return.html
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  #86  
Old 08-13-2015, 02:25 PM
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The fault was Mr. Cameron's for reporting what the Queen said. When the monarch meets with her prime minister, it's understood that all comments remain confidential; because of this, both parties have an opportunity to speak openly. It would have been odd had the Queen not expressed pleasure at her Kingdom remaining United.
Of course the Queen has an opinion about that. And she expressed it. And that is okay. Blabbermouth Cameron was the wrong one here. A major difference with Maria Vladimirovna is that the last one has no Prime Minister, no ministers, no Government whatsoever which speaks for her. In a normal situation her Prime Minister, backed by Parliament, would have issued statements regarding the status of Crimea or other political affairs. Maria Vladimirovna, asked about this, can not remain stoney faced and refer to a Prime Minister or something. So it is always easy to blame the Grand-Duchess for having an opinion while Queen Elizabeth has -on paper- around 450,000 persons working "for her" in Her Majesty's Civil Service. Her Government takes the words out of her mouth. She only need to wear a pretty outfit and to wave. Basically that is.

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  #87  
Old 08-13-2015, 09:21 PM
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The Queen is, a Constitutional Monarch, basically a show piece. Maria has no staus all.
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  #88  
Old 08-13-2015, 10:17 PM
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The difference, as I see it, is that Queen Elizabeth II and Maria Vladimirovna are in entirely different positions. I believe that's also what you're expressing Duc_et_Pair. I simply wanted to correct the idea that HM was wrong in stating her opinion to her Prime Minister.

The latter has no official position in Russia, and so she can say what she likes IMO.

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Of course the Queen has an opinion about that. And she expressed it. And that is okay. Blabbermouth Cameron was the wrong one here. A major difference with Maria Vladimirovna is that the last one has no Prime Minister, no ministers, no Government whatsoever which speaks for her. In a normal situation her Prime Minister, backed by Parliament, would have issued statements regarding the status of Crimea or other political affairs. Maria Vladimirovna, asked about this, can not remain stoney faced and refer to a Prime Minister or something.
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  #89  
Old 08-14-2015, 09:56 AM
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The latter has no official position in Russia, and so she can say what she likes IMO.
This would be true if Maria was content to be plain old Ms Romanova from Spain but in pursuing the same role for herself as that enjoyed by Queen Elizabeth (or any other constitutional monarch, which surely is her ultimate, though unrealistic, goal) she has always said that the appeal of such a role in Russia would be that she would be politically impartial. By voicing her support for Putin, she shows herself to be anything but and therefore a return to Russia as a private citizen is one thing but to return as an officially recognised head of the Imperial Family (whether reigning or not) would be totally impossible for as long as she insists on voicing political opinions a monarch, or a monarch in waiting, shouldn't discuss in public.
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  #90  
Old 08-14-2015, 11:41 AM
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Grand-Duchess Maria Vladmirovna has no any position in Russia. That first. Secondly, it is not true that a Sovereign has no opinion. In a modern constitutional system the opinion of the King is the opinion of the Government, and vice-versa.

When King Willem-Alexander wanted to go to Russia, to visit the Olympic Games of Sotchi, this was met with criticism: a substantial part of Parliament wanted the King to boycott Russia. But he was more than backed: the Prime Minister even joined the King on this trip, with that taking the whole politcal responsibility for this exercise.

When Queen Margrethe II urges action against climate change, then this is not an impartiality because there are also people who claim that the whole climate change thing is completely nonsense. But by speaking out for action, Queen Margrethe is 100% in line with the Danish Government which has exactly the same opinion.

So, back to Maria Vladimirovna. When she sees Crimea as part of Russia, she is not only voicing an opinion which is shared by almost all Russians, it is also the opinion of the Russian Government. Was Maria Vladimirovna the Tsarina and the Russian Government acted the same as they did the last two years, then Tsarina Maria had not sounded differently. Stronger even: she would have made three crosses, kneeled down and thanked the Lord Almighty for Crimea and Sebastopol back into the arms of Mother Russia! She would have handed high decorations to "meritorious" soldiers of the "glorious" armed forces! What else do we expect???
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  #91  
Old 08-14-2015, 12:28 PM
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Grand-Duchess Maria Vladmirovna has no any position in Russia. That first. Secondly, it is not true that a Sovereign has no opinion. In a modern constitutional system the opinion of the King is the opinion of the Government, and vice-versa.

When King Willem-Alexander wanted to go to Russia, to visit the Olympic Games of Sotchi, this was met with criticism: a substantial part of Parliament wanted the King to boycott Russia. But he was more than backed: the Prime Minister even joined the King on this trip, with that taking the whole politcal responsibility for this exercise.

When Queen Margrethe II urges action against climate change, then this is not an impartiality because there are also people who claim that the whole climate change thing is completely nonsense. But by speaking out for action, Queen Margrethe is 100% in line with the Danish Government which has exactly the same opinion.

So, back to Maria Vladimirovna. When she sees Crimea as part of Russia, she is not only voicing an opinion which is shared by almost all Russians, it is also the opinion of the Russian Government. Was Maria Vladimirovna the Tsarina and the Russian Government acted the same as they did the last two years, then Tsarina Maria had not sounded differently. Stronger even: she would have made three crosses, kneeled down and thanked the Lord Almighty for Crimea and Sebastopol back into the arms of Mother Russia! She would have handed high decorations to "meritorious" soldiers of the "glorious" armed forces! What else do we expect???
This isn't quite true. Queen Margrethe's discussions on things like climate change do not just happen to coincide with the position of her government. She is told what to say by her government. In a similar way, if you look at the speeches given by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1980s, they'll be very different to those given in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Why? Because her governments change and sometimes, they can be poles apart politically. She couldn't deliver her speeches with any sincerity if we knew her true political feelings. For example, it's rumoured that the Queen did not care for Mrs Thatcher and yet we never saw the Queen issue an edict which said, "I oppose the poll tax" or "We must retain hereditary peers in the House of Lords" when Tony Blair was Prime Minister. Constitutional monarchs are told what to say and when to say it. There are opportunities for personal sentiment but they're never political. In this way, the monarchy can survive.

But Maria shows no intention of keeping quiet on overtly political issues. Whether she believes the annexation of the Crimea was a positive thing, whether she thinks that Putin is doing a good job, whether she believes the Russian people support him unconditionally; these are not opinions she should voice if she wants to be taken seriously as a future constitutional monarch in Russia. If anything, she's sounding more and more like an autocrat and Russia already has one of those, why should it need another?

Let us say that one day, Putin's reign comes to an end and he is replaced by someone very far removed from Putin's views. How could Maria carry out an official role when she has backed Putin so publicly? In this way, she proves that she simply isn't upto any kind of restored position of authority. If she wants to do private deals with Putin to get a palace or two back, good luck to her but any sincerity she once claimed is now as suspicious as her claim to the throne in the first place.

Perhaps it's a good thing she stands no chance of ever getting her hands on the Imperial Crown!
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  #92  
Old 08-14-2015, 12:54 PM
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This isn't quite true. Queen Margrethe's discussions on things like climate change do not just happen to coincide with the position of her government. She is told what to say by her government. In a similar way, if you look at the speeches given by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1980s, they'll be very different to those given in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
That is what I said. The King's opinion is the Government's opinon and vice-versa.

That Governments change, allez... But at that moment, with that Government, the King was fully backed by the ministerial responsibility. Her public warning against a break-up of the Union most likely was very much her private opinion but that was no any problem as the Government was completely in agreement with Her Majesty's thoughts on this. That is not the same as "she is impartial". If she was impartial, she would have remained stoney faced.

King Felipe of Spain takes a very clear position in the debate about the independence of Catalonia and Pays Basque. Not at all impartial. He is mordicus against any break up of the State of Spain. This while a substantial part of the Catalonians and the Basques have a completely opposite view on the matter. But that is no problem: the King's personal and heartfelt opinion is completely in agreement with the Government, which most likely could not have expressed it better than the King did...

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  #93  
Old 08-14-2015, 03:31 PM
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It may be in agreement today but what about tomorrow? As I said, Maria may be lined up firmly behind Putin today but if he were to invade a NATO country as his next move, how would she react then? And could she ever repair her reputation after backing him so publicly if the worst happened?

That is the line all monarchs must tread and it's why those with experience and wisdom have held onto their position whilst others have failed. If Maria wants to prove she's ready for a restored official role, she'll have to learn to keep her mouth shut or else continue to face a rather pointless existence in Spain.
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  #94  
Old 08-14-2015, 09:42 PM
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You hit it right on the head, Royalotta. Other may have opinions, but they follow their governments leads. They have no intrinsic power. They have to. Maria, on the other hand, has no power or standing. She is just Ms. Romanov, I, believe, she is Mrs. Hohenzollern. Or ex.
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  #95  
Old 08-15-2015, 06:10 AM
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[...] or else continue to face a rather pointless existence in Spain.
Why is a good living in Spain "pointless" ? I pity the millions of Britons voluntarily choosing Spain for living then... What a pointless life...

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Old 08-15-2015, 06:25 AM
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You hit it right on the head, Royalotta. Other may have opinions, but they follow their governments leads. [....]
Isn't that what Grand-Duchess Maria Vladimorovna does? Following the lead of the Government and the massive public opinion on Crimea and Sebastopol back into the arms of Mother Russia? With that restoring a situation in which a drunken Khrushchev (born on the border with Ukraine) suddenly transferred Crimea to Ukraine (1954). With this silly act, with one scratch from pen making an area which was Russian since Tsarist times and with Sebastopol housing the Black Sea Fleet, suddenly part from Ukraine.

Really, what are you expecting a Grand-Duchess of Russia to do? Most likely Maria Vladimirovna Romanova was overjoyed that Crimea and Sebastopol were back into the arms of Mother Russia. If even this profound and understandable feeling has to go through the Commission For Über Political Correctness here on the boards....

How dare Maria Vladimirovna share the view of the Russian Government? How dare she to agree with Vladimir Putin with this? Maybe: how dare she to shake hands with him? In the meantime the Über Political Correct Elizabeth II of course housed nice figures as Nicolae Ceaucescu in her palaces. The opinion of the UK Government at that time most likely will not be the same as that of the present UK Government. This is a proof that it does not matter when Putin becomes persona non grata and Maria Vladimirovna has once praised him. Das war damals. Now is now. Welcome in the real world.

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Old 08-15-2015, 11:15 AM
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Personally I like living under the reign of a monarch who I know serves all of her people regardless of sexual orientation, gender or race. Russia could never say that under Maria could they? If she supports Putin on annexation, does her support extend to his brutal oppression of LGBT people?

Maybe she's far better off begging for invitations to King Felipe's court in her plastic tiara after all.
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  #98  
Old 08-15-2015, 12:07 PM
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.... [snipped] Russia could never say that under Maria could they? If she supports Putin on annexation, does her support extend to his brutal oppression of LGBT people? ...[snipped]
Russia is Russia. "... brutal oppression of LGBT people" sounds trite. This argument can be rebuffed by the another trite " Your own allies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar have much more appalling treatment of LGBT people". Everything including your royals has a price and can be bought in the UK.
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Old 08-15-2015, 12:41 PM
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Personally I like living under the reign of a monarch who I know serves all of her people regardless of sexual orientation, gender or race. Russia could never say that under Maria could they? If she supports Putin on annexation, does her support extend to his brutal oppression of LGBT people?
They probably could say that under Maria since there is no evidence to the contrary.

You can't draw the conclusion that she supports Putin on anything else. First off she says that they legitimately voted to separate and did so in response to a coup in Ukraine. She does not see this is as an annexation by Putin but as people legally freeing themselves from a radical government who seized power by a coup.

When you are raised to potentially take over a country it tends to be the country it was with stories that go along with it. Crimea was an integral part of the Russian empire for the Romanovs, they had summer homes there. It was their home. Earlier on, Maria had hosted a 400 year anniversary of the Romanovs event there at Livadia. She chose a palace in Crimea to do that, which says she likely envisioned it then as part of Romanov Russia too. She possibly even said that while she was there or some other time, prior to the escalation. She has visited the place numerous times in her role as heir and that says something too. It is possible the Russians there also showed their support for her on her visits cementing her opinions. Even if she never said it publicly, her actions defined her vision of Russia included Crimea.

She also supports Transnistria. She there too before the threat of war showing her support and getting support from them. They separated from Moldova into their own region and want to join back with Russia. It is however 1/3 Russian, 1/3 Ukraine and 1/3 Romanian and while the controlling Russians may want that, the others maybe not so much. Their government has the official support of the people, even is there are allegations of rigged elections and Russian troops keeping people in line.

It is also possible she was not at her cousin's wedding in Georgia, because of an issue between them over her probable support of the areas of Georgia that want to join Russia too.

You are jumping to the conclusion that by saying these areas are part of Russia means she supports Putin on this or anything else. It is likely she supported these areas as part of Russia all along and she has been the heir longer than he has been in charge too. She has always defined herself as de jure Tsarina/Empress of all the Russias, so beyond the borders of the one Russia.

Also it is comparable to Queen Elizabeth. She too predates Cameron, the referendum and all the fuss. Whether she said it directly or not before, her words and actions as Queen for the last 63 years have implied that her vision of her kingdom included Scotland. Their summer castle is in Scotland too.

Heirs of Russian Aristocracy Gather in Crimea’s Livadia Palace

Press Release On the Official Visit of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, to Moscow, Odessa, and the Transdniestria 4-13 May 2009

Royal Russia News: Grand Duchess Maria: Russia will not give up Crimea despite sanctions
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Old 08-15-2015, 01:40 PM
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Whilst it is true that she has always defined herself as Empress of Russia "in waiting", she has also consistently said that she would only return to Russia on two conditions:

1) That she returned in an official capacity, even if that only means that she is formally recognised by the Russian government as Head of the Imperial Family
2) That any return would be in a constitutional role (if a formal role as Head of State were offered to her) and that she would not seek to rule as her ancestors did.

And this is where I believe the flaw in Maria allying herself so closely to Putin lies. When the British government brought in it's recent benefit reforms, there was anger from the poorest Britons but they didn't blame the Queen. They didn't even speak of "the Queen's government". They talk of "the government". It's understood that whilst she may have private political favourites (oddly, our Queen is thought of as favouring the Labour Party and not the Conservative Party) and whilst she may make political statements very very occasionally (her Silver Jubilee speech reference to devolution being an example), she remains above politics. That is what is expected of a constitutional monarch. Maria clearly doesn't understand that because if she's seen as an ally of Putin on what the majority of Europe regard as illegal expansion, where exactly does she disagree with him?

You see, it's all very well for her to pick and choose what views she agrees with and what she doesn't. As a private citizen, she'd be entitled to voice her political beliefs and she could go into as much detail as she liked, making clear which elements of Putinism she likes and which she doesn't. Herein lies the issue: she doesn't want to return to Russia as a private citizen. She wants to return with some kind of recognised role which she herself makes very clear would be totally impartial. Can you imagine Queen Elizabeth II making a statement in which she praised the political decisions of the government of the day? If she endorsed Thatcher with the same enthusiasm as Maria endorses Putin, Queen Elizabeth could never have worked with Tony Blair. Now is only now when you don't care about tomorrow. Our monarchy in Britain has survived because it is consistent, it is an institution that remains the one focal point of stability in a changing world.

And that's the goal of all constitutional monarchs. I take the point about the Middle Eastern potentates that our Queen has been forced to entertain but note the anger at their visit was not directed at her personally - we understand that it's the government who wanted to host them, not Her Majesty. She's hosted all kinds of Heads of State but I don't think anyone seriously believes she wants to welcome all of them or that she shares their political views. Neither is it even discussed. She only has that protection because we know she is above politics. Maria couldn't do that and so she couldn't ever be a constitutional monarch for a prolonged reign with any sincerity. Russia today will not be the Russia of ten or twenty years time. To take a position today that is so controversial and which goes against her previous claims makes any role she might take as untenable.

Which makes the Imperial Family a temporary institution. I believe this is what Putin's goal is and sadly, Maria is too inept to see that she's being played for a fool. Why would Putin hand over any constitutional authority to someone else? Is it not that she would bring with her a legitimacy to his continued regime and the all important backing of the Church? And once she's served her purpose, what then? When Putin is finally forced to step down, what will Maria do? If she's only thinking as far as next year, perhaps it would be better for her to concentrate on doing something practical rather than throwing her lot in with a man many regard as the biggest threat to peace in Europe.
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