German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s first trip abroad of the new decade was to Moscow, where she met with Vladimir Putin on Saturday. This was symbolic: Russia and Germany discussed how to re-stabilise the fragile world order. In this multi-polar system, appealing to the United States no longer makes sense for Merkel: President Donald Trump does not give advice, he only orders his allies around; if they do not obey him, he punishes them with sanctions. Whatever he does in the Middle East, he puts Europeans ahead of him. Trump also does not need European diplomacy to compete with American policymaking in the region. If Europe wants to play a key role in the Middle East, it has to come to an understanding regarding the regulatory power of Russia there.