British newspaper The Times has named German Chancellor Angela Merkel its person of the year for her “central role in preserving European stability at a time of resurgent Russian aggression”. In a leader article, the paper praises the German leader’s “refusal to be rushed and sense of what matters in a dangerous world” —

Increasingly clumsy postwar institutions including Nato, the EU and the United Nations Security Council failed to adapt to the swirling crises […]. In many hours of direct conversations with [Russian President] Vladimir Putin she has sought to set limits to his ambition and in so doing has helped to focus the west on what it values most, and what is worth fighting for. She is the pre-eminent European politician, the world’s most powerful woman.

The paper also looks to the challenges facing Merkel in 2015, when she enters her tenth year in power. These include renewing EU sanctions against Moscow when “several EU members, dependent on Russian energy, want to lift at least some of the punitive measures.” But The Times warns Merkel not to become “too distracted to play the central role expected of her management in the EU” —

It would be a terrible irony if by concentrating on healing the wounds in the east-west relationship Mrs Merkel neglects the gangrene afflicting north-south relations in the eurozone. Much ­depends now on her finding an imaginative solution that addresses British concerns on immigration and welfare and then persuading the rest of the union of the validity of the British cause.