German foreign policy is guided by an outdated philosophy of taking the lead from the United States, when it needs to be articulated by new leaders who stand against NATO muscle flexing and opt for improving relations with Russia, left-leaning website Scharf Links reported.
In June, Germany’s Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen made it clear that the Cold War architecture was demolished. “There will be no return to the Cold War,” she said, as quoted by DPA. “We are cross-linked around the world. We are economically so interwoven that there can be no return to the Cold War,” she stressed.
Scharf Links believes von der Leyen was mainly referring to Russia. After all, Berlin wants to have good working relations with Moscow.
The remarks came at a time when Washington has been stepping up its anti-Russian rhetoric and apparently were intended as a signal to the US. As a result, “Berlin once again managed to stop and contain the American madness,” the media outlet observed.
German entrepreneurs have long voiced their concerns with the anti-Russian campaign Washington launched following the outbreak of the Ukrainian civil war. European businesses were badly affected by the rounds of sanctions Western countries imposed on Moscow.The US-led initiative has hurt the revenues but it also threatens to sever years-long ties between European businesses and their Russian partners, who are actively exploring new markets and forging new ties in Asia and elsewhere. German entrepreneurs are wary of this trend that could become a permanent feature of new economic framework.
The first step to reverse it has to involve the lifting of restrictive measures. The economic ties between businesses, which will emerge after that, will secure peace and prosperity on the continent like no other means, the media outlet said, citing German entrepreneurs. Those who depend on each other economically will never fight each other,” the rationale goes.
In an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in late 2014, prominent German politician Lothar de Maizière said that sanctions weaken Russia when “we must be interested in a stable Russia.”
The restrictive measures “weaken Ukraine and European economy. I ask myself, who benefits from this. In my opinion, they benefit the United States, not Europe,” the former prime minister of the German Democratic Republic asserted.
However, the strategy of isolating Russia has failed even with sanctions in place. Consider the warm welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin received during his visit to Italy in June.
While in Italy, the Russian leader met with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in the country’s financial hub and toured Russia’s pavilion at Milan Expo-2015. He also met with Pope Francis, Italian President Sergio Mattarella and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who pledged to fight sanctions imposed on Moscow.
“But what has the German chancellor done? How has the German foreign minister contributed to reducing tensions?” asked Scharf Links, adding that the anti-Russian confrontational strategy cannot go on. The reckless hardline course of the ruling coalition will weaken the continent and sow trouble, the media outlet added.
“When the ruling coalition takes the sharp and argute tone of the United States, it cuts all the threads that bind Berlin and Moscow together. They also undermine hard efforts of Germany’s former Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher,” Scharf Links noted.
The media outlet calls for a change: German leaders who are content that Europe is a ward of Washington should leave foreign policy. “Heads must roll in Berlin and the White House,” as well as in other European institutions, Scharf Links said.
“Isolating Russia means playing into NATO’s hands and supporting its escalation policy,” the media outlet pointed out, adding that the main task is to focus on building single security architecture in Europe.