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Jan 26, 2022
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How deep do the divergences go in the Atlanticist camp?

Berlin calls for ‘qualified new start’ with Putin

As writes Wall Street Magazine, Germany, finding itself in a difficult position due to the confrontation between Russia and the United States, preferred its own interests. Washington is annoying. Political columnist WSJ Tom Rogan argues that Berlin has become an unreliable partner for the Americans, the arrival of Olaf Scholz to the leadership of the German government did not add “obedience” to Germany.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz

Berlin has refused to supply Kiev with lethal weapons and is evading aid to the Anglo-Saxons as part of NATO’s efforts to “contain” Russia. The same British, for example, notes Tom Rogan, had to deliver weapons to Ukraine, bypassing German airspace.

The positions of Berlin and Washington also diverge on the issue of launching the already built Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The US administration believes that Russian gas supplies through this pipeline should be blocked in the event of an “invasion” of Russian troops into Ukraine. Meanwhile, Chancellor Scholz formulated a different point of view: “We must not drag Nord Stream 2 into this conflict”he said, calling for “qualified new beginning in relations with Putin”.

In addition, German Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock, at talks with Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, acknowledged Germany’s interest in Russian gas, although before that her position was completely different: she was eager to “turn Nord Stream 2 into a ruin at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.”

Nord Stream - 2 needed in Germany and Europe

In addition, Germany continues to actively cooperate with China, which is a sign for Washington “lack of concern for the democratic international order”. And Scholz is simply keen to keep German exports to China at $150 billion a year.

Scholz and the agency attacked bloomberg. Because of the “strange Russophilia” of Germany, Western countries cannot rely on Berlin in the event of a conflict between Russia and Ukraine. bloomberg Andreas Kluth. According to him, the US and other Western allies have long been irritated by the German policy of “responsibility evasion” and “excessive pacifism” in relations with Moscow. “To this false pacifism is mixed a strange kind of Russophilia, usually accompanied by thinly disguised anti-Americanism,” Klut says.

Olaf Scholz’s defiant demarche against the United States, as recently reported by the weekly Mirror, was the chancellor’s recent refusal to urgently fly to Washington and meet with Joe Biden to discuss the “accumulation” of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border. The head of the German government pointed to a very tight work schedule, in connection with which he cannot visit the United States in the near future. Therefore, Washington doubts Berlin’s readiness to support anti-Russian restrictions in the event of the aforementioned “invasion” of Ukraine.

The Americans are trying to torpedo mutually beneficial Russian-European cooperation with sanctions

And the Americans took action. On January 20, CIA director William Burns paid a “secret visit” to Berlin. Burns allegedly informed Scholz and German intelligence about possible scenarios for the further development of events around Russia and Ukraine and, presumably, hinted at how to behave in this case. As a result, on the same day, January 20, during a meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Scholz and his American visitor jointly declared “on unwavering support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”, expressing a “joint commitment” to the introduction of tough measures against the Russian Federation if Moscow starts “aggression” against Kiev. And on January 21, the German government denied the report altogether. Mirror, according to which the chancellor allegedly declined President Biden’s invitation to visit Washington on short notice.

If we count the article in WSJ, an organ of the US business circles, a “black mark” for Scholz, then it is rather of a precautionary nature. There is no reason to think that the differences between such Atlantic allies as the US and Germany can go too far. For example, Scholz has already rejected Russia’s demands to stop NATO’s eastward expansion. “The entry of new Eastern European countries into NATO is not on the agenda at all right now. Why is this demand from Russia? There can be no such guarantee.” – he said on January 23 in an interview with the newspaper South German newspaper. And about the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border, Scholz said that “the situation is very serious”: they say, one should not lose sight of the fact that Russia has pulled together about 100 thousand military personnel and a large amount of military equipment to the border with Ukraine. “There is no reasonable explanation for this, Scholz added. is a threat to peace and security in Europe,” and Russia “will pay a heavy price in the event of military aggression against Ukraine.”

Caricature

And the other day, the German government, in order to show its loyalty to Washington, dismissed the head of the German Navy, Vice Admiral Kai-Achim Schoenbach, who dared to say that Crimea, in his opinion, would never return to Ukraine.

It is difficult to say how deep the divisions in the Atlanticist camp go. It is quite obvious that Washington can still impose its will on Berlin. However, it is also obvious that America will not be able to keep Germany “under the boot” for an infinitely long time. Especially in such sensitive issues for the Germans as the supply of Russian gas through the new gas pipeline and relations with Moscow.

Cover photo: REUTERS/Christian Mang

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