EUROPE: German – Russian Relations

A sordid history

NATO encirclement of Russia does not further world peace but endangers it. A unified European foreign policy including Russia for a collective security system aimed at easing tensions should replace U.S.-dominated NATO policies. Who does not favor the collapse of the European Union should support a new social and democratic system. (Sahra Wagenknecht, Die Linke Party of Germany)

The US has tactical weapons in Europe, let us not forget this. Does it mean that the US has occupied Germany or that the US never stopped its occupation after World War II and only transformed the occupation forces into the NATO forces? -V. Putin

It’s no easy task to get a handle on just what is happening in Europe. Is it really united? And if so, who is in command? And above all, does what used to be called the continent of Europe (it’s not a continent at all) even count in world affairs? There is little doubt about who commands within the European Union. Germany commands. Though the “special Paris-Berlin relationship” makes the headlines, for Germany that relationship is nothing special. Not so for traditional France always in search of old glories, while pragmatic Berlin chooses Germany’s partners and defines the nature of the relationship.

Germany has long been dominant in Europe. Brexit or not, Southern European unity or not, Germany dominates in most any Europe. Any Europe, that is, that does not include Russia and the heavy hand of the USA whose armies still occupy Germany and Italy today seventy-five years since World War II. Decisions made in Berlin might cause griping and bitter criticisms by other European nations and generate remembrances of the “good old times” of strict borders and interlocking pacts and treaties. And also since the UK departure, you read of weak threats from other member nations to abandon the ranks of the European Union. But be that as it may, matters that count within the EU are decided in Berlin. For EU policies and actions serve above all German interests, to such an extent that many Germans and Germany itself might envy the British exit from a heavy, bureaucratic, costly, decadent EU. If Germany dominates Europe anyway, Germans can think, why then the cumbersome EU?

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