Germany’s “key mistake”: Expert: Kremlin has more influence on us than vice versa

Germany’s “key mistake”
Expert: Kremlin has more influence over us than vice versa

A few days before Russian troops invaded Ukraine, Chancellor Scholz appealed to Putin’s common sense. Germany has relied on diplomacy in its Russia policy for decades. Assuming that this actually impresses Moscow is a big mistake, says political expert Kaim.

Markus Kaim from the Institute for Science and Politics sees serious mistakes in Germany’s Russia policy in recent decades. In an interview with ntv, the security expert considered the key mistake to be “that we always assumed that we could transform Russia.” There was a perception that Russia could be moved in a different direction. This was already the principle of “Brandt’s foreign policy”.

Markus Kaim is a political scientist at the Institute for Science and Politics in Berlin.

(Photo: picture alliance / AA)

Even the sanctions decisions, according to Kaim, “breath the spirit, we have the leverage to push Russia in a certain direction.” The expert advised to rethink. One even has to turn the view around, because in view of global economic ties, “Russia can impress us almost more and push us in one direction than we can vice versa.” Kaim emphasized that it was a reversal of the balance of power from 20 years ago.

According to Kaim, there is currently no possibility for the West to intervene in what is happening in Ukraine. In principle, the states have military, diplomatic and political options for action. Diplomatically, however, there is currently no room for maneuver and militarily, NATO has no levers, as it has explained itself. “So politics and sanctions remain.” However, “they’re not good for what’s happening in Ukraine right now.” What happens in the country in the next few hours and days is beyond the West.

Kaim: Europe is failing as a crisis manager

The expert expects the military maneuver to end quickly. “Things could go quickly now, especially if we succeed in beheading Ukraine’s political decision-making structure, arresting the president and if Ukraine then signs some kind of surrender.” Because the political beheading of the Ukrainian government is the aim of Russia’s military operation. Kaim expects that “the whole thing will be completed within a few days”. However, if the population resisted and a kind of guerrilla war ensued, “then that would increase the cost of blood on the Russian side,” Kaim warned.

He also points out that it is less Europe and more the USA that is “an adequate partner for Putin”. In order to stand up to Russia, the US must make every effort to engage in Europe, politically, economically and financially. “In doing so, they are returning to a policy that they actually wanted to get rid of,” Kaim said. At the same time, there is a bitter finding for the EU: it has still not found the ability “to act as a crisis manager in its own neighborhood”.

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