Germany’s resounding silence and it will remain a hostage to Vladimir Putin
As long as Germany is dependent on Russian gas, it will remain a hostage to Vladimir Putin in foreign policy. The dependency can also be seen in dealing with Alexej Navalny.
Friedrich Engels knew all about it. The European left, he wrote, has a “double interest” in the victory of democracy in Russia: “Firstly, because the Russian tsarist empire is the great main fortress, reserve position and reserve army of European reaction at the same time.”
Second, however, “because by its continued interference in the affairs of the West it hinders and disturbs our normal development, to conquer geographical positions which secure its domination over Europe and thus make the victory of the European proletariat impossible would “.
But then the European left was still left. Today, at least parts of the left – among the GDR nostalgics in the so-called Left Party and the Gazprom faction of the Social Democrats – are warning of a “new Cold War”, whispering about a strategic partnership with Russia and change through rapprochement. They are assisted by the European reaction, from the AfD to Viktor Orbán, from Marine LePen to the Pan-Slavists in the Western Balkans, who, with Russian support, are demanding the dissolution and division of Bosnia according to ethnic principles.
Not to forget the old and new Ostlandreiter in the boardrooms of German energy and other companies, whose business has always been about human rights, and their lobbyists in the Eastern Committee of German Business, in the Petersburg Dialogue, in the Union and FDP.
But it is not as if anything has changed significantly in Russian foreign policy since Engels’ time. Vladimir Putin consciously orientates himself on the tsarist foreign policy. It is precise because his regime is becoming increasingly unpopular that he is pursuing an aggressive foreign policy. As Engels wrote: “For the vulgar patriotic public, the glory of victory, the successive conquests, the power and splendour of tsarism amply outweigh all its sins, all despotism, all injustice and arbitrariness; the boasting of chauvinism amply compensates for all kicks. “