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German Ostpolitik in the shadow of Russia’s imperial revenge

The strange tragedy of Angela Merkel's Ostpolitik in 2005-2021 was that the highly intelligent and committed chancellor showed herself incapable of departing from the wrong track in Germany’s Russia policy that Berlin had already taken before she took office. It is symptomatic that none of the early German mistakes vis-à-vis Moscow was directly related to Ukraine, yet the conflict surrounding Ukraine since 2014 has been marking the fiasco of Germany's Ostpolitik in the new century.

Berlin made a momentous blunder long before Angela Merkel came to power and early in the succession of Vladimir Putin's reigns of, so far, two premierships and four presidencies. In September 2001, the Federal Republic’s government invited Russia's newly minted second president, Vladimir Putin, to address the assembled Bundestag. No other Russian head of government or state has ever received such an honour.
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February 15, 2022 - Andreas Umland - AnalysisIssue 1-2 2022Magazine

Photo: Press Service of the President of the Russian Federation (CC) commons.wikimedia.org

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