Berlin Starts to Test Its Ties With Russia


Category: Bilateral Relations, Russia

Despite the many vicissitudes the relationship between Germany and Russia has been remarkably close. Germany is Russia’s most important trading partner and a loyal ally in the European Union. Yet over the past few weeks, an increasing number of German politicians are questioning Berlin’s special relationship with Russia under Putin Two, as President Vladimir V. Putin’s return to the presidency has been called.

“There is definitely a change in the discourse,” said Stefan Meister, a Russia specialist at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin. “There are a number of politicians now saying that something is going wrong with Russia and that Germany must reassess its strategy toward Moscow. The big question is, how can the policy be changed, or what is the alternative?”

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