If the West really wants to build a new relationship, then it has to understand Russia much better than it does today. Here are a few recommendations on what to avoid when patching up relations with Moscow.
Germany’s old Russia policy, an attempt to build a “modernizing partnership,” is dead and should be buried. The beginning of 2015 saw Berlin searching for a new way forward, informed by recent events.
Since reunification Germany’s partners have prodded the country to take on a leadership role in security policy. Now Germany’s finally agreed to take a seat at the table – as long as it is not the head.
Syriza’s election in Greece turned discussion in Europe once more to the possibility of a Grexit. Cutting Athens loose, however, would not help Greece, and do little to repair the eurozone’s remaining problems.
The United Kingdom has been accused recently of stepping off the international stage, leaving Germany and France to run the show. The notion of British retreat, however, needs a more nuanced assessment.
Mainstream politicians need to stop pressing the snooze button and wake up: Protest politics and xenophobic populism are endangering Europe’s liberal democracies and open societies. They must be addressed.
Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, Chinese foreign policy is becoming more ambitious. Consequently, new China policies are needed. Europe should build on past German successes.