Time to Phase Out Victory Day
Today Russia fights not against real fascists in Germany, but against imaginary ones in Ukraine. Given this, it might make sense to radically shift the focus of the holiday.
Greece’s new Syriza government may alarm Brussels, but there is more behind Greece’s affinity for Russia than can be explained by party alliances alone – as polls have shown, keeping Athens in line on Russia policy may be trickier than expected.
The Rilke Strategy
Europe needs to craft a short-term strategy to contain Moscow’s power and a long-term strategy to reengage with Russian interests. As the poet Rainer Maria Rilke said, “To endure is all.”
Firmness and Consistency
It will be hard for the EU to admit that its postmodern dream of an eternally peaceful European security order is out of reach. But given Russia’s aggression, that is what it must learn to do – while bolstering its defenses.
An Expanded Focus
Setting a positive agenda, reaching out to Russia’s remaining civil society, and pursuing a mixture of containment and engagement can build a more effective relationship with Russia over a long time frame.
The What-Not-To-Do List
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.
From Bystander To Peacemaker
China’s proposals to facilitate the Afghan reconciliation process – and signals from Kabul and Islamabad that peace talks may soon be underway – pose the question of what a more serious Chinese diplomatic role in Afghanistan can be expected to achieve.
A Long Way To Go
On April 2, 2015 in Lausanne EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif presented parameters for an agreement about Iran’s nuclear program. What kind of deal is in the making? (2 of 2)
In For the Long Haul
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.
A Good Foundation
On April 2, 2015 in Lausanne EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif presented parameters for an agreement about Iran’s nuclear program. What kind of deal is in the making? (1 of 2)
Words Don’t Come Easy: “Führung aus der Mitte”
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.
Not Going AWOL
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.
Feeding on Discontent
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.
Niche Diplomacy at Work
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.
A (Very Small) Sign of Hope
German Chancellor Angela Merkel turned down Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invitation to attend the huge military parade planned for the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory over Germany. Instead, she will travel to Moscow one day later to take part in a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – an unexpected hopeful sign.