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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Germany again saw Russia as a threat


“Russia is a threat to the established post-cold war world order in Europe”, – stated in the updated by the German authorities White paper. Of special concern to Berlin’s use of Moscow’s “hybrid instruments to blur the boundaries between war and peace”. Turning Russia into a number of “rivals”, Germany, in fact, returns our relationship in the 30-ies of the last century.

The German government has updated the White paper. As writes Die Welt, in this country called “document, which serves as the main guide for decision-making in the field of security policy”, that is, in fact, military doctrine. The decision to write a new White paper was adopted in February last year at the conference devoted to questions of international relations and security. The initiator was the Minister of defence of Germany Ursula von der Leyen, said at the time “Military review”.

“Hitler and his historic lawyers justified the treacherous attack on 22 June 1941, almost the same words”

The previous edition was written in 2006, it referred to Russia as “a partner of” Germany. In the new edition Moscow called “rival” of Berlin.

“Russia is ready to promote their interests by violent means – as happened in Crimea and in Eastern Ukraine – and to unilaterally shift guaranteed by international law border. Therefore she is a threat to the established post-cold war world order in Europe”, – stated in the updated White paper.

Russia turns away from the West, emphasizes that he is a strategic rival, and increases its military activity at the external borders of the EU, said in Berlin. Of particular concern is the use of Moscow’s “hybrid instruments to blur the boundaries between war and peace” as well as “Subversion against other countries”. “If Russia does not radically change course, it will pose a threat to security on our continent”, – quoted “White paper” Die Welt.

In addition to our country in the new list in comparison with 2006 threats Germany also made terrorism, cybercrime, failed States, uncontrolled migration, nationalism, the arms race, global warming and epidemics.

On the one hand, the inclusion of Russia in the list of threats along with epidemics and migration is nothing new. The start for this was given by Barack Obama, picked up by British Prime Minister David Cameron, and indeed it is difficult to find in power in Western politics, who have not spoken out about the “Russian threat”.

The problem is that Russian-German relations are fundamentally different from Russian-American and Russian-British. Decades of the cold war – it’s not the same as the bloodiest war in history. Turning Russia into a number of “rivals”, Germany, in fact, returns our relationship in the 30-ies of the last century, when, in spite of the Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact, it was widely understood that military confrontation is only a matter of time.

When the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev gave consent to the accession of the GDR to West Germany, the Western countries ensured that a unified Germany would not pose a threat to Moscow. But if the Germans officially called Russia an “opponent” and “a threat to security on the continent”, it means that Berlin is once again considering the possibility of a military clash.

Recall that Hitler and his historic lawyers justified the treacherous attack on 22 June 1941, almost the same words: “the Supreme command of the Wehrmacht with the beginning of the year has repeatedly pointed to the foreign policy leadership of the Reich on the growing threat to the Reich by the Russian army and stressed that the reason for this strategic concentration and deployment of troops can only be aggressive plans.” The ending is known, and it is unlikely that even the most hard-nosed revanchists forgot about it.

There is a feeling that on the background of a clearly growing frustration of Germans in the government of Angela Merkel and almost imminent defeat of her party at the next Federal election current Ministers are trying to maximize finally spoil relations with Russia. Because there is no doubt that this new openly hostile gesture on the part of Berlin will not remain unnoticed in Moscow.

However, as noted by Die Welt, formally a new White paper has not yet passed the approval in the Cabinet, but it is likely to be formal and serious changes to the document will not make.

It is significant that information about the transition of Russia into the category of “rivals” Germany came amid peaceful statements of Chancellor Angela Merkel: “I am in favour of a gradual rapprochement of Russia with the European economic space, so that ultimately we have a common economic zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok” – she said, speaking at a Congress of the party “Christian democratic Union” (CDU) in Mecklenburg – Western Pomerania. However, this statement was accompanied by ritual incantations that “the EU against the background of Russia’s actions in Ukraine cannot compromise their principles.”

Of course, the “White book”, as any doctrine – it’s just text on paper. The price of them in case of a real deterioration of relations is small – what Germany has in its history has repeatedly confirmed. But the symbolic value of Russia’s transition into the category of “rivals” and “threats” should not be underestimated. Perhaps this symbolic act, it makes sense to respond also symbolically – for example, to arrange in the State Duma the public reading of the poem by Konstantin Simonov, “If the roads you your house”.

In any case, it must be noted that the tension in Europe continues to grow, and blame is not Russia.

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