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Research Report

Germany in the New Europe: German–Russian Relations in European and Translatlantic Perspective

Victor Waldemar Jensen
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2013
Pages: 65

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 2-4)
  2. (pp. 5-6)
  3. (pp. 7-8)
  4. (pp. 9-14)
    Otto von Bismarck

    During the two decades after 1990, Germany and Europe underwent tremendous changes. After German reunification and the eastward expansion of the EU and NATO, Germany went from being the eastern rim of the transatlantic community to centre-stage in Europe, geographically and in terms of political influence.

    If anything has re-emerged of the old European order, it is sensitivity to any real or perceived German great-power ambitions. Indeed, some of those who make it their business to analyse foreign policy tend to magnify the implications of German decisions out of all proportion. Shortly after reunification, Germany’s unilateral recognition of the breakaway...

  5. (pp. 15-32)

    Germany’s approach to Russia differs from that of both the USA and Eastern Europe. This is grounded in diverging narratives of the Cold War, different strategic cultures and different interests.

    Europe and the USA drew different lessons from the Cold War, and this continues to shape contemporary thinking. The correspondent of the Süddeutsche Zeitung recalls a heated discussion in 2007 between US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on the origins of the fall of the Soviet Union: ‘Steinmeier, the Social Democrat, explained it (the fall of the Soviet Union) was the consequence of Western...

  6. (pp. 33-46)

    Germany is the world’s largest importer of Russian oil and gas, and Russia has been Germany’s primary source for oil and gas imports since before the fall of the Soviet Union.67 Total German imports of raw materials amounted to € 83.9 billion in 2009. Fossil energy alone made up 71.6% of the total, with oil and natural gas representing 36.9% and 28.6% respectively and coal another 4.6%. Germany’s import dependency is very high: 97% of its total oil consumption and 84% of natural gas consumption

    According to statistics published by the Ministry of Economy, Russian gas amounted to 39% of...

  7. (pp. 47-62)

    The initiative to turn energy disruptions into an Article 5 matter seems to have been effectively buried even before the Lisbon summit. Helped by a relaxation of tensions on the energy market, due to not least to the exploitation of shale gas in in the USA, Germany has successfully worked for de-securitising energy policy in Europe. Of equal interest is how Russia and Germany have also been at the forefront of security policy initiatives aimed at each other. While remaining loyal to its NATO obligations, Germany has responded favourably, but in an uncommitted manner, to a series of Russian initiatives....

  8. (pp. 63-65)

    With relation to Russia, we have repeatedly seen how the wording of problem-sets relating to German foreign, security and energy policy bears surprising resemblance to issues dating back to the 1960s and 1970s and even earlier. Today’s debates echo the discussions on Gorbachev’s Common European Home; on Genscher’s promise for a new post-NATO European security architecture; on the Harmel Report, which set out to build a ‘an enduring and just peace arrangement for all of Europe’; and indeed also the 1954 Soviet proposal for an all- European security framework agreement.

    These few examples show how German strategic foreign policy thinking,...