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The German reaction to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict- shock and disbelief. OSW Commentary No. 132, 03.04.2014

Kwlatkowska-Drozdz, Anna and Poplawski, Konrad and Frymark, Kamil (2014) The German reaction to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict- shock and disbelief. OSW Commentary No. 132, 03.04.2014. [Policy Paper]

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    The crisis in Ukraine and the Russian intervention have brought about a situation in which it is necessary for Germany to make decisions and take action. No one in Berlin was prepared for this nor did anyone want this to occur. The effect of this is that the government has adopted a clearly critical stance on Russia, albeit in tandem with cautious diplomatic moves; it has given its consent to limited sanctions on representatives of the Russian elite, and has disapproved of economic sanctions. On the other hand, voices have been heard in the political debate in Germany not only warning of the catastrophic consequences of a deterioration in German-Russian relations but also those in fact expressing understanding for the Russian reaction. Although it is typical above all of the business circles engaged in Russia and the authors of Germany’s Ostpolitik to downplay the Kremlin’s moves, political parties and the German public are divided over how Germany should respond to Moscow’s policy, and this dispute will worsen. Berlin will take a whole array of actions to de-escalate the conflict, since the imposition of radical political and economic sanctions on Russia would also have a strong adverse effect on Germany. As regards sanctions, Germany would not only sustain economic losses, but they would also undermine the ideological foundations for the still popular vision for Germany’s strategy towards Russia in which great emphasis is laid on a strong “respect for the EU’s most important neighbour and its interests”.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Germany
    Countries > Russia
    Countries > Ukraine
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2014 16:40
    Number of Pages: 7
    Last Modified: 06 Dec 2014 16:40

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