Moscow’s cynicism is eroding German-Russian relations
Russia wears down the West, and the pattern is always the same: allegations directed against Moscow are denied and replaced by alternative facts. Unfortunately the method gets caught again and again – also in Germany.
Dhe months since the poisoning of the Russian critic Alexei Navalny have shown one thing: a dialogue with Russia is currently impossible. It’s not because of different opinions and interests. The y exist between many nations – they are the everyday business of international diplomacy. The breakdown of German-Russian relations goes deeper. Two things have eroded its foundation for years: deliberately sown doubts and coolly smiling cynicism.
In the six months since Alexei Navalny was poisoned on August 20, 2020, the Kremlin’s strategy in the middle of Germany became very clear. The mechanism is well known – from the Khodorkovsky case to the invasion of Ukraine, the shooting down of flight MH17 to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal. It works like this: allegations directed against Russia, no matter how many facts are supported, are called into doubt – and replaced by an alternative narrative. The n you portray yourself, with a mockingly innocent expression, as reliable – and the other side as insincere.
In the Navalny case, the Russian version sounds like this: The Russian authorities have done everything to stabilize Navalny’s health after the poisoning and to be able to fly him to Germany. The federal government then prevented the case from being investigated – possibly because they had something to hide there. The latest judgments against Navalny are therefore appropriate decisions by an independent judiciary. Only the German government violates the rule of law when it condemns the guilty verdicts – and arrogantly interferes in internal affairs.
Russia’s ambassador in Berlin, Sergei Netschajew, called his country a few days ago in an interview (with the publication of a German business association), without being contradicted, as a “responsible international actor and reliable partner for everyone”. And said: “Common sense” will “gain the upper hand in the long term, not least because of the consistent efforts of business circles in most federal states”.
In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, for example, where Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig recently implemented a plan of Putinian cynicism. She established an “environmental foundation” – the purpose of which will be to complete the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Moscow can rely on its German partners – and will not stop at anything in the future.
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Navalny case Moscows cynicism eroding GermanRussian relations