Limited expectations as Scholz heads to Kyiv and Moscow
After heavy criticism for an initially timid response, the approach of Germany’s new government to the Ukraine crisis is improving as its position on Russia evolves.
Olaf Scholz is a famously quiet and cautious communicator and, as concerns mounted in Washington and London about the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, the new German chancellor remained silent.
This time his silence reflected the fact that his government was unprepared for its first major foreign policy test, with marked divisions between the SPD and the Greens on how to manage a rapidly deteriorating relationship with Russia.
When he did speak, Scholz caused dismay in several NATO capitals by defending the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline. He called it ‘a purely private economic project’ even though the company building the pipeline is a subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned Gazprom.
Click here to continue reading the full version of this Expert Comment on the Chatham House website.
Latest News from
Sweden brings benefits for NATO but accession delay raises difficult questions28/02/2024 09:20:00
Sweden’s membership will strengthen NATO, but the delays associated with its accession has revealed several concerns about the credibility and future of the alliance.
The second failed Trident test: Time to scrap or expand Britain’s nuclear capabilities?27/02/2024 15:10:00
The potential nuclear threats posed by Russia and China are complicated by the possibility of a second Trump presidency.
The AU took important action on cybersecurity at its 2024 summit – but more is needed27/02/2024 09:20:00
Leading African Union member states continue to delay ratification of the Malabo convention, limiting harmonized African policymaking on cybersecurity.
China’s ‘renminbi trap’: The economy needs a weaker currency, but Beijing is unable to act23/02/2024 15:10:00
Weakening the currency should be relatively straightforward. But the adverse reaction of China’s trading partners, past experience, and Xi Jinping’s ambitions for the renminbi could combine to prevent it.
Has Pakistan’s new coalition government been handed a poisoned chalice?23/02/2024 12:20:00
Simmering tension between the two coalition partners threatens to hobble the capacity of the new government to tackle the multiple crises facing Pakistan.
Ukraine means enlargement is again the EU’s priority – but not for the reasons it claims20/02/2024 14:10:00
The European Union is using an old tool for a new purpose as it looks to its defence.
Alexei Navalny’s most powerful legacy is urging Russians to imagine their country without Putin19/02/2024 14:10:00
Much like his life’s work, Navalny’s death shows the corrupt brutality of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
‘Continuity’ Prabowo means change for Indonesia16/02/2024 12:20:00
Prabowo Subianto used the endorsement of the popular outgoing president to win power - but is unlikely to govern as Jokowi’s ‘proxy’.