From a historical perspective, the last two times Germany and Russia went down this road of ‘partnership’, and eventually non-aggression pacts, it led to two world wars.
HANNOVER (Own report) – The German Chancellor and the Russian President attended yesterday’s opening of the annual Hannover Industry Trade Fair. This year, Russia was the fair’s chosen “partner nation,” a move to help promote German-Russian economic relations. The German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations announced a German-Russian economic summit to be held today. Since the SPD/Green coalition government encouraged the economic cooperation ten years ago, the trade volume has grown from 15.1 billion Euros in 1998 to more than 80 billion in 2012 – to Germany’s advantage. Germany is ensuring its access to energy resources from Russia’s huge deposits, while also tapping into the lucrative market for the German export-oriented industry. The German industry needs this market, since its sales to the southern Euro zone are tapering off, due to the economic crisis. Berlin is also seeking to boost this cooperation because of China’s growing influence in Russia. Moscow and Beijing are not only planning to expand their bilateral economic relations, they are also increasing their political and military cooperation – at the expense of Western hegemony, as seen from the German perspective.
Global Political Significance
In Berlin, this is, by no means, merely of economic significance. China’s economic influence in Russia is being taken very seriously in the German capital. Chinese companies have long since extended their activities from the far eastern regions of Russia, to now do business throughout the country and, to a growing extent, transacting their own investments. Even on an intermediate basis, German industry, which is existentially dependent upon foreign customers, is in danger of losing ground. Besides, Chinese-Russian cooperation has eminent global political significance, above all, representing an obstacle to the more powerful western forces’ attempts to roll back China’s growing global influence. As an attempt to ward off western aggression, this cooperation is comprised of a series of mechanisms, for example, the emerging powers’ BRICS economic alliance, or the more military Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Moscow represents, with Beijing, the backbone of both the BRICS and the SCO. Moscow’s close cooperation with Beijing provides it with a larger margin of manoeuvre in relationship to the West, as well. At the same time, the Russian government is seeking to avoid being exclusively linked to the People’s Republic of China. In the Russian capital, some fear that Moscow will not be able to compete with Beijing’s economic and political clout in the long run.
Full article: Partner Nation Russia (German Foreign Policy)