ANOTHER German bureaucrat has taken a key role in the EU – sparking comparisons to the Roman Empire’s brutal takeover of Europe.
Markus Winkler, a close ally of President Martin Schulz, will become the deputy Secretary General of the European Commission from November.
With the position of President and Secretary General already taken by Germans, critics have accused Schultz of undermining democracy.
With a background like his, one might have to ask who he works for, exactly.
OSLO, NORWAY — Norway’s Jens Stoltenberg brings close Russia ties to his new job as NATO chief, equipping him with a potentially key asset as tensions with the Kremlin hover at post-Soviet highs.
The former Norwegian prime minister — the first NATO secretary general from a country bordering Russia — is known for his good relations with President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
The 55-year-old will take office on Wednesday, at a moment in history when NATO’s face-off with Russia over Ukraine has sparked tensions not seen since the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Continue reading
As previously discussed here.
President Vladimir Putin said on Monday Russia is sending an aid convoy to eastern Ukraine despite urgent Western warnings against using humanitarian help as a pretext for an invasion.
With Ukraine reporting Russia has massed 45,000 troops on its border, NATO said there was a “high probability” that Moscow could intervene militarily in the country’s east, where Kyiv’s forces are closing in on pro-Russian separatists.
Western countries believe that Putin – who has whipped up the passions of Russians with a nationalist campaign in state-controlled media since annexing Crimea from Ukraine in March – could now send his forces into the east to head off a humiliating rebel defeat. Continue reading
In an interview, outgoing NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen discusses Germany’s postwar tradition of pacificism and his belief the country is now ready, and indeed has the responsibility, to take on a greater role in global affairs.
SPIEGEL: Twenty-five years after reunification and almost seven decades after the end of World War II, has Germany become a country just like every other in terms of security policy?
Rasmussen: Germany is a normal country today, with the kinds of rights and duties other countries have. That’s why Germany should play an important role in foreign and security policy, be it in the EU, NATO or in international politics.
SPIEGEL: So he spoke directly to your heart when German President Joachim Gauck recently called for a more active German foreign policy, military means included?
Rasmussen: I don’t want to interfere with a domestic German debate. But I do very much agree with the position expressed by the German president. I welcome this debate. And not only as NATO secretary general, but also as the former prime minister of Denmark, the small neighbor country once occupied by Germany. Germany needs this debate. I can understand Germany being very cautious when it comes to international military deployments because of its past. But the time has come in Germany for this debate. Europe is ready for it, too. The goal should be to develop a common understanding for how Germany’s new role might look. Continue reading