No reasons to compare Russia’s actions in Crimea and Nazi Germany’s expansion back in 1930s - law professor
Is it appropriate to draw parallels between Russia’s actions in Crimea and Nazi Germany’s expansion back in 1930’es?
I think it is not appropriate. I think that the German Finance Minister himself, after he was challenged over his statement, seemed to retract to some extent. I think that comparison overlooks the situation of Crimea, which is a territory that was part of Russia for many years, historically, and where the population sincerely would like to be part of Russia and doesn’t want to continue the affiliation with Ukraine. So, I think it is not an appropriate comparison.
Could this rough statement mar the Russian-German relations?
I think often politicians make statements that, perhaps, they wish they didn’t make or that they subsequently will not insist upon. Here you have a statement by the Finance Minister. He is not the Prime Minister or the President of Germany. So, he is not speaking for the entire Government of Germany. I would hope that this statement will not have any lasting negative effect on the German-Russian relations.
How is it up to you? Why do some Western politicians make strong statements with respect to Russia and later backtrack on their words? Is it a trend of thoughts or a mere coincidence?
Well, I think politicians often make statements that are aimed at their domestic audience more than the audience at the international level and they want to show that they are strong, that they support their own nation. And they have a tendency to make statements of this sort, that do not reflect the reality of the relationship at the international level.
You see this as well in the US, where many politicians, especially from the Republican Party, have been criticizing Mr. Obama for not being sufficiently strong in his reaction to the situation in Crimea. But, hopefully, this will not be a continuing feature with regards to Germany and Russia.