"One thing we know for sure about Angela Merkel: she takes time to ponder her decisions and she weighs her words carefully. So the speech the German chancellor gave in Australia, a few days after Vladimir Putin stormed out of the G20, may go down as a major shift in European geopolitics," the media outlet reported.
During her speech in Australia on November 17, the German Chancellor reminded the audience of the beginning of 1914 when the European powers had "no readiness to accept compromises" and arrogantly believed "in military superiority." The reference to the First World War is rather symbolic: in the beginning of the 20th century, Germany and Russia had strong political and economic relations, which were ruined by the decision of the German royal elite to declare war on Russia on August 1, 1914.
"Russia's course of action is calling into question the European peace order and is breaching international law. The situation in Luhansk and Donetsk continues to be far away from a cease-fire. That's why economic sanctions are and remain unavoidable. We need patience and persistence in our efforts to overcome the crisis," she said as cited by the Wall Street Journal.
The Guardian notes that Moscow still has a strong "network of "Russland Versteher," people who "understand" and side with Russia in Germany." It is worth mentioning that numerous German corporations carried out collaborative projects with Moscow and the sanctions policy evidently hit them hard. "Business weighs heavily" in a German-Russian relationship. The media outlet suggests that Merkel's "new course" will face "domestic obstacles," particularly those "Russland Versteher" who conduct business in Russia. They dismiss the groundless accusations of Russian aggression in Ukraine and point to the fact that sanctions will not help to resolve political crisis in Ukraine.
Assessing 15 years of Russo-German relations President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Hubert Seipel of the German channel ARD, before the Australian G20 summit: "Look at the friendship that has been established between Russia and Germany in the past 10–15 years. I don’t know if we had ever enjoyed such relations before. I see it as a very good base, a good foundation for the development of relations not only between our two states, but also between Russia and Europe as a whole, for the harmonization of relations in the world. It will be a pity if we let it go to waste," he said as cited by RT.
It seems, however, that despite the domestic pressure German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set on "wasting" the valuable political and economic experience of 10-15 years of Russo-German mutually beneficial relations.