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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel

    Merkel Abandons Germany's Pro-Russian 'Ostpolitik' Course

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    Despite pressure from German industry and the "Russland Versteher" group, Chancellor Merkel declared a "remapping" of Russian-German relations.

    MOSCOW, November 27 (Sputnik), Ekaterina Blinova — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has abandoned Germany's pro-Russian ‘Ostpolitik’ political course, ultimately shifting the power game in Europe, according to the Guardian.

    "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.

    On November 26, in Berlin, Angela Merkel blamed Russia for "violating Europe's peaceful order" during a speech in the lower house.

    "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.

    Reuters reported on November 16, that Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's Vice Chancellor and the leader of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), who previously supported anti-Russian sanctions, noted that he could not see how tougher sanctions "would help us [Germany] move forward economically," stressing that they "will only make the situation more difficult." The media outlet added that Gabriel, "SPD's likely candidate to challenge Merkel in 2017," also criticized NATO's "sabre-rattling" on Russian borders.

    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.

    Related:

    Merkel: Sanctions Against Russia to Remain in Force
    Merkel Says Security in Europe May be Ensured Only Together With Russia
    Putin Explains Russian Stance on Ukraine Crisis to Merkel, Juncker: Kremlin
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