On January 14, 73 eastern Europe- and security-focused experts from Germany co-signed a detailed letter in Zeit Online calling for a “course correction” in Germany’s Russia foreign policy. The authors argue that Europe’s largest economic power has largely and “passively” sat by as Russia’s aggression in the region grew in the past three decades. Germany is a key NATO and European Union (EU) member and an important historical bridge between the West and the former Soviet Union, and as such must carry more responsibility in pushing back against Kremlin aggression and supporting countries besieged by Russian President Vladimir Putin. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz recently said all things are on the sanctions negotiating list and the German government is continuing discussions with both US and Russian officials on how to best counter the Kremlin’s aggression. What can the new German government do to push back more against Russia’s growing threat? What tools are at its disposal that can enhance credible deterrence, strengthen unity, support Ukraine, and pressure Putin?
Four co-signers of the letter, Dr. Andreas Umland, research fellow with the Stockholm Center for Eastern European Studies at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Ruprecht Polenz, president of the German Association for East European Studies (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde), Rebecca Harms, former member of the European Parliament with the Greens/European Free Alliance, and Dr. Sarah Kirchberger, department Manager, Institute for Security, Chistian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, join Ambassador John Herbst, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, to discuss. Benjamin Haddad, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center, welcomes.
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