Germany’s Delegation To Russia Signals That Merkel Is Looking For New Allies

By George Friedman of Mauldin Economics

A delegation of executives from major German corporations recently met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Such delegations are not unusual. Sometimes it is routine, sometimes a courtesy. But occasionally, it has significance. In the case of Russia-Germany relations, such meetings are always potentially significant.

Germany’s Unsteady Relations

Two relationships are critical to Germany.

One is with the European Union, the other is with the United States. Neither relationship is stable right now. Brexit, the Spanish crisis, Germany feuding with Poland and the unsolved economic problems of southern Europe are tearing the European Union apart.

The Germans and the EU apparatus claim that none of these threaten the bloc. In fact, almost a decade after 2008, Europe appears to be achieving very modest economic growth. But the Germans know the dangers that lie ahead, even if Brussels does not.

Many of the EU’s problems are political, not economic. (I wrote about the inherent weakness of Europe in my free e-book, The World Explained in Maps, which you can find here)

Poland and Germany have butted heads over the tension between the right to national self-determination and EU rules. This is also what Brexit was about.

Spain is locked in a dispute over the nature of a nation and the right of a region to secede, while the EU considers what role it should play in the domestic matters of a member state. And although southern Europe’s problems are economic, the fact that Europe has eked out minimal growth means neither that such growth is sustainable nor that the growth rate comes close to solving the Continent’s deep structural problems.

As the de facto leader of the EU, Germany has to appear confident while considering the implications of failure.

The German relationship with the United States is unsettled—and not just because of President Donald Trump’s personality.

The strategic and economic situation in Europe has changed dramatically since the early 1990s—when the Soviet Union fell, Germany reunified and the all-important Maastricht treaty was signed—but Germany’s structural relationship with the US has not.

Both are members of NATO, but they have radically different views of its mission and its economics. Germany has the world’s fourth-largest economy, but its financial contribution to NATO doesn’t reflect that.

Then there is Russia. The American policy toward Russia has hardened since the Democratic Party adopted an intense anti-Russia stance following the presidential election—more intense even than that of the Republican Party, which has always been uneasy with Russia.

The Ukraine crisis continues to fester while US troops are deployed in the Baltics, Poland, and Romania. This has widened rifts within the EU. Germany isn’t interested in a second Cold War; Eastern Europe believes it’s already in one.

The Eastern Europeans are increasingly alienated from the Germans on the issue and more closely aligned with the Americans. At a time when German relations with key Eastern European countries are being tested, the added strain of US policy in the region is a threat to German interests.

Germany wants the Russia problem to subside. The US and its Eastern European allies think the way to accomplish that is through confrontation.

An Alternative That Germany Doesn’t Want

Germany’s foreign policy has remained roughly the same since 1991, even as the international reality has changed dramatically. This is forcing Germany toward a decision it doesn’t want to make.

It must consider what happens if the EU continues to disintegrate and if European countries’ foreign policies and politics continue to diverge.

It must consider what happens if the US continues to shape the dynamics of Europe in a way that Germany will have to confront American enemies, or refuse to do so. This isn’t just about Russia—we can see the same issue over Iran.

Germany can’t exist without stable economic partners. It has never been self-sufficient since it reunified. It must explore alternatives.

The most obvious alternative for Germany has always been Russia, either through alliance or conquest.

Germany needs Russian raw materials. It also needs the Russian market to be far more robust than it is so that it can buy more German goods.

But Russia is incapable of rapid economic development without outside help, and with the collapse of oil prices, it needs rapid development to stabilize its economy. Germany needs Russia’s economy to succeed, and what it has to offer Russia is capital, technology, and management.

In exchange, Russia can offer raw materials and a workforce.

An alignment with Russia could settle Eastern Europe in Germany’s orbit. With the way things are going, and given Germany’s alternatives, the Russian option is expensive but potentially very profitable.

But Germany has a problem with Russia. Every previous attempt at alignment or conquest has failed. Building up the Russian economy to create a robust market for German goods would certainly benefit both countries, but it would also shift the balance of power in Europe.

Right now, Germany is militarily weak and economically strong. Russia is moderately powerful militarily and economically weak. An alignment with Germany could dramatically strengthen Russia’s economy, and with it, its military power.

Having moved away from the United States and de-emphasized military power in the rest of the European peninsula, Germany could find itself in its old position: vulnerable to Russian power, but without allies against Russia.

On a Lookout for New Allies

The corporate chiefs’ trip to Russia is not a groundbreaking event, nor does it mark a serious shift in German policy. But it is part of an ongoing process. As the international reality shifts from what Germany needs, Germany must find another path.

In the short term, the United States is vulnerable to a cyclical recession, and hostility toward Germany is increasing in Europe—particularly in Eastern Europe. China is facing internal challenges of its own. There are few other options than Russia, and Russia is historically a most dangerous option for Germany.

* * *

The World Explained in Maps reveals the panorama of geopolitical landscapes influencing today's governments and global financial systems. Don't miss this chance to prepare for the year ahead with the straight facts about every major country’s and region's current geopolitical climate. You won't find political rhetoric or media hype here.

Comments

takeaction Tue, 10/24/2017 - 02:06 Permalink

Mercee...needs to go bye bye with all of her imigrant friends..Is the Las Vegas security footage out??...................same as Seth Rich??We won't forget.

philipat takeaction Tue, 10/24/2017 - 03:07 Permalink

He "accidentally" omits several stragegic issues in this article. For instance, the impact of the Muslim invasion of Europe and the Official "Anti-Islamophobia" with associated political correctness which threatens European culture and society have turned the peoples of Europe against their "leaders". In the US, also "accidentally" forgets to mention that, in fact, the Democrat patry issues regarding Russia are simply a sokescreen dreamed up with the Deep State and MIC. Etc. And Friedman is widely associated with various alphabet soup Agencies and is, of course, an "insider".Perhaps Friedman's syatems were hacked again and he lost these critical points from his notes?

In reply to by takeaction

wildbad philipat Tue, 10/24/2017 - 03:18 Permalink

This is Germany seeing that the tide has turned. In the back rooms of Siemens, Hollorith (IBM) and Big Auto The Titans have seen the populist writing on the wall.

Putin was and is on the right side of globlalism. Since the failed couo d' etat in Ukraine when the USA Forced vassal lock-step status on the governments and corporations in Europe...they have suffered.

The dollar hegemony is dwindling, populisim is rising and that means less power, bravura and initiative for the globalist cunt Merkel and her Court jester cunts in Brussels.

Now watch putin play hard to get.

In reply to by philipat

Greyhat wildbad Tue, 10/24/2017 - 03:46 Permalink

The real problem is China. Russia is only the prey. The question is who will be the predator or how to make sure China doesn't take Siberia at least east of the Altai.http://windowstorussia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/sl9_e.gif The Ukrainian game didn't play that bad, access to the steppe belt from the west is still blocked, but acceptance of western troops in Ukraine is a lot higher now.The logical next step is North Korea, the eastern access to the steppe belt.https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/79/Eurasian_step…

In reply to by wildbad

Déjà view Greyhat Tue, 10/24/2017 - 05:06 Permalink

Have Austria lead the way...Austria took 1952 Stalin Notes seriously...proclaimed neutrality which returned full sovereignty 1955 and departure of Four Power occupation forces...Germany is still occupied 72 years after WWII...

Were it not for Hapsburg Empire keeping France contained...Germany would be speaking-FRENCH...

In reply to by Greyhat

wildbad Greyhat Tue, 10/24/2017 - 08:10 Permalink

howdy greyH
i think we are seeing something unfamiliar to most of us alive today.

actual, mutually beneficia planning. china and russia and Silk Road initiative is a huge sign of long term cooperation to aid the generall shift away from Brzingski / Kissenger Great Game hegemony.

I don't like the chinese model but the russian model is much more like the USA's theoretical model.

so , no fear here

In reply to by Greyhat

BobEore wildbad Tue, 10/24/2017 - 05:19 Permalink

This is Germany seeing that the tide has turned. In the back rooms of Siemens, Hollorith (IBM) and Big Auto The Titans have seen the populist writing on the wall.Nein.This is Germany being slowly boxed in.... as per ol Bob's prescription of coming events once the TRUMP DECEPTION(TM)event was realized... to the sneering contempt and rabid droolings of a legion of exceptionalist lackies eager to climb pon the POUTINE BANDWAGON.

And while it will be hidden for a while longer- via storylines about "the BRICS" & Russia as peacemaker and global savior, a new multipolar era, etc., etc., behind the carefully crafted media narrative the real face of international terror is ready to step onto the stage as the new power uber-alles. The ZATO alliance which I have spoken about the reality of for the past couple of months is going to become not only de facto, soon enough, but also de jure. But first, the world must turn upon a wounded and self-absorbed USA.

The storyline was clear by the end of summer 2016 - the Atlanticist alliance would be pried apart - The Trump Puppet tasked with making obnoxious bullying noises Berlins' way/the Ankara Puppet charged with intensfying the appearance of a 'pivot' away from the west - a fracturing of nation states in the Eurozone... all prelude to the gradual slipping of the MASK OF ZION over the former occidental powerz - and the arrival of the new ZATO PACT - as tactical allies Russian & Srael cemented their common goals of decaying the west and drawing the western Asian satrapies towards them.All proceeding apace. Germany is the only piece of the wreckage of Europe to be saved intact - already under the control of its' sio-masters, it will be told to turn East... and see it in it's all best interests. Though Strator disnifo agent Friedman is writing here in a semi-factual manner - it's not hard to see the usual masterplan behind his words... preparing the world for the coming EURASIAN ENERGY CARTEL which will hold the rump of Europe hostage - as Srael/Russia/Saudis&Iran/Iraq all combine together to force a geopolitical dominance of PAXSIONISTA pon a world which will have no recourse - Merika and the west thrown under the bus at last - to acceptiing their rule by fiat.Welcome to the NEW WORLD ORDURE - pretty much the same as the ol world ordure, of moneychanging talmudists controlling nation states and empires from behind scenes. And do not forget - it's their very own fanbouys, here and elsewhere on the 'alt media' who they will be throwing under the bus first! DEATH TO AMERICA-HURRAH HURRAH! the dupes screamed, unaware that their joyride in the stolen Opel was leading them directly to the tumbrils which are the fate of ALL SATANS' LIL HELPERS!

"In the grip of said meme, the whole of the "exceptionalist" western world will be happy to oblige their enemies with their own downfall - as long as they are given the starring role in the production as always! With the final warning issued - to fall inevitably on deaf ears - as to what could be expected from the sequence of events leading to Israel's covert coup in Ankara - everything that could be done to alert the Exceptionalists of the west to their imminent peril - was done. To no avail. Nothing, you see, nothing at all exists in the imagination of the Occidental Exceptionalist except their own virtualized reality and their own version of how thing work. We get to see this on display daily, as every news story, every world development is reworked via the filter of Occidental Exceptionalism to accord with the starring role they grant themselves at all times. Far worse a fate than being actually destroyed as a culture and an economic power, for these pathetic souls the ultimate bad dream is being left out of the script"https://storify.com/SuaveBel/t-the-western-world

WHEN THE VEIL DROPS - who is really behind the new barbarism in the middle east and it's coming export to Europe? (with image) · SuaveBel

In reply to by wildbad

wildbad BobEore Tue, 10/24/2017 - 08:17 Permalink

howdy BobE
your critique of my sentence isn't really a critique..I think we are saying essentially the same thing.

We are starting from different premises though. Your premis is that "everything is the Zionists", if I can be so presumptuous, which is a much larger and deeper realm of reality than I was addressing.

I see so much anti Zionism anti jew anti Israel stuff here and despite being open to larger conspiracy theories have not yet seen a comprehensive, cohesive and convincing evidence based summary of that particular theory.

Would love to though if you can point to one.

In reply to by BobEore

BobEore wildbad Tue, 10/24/2017 - 09:21 Permalink

I realize that it's impossible to expect someone to have perused every thread, every reference, every quote one might make in the course of advancing a precis...

so without knowing whether you might have gazed at the linked "When the Veil Drops"... \and being likewise unsure whether you have come across any of the copious occasions on which I have been at pains - on these very pages - to lay out a theory which supposes 'da jews' to be but a (like the goys)mind-controlled victim of a shadowy "master" behind scenes...

and without IN ANY WAY suggesting that my own efforts to shed some light on the theme of millennialist ethno-religious supremacism and associated genocidal compulsiveness - thru the ages - are of great merit or importance...

in stories like https://storify.com/SuaveBel/fez-kippah-come-together or https://storify.com/SuaveBel/gordian-knot-notwithstanding-truth and https://storify.com/SuaveBel/two-states-one-agenda-ethno-religious-clea…,

I've laid out the bare bones outline of how a small sect of hate-filled Judah-exiles returned from Babylon with a program of serial disruption which - some 2500 years later, is still causing chaos in the muddled east... and world wide.

This theme - as credibly as anywhere I've ever seen - covered in Douglas Reeds' "The Controversy of Zion" and Hoffmans' "Judaisms' Strange Gods"... is one which warrants such skepticism as you allowably express...

and warrants as well, close examination by whoever may be interested in avoiding a mass extinction event at the hands of those same kooks inheritors and descendants - the Sabbatean-Frankists who o/o pretty much every level of economic power - everywhere - today.

kudos y saludos...

BEO

In reply to by wildbad

ebworthen Tue, 10/24/2017 - 02:19 Permalink

LOL...weren't Germany and Russia allies in the early days of WWII?What happended to that?  Eh?  Too funny if at all possibly true.Is Merkel a Manchurian Candidate?

Ghordius Song_Of_Roland Tue, 10/24/2017 - 04:02 Permalink

because in your worldview, the EU is a kind of intelligent, talking hat forcing others to it's will. a fantasy of the "Harry Potter" kind
yes, it is a "kind of" hat. for 27 heads, though

example: the Czech Babis, who looks like the next Czech Prime Minister. and what does a Czech PM get?

to vote on behalf of the Czech Republic in the key body of the EU, the Council. like Italy's Gentiloni, like Germany's Merkel, like Hungary's Victor Orban, like Ireland's Leo Varadkar

"the EU", in reality, is an alliance of sovereign nation states. in fantasy, it's... "a talking Harry Potter hat". for some reason, a lot of people prefer fantasy to reality. meh

In reply to by Song_Of_Roland

Song_Of_Roland Ghordius Tue, 10/24/2017 - 04:41 Permalink

Most institutions have a vision for the future. I merely made the comment that the EU assuredly knows where it wants to be positioned and where it wants to go in regards to domestic matters of the member states.Your entire comment does not dispute, agree with or qualify my original point: The EU knows what it wants its role to be in domestic matters. Instead you decided to make Harry Potter references.

In reply to by Ghordius

BobEore vollderlerby Tue, 10/24/2017 - 05:29 Permalink

Err... Ok, whatever."Ghordius"... is a guy, so far as I've been able to understand it, thru the years... but more important -  a Continentalist, with a different viewpoint than most here... which he manages to untiringly communicate with IMMEASUREABLY more subtlety, grace ... and respect for his interlocutors - than the exceptionalist whiners who substitute spite and venom for an argument...and meticulously have rained down contempt on any and all who offer opinions here not 'approved american' in style or content. Leaving this place as devoid of challenging debate and 'alternative' viewpoints as the dark side of the moon.It's a joke... you're a joke... the whole 'fight club' thang has indeed become a joke - cause lilliputian tranny mud wrastlers posing as internet tuff guys are unable to assemble the wherewithal to even get in the ring...anymore. I very much doubt 'Ghordius' thinks of most of us as "stupid"... but I equally doubt he could be faulted for doing so... based pon the evidence before our eyes via your comment.

In reply to by vollderlerby

Ghordius vollderlerby Tue, 10/24/2017 - 05:50 Permalink

everyone here retarded? nope. the usual 20% of "cognitively challenged", in my view. those you can find everywhereand another 20% that are quite ignorant of this continent. but that's only a sickness, which can be cureda bit... trollish, that ""American worldview" and similar phrases are a testament to her disdain for anyone but herself "first, I am a man. second, I did not write that. third, what disdain? my disdain is reserved to blank, stupid propaganda, not people. are you perhaps... projecting a bit?

In reply to by vollderlerby

WallHoo Tue, 10/24/2017 - 03:00 Permalink

Per me,a German-Russian axis is gonna be devastating.Russia will be sucked in the squid and cuckland will gain even more power for their masters.The squid in europe already has a policy of gathering wealth from all around the world,the center of power changes back to europe.America be advised...

LoveTruth Tue, 10/24/2017 - 03:19 Permalink

".... Russia is moderately powerful militarily ... " Yeah, almost right. ...... Russia is a leader in rocket technology, Russia has enough nukes to wipe out the whole world a few times at least .... This article is full of inaccuracies. 

louie1 Tue, 10/24/2017 - 03:35 Permalink

It will be Germany Russia China.  Game set and match. USA will look like Mexico. Not much difference now come to think of it.Put up your hand if you want to go to the front line in Russia and take them on for the neocon hegrmonists.....Thought so. 

vollderlerby louie1 Tue, 10/24/2017 - 04:51 Permalink

That would make sense, but Merkel's only mission is to destroy Germany from within.  So she'll pivot to nothing, she'll be no one's ally and she'll be continue to use non committal words and sentences to accomplish nothing while bringing in the low IQ savages. That'll be game set and match for Germany.

In reply to by louie1

Pop3y3too Tue, 10/24/2017 - 03:36 Permalink

Merkel see, Merkel do.  She's looking to get in on some of that sweet Pootin cash under the table like Hillary did. Wonder where she keeps her Uranium stash. Probably between her legs. 

Ghordius Tue, 10/24/2017 - 03:47 Permalink

ZH, the place where Russian propaganda and American fantasies... meet
the first lacks important details, the second lacks moderation and sense for realities

of course economic links are increasing, between several EU countries and Russia. those include Italy, France, the BeNeLux and.... Belarus, lately

Washington's "Bash Russia Brigade" can "go whistle", (and Poland's deluded gov too)

but that "the EU is..." stuff is as usual just rubbish. there is no "either Russia or EU" thinking, nowhere, except in some out-of-touch minds

meh. the US' "Pivot to East" is ongoing. Russia is on course of becoming a partner... of the EU's countries. slowly, and with moderation. as... per China's wishes, too

Weisshorn Ghordius Tue, 10/24/2017 - 07:00 Permalink

"falsehoods"?  The EU is a lie from beginning to end.  Conceived in deception.  Nourished in manipulation.  Weilding power by selling out the peoples she claims to represent.Besides a troll can also repeatedly spew dogma in poorly articulated comments to a readership that clearly thinks he is full of shit.  For verification of this just add up your votes on virtually any post that you troll, er comment, on.

In reply to by Ghordius

Joe A Yars Revenge Tue, 10/24/2017 - 04:20 Permalink

Ain't gonna happen. Russia doesn't want that to happen and nor do the Visegrad countries. The EU is trying with a new construction to achieve that but it won't happen. This would actually even drive Russia and the Videgrad countries even further from Germany and the EU. No, Merkel created that problem and now she has to deal with it. In my opinion with the last German election result, Merkel will be forced out at one point. Thrown in front of the bus like she did with Helmut Kohl (who of course got into trouble with corruption but still).

In reply to by Yars Revenge

Joe A Tue, 10/24/2017 - 04:16 Permalink

Then they'd better keep the countries in between them happy. Last time there was an alliance between Germany and Russia (SU), it didn't really end wel for many in these countries.But we have grown since then -I think and I hope-. This is a natural progression because of Brexit. Germany looks more at continental routes, alliances and opportunities and less to Atlantic ones. Germany has always looked East. Brexit casts off the chains. But the US will not sit idle. I always said here that the US will try to influence Eastern European countries like Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and even the former YU countries.The key for Germany's new and hope fully peaceful "Drang nach Osten" lies in keeping the countries between Germany and Russia happy. Then the economies of these places need to develop. Jobs need to be created there, factories and businesses from Western Europe need to open shop there (and they already are). People need jobs with a decent income and all the goodies that come with that.Oh, and gas. That is where the crux of the issue is.

NuYawkFrankie Tue, 10/24/2017 - 07:42 Permalink

Now I'm no fan of that traitorous 'Commie Bull-Dyke' Jerkel... far from it....

...but with "friends" like ZOG-USSA - waiting for the first opportunity to stab you in the back & get you incinerated in a European War - I cant say I blame Jerkel for turning towards Russia....

Self-preservation, after all, has a way of focussing the mind as to where one's best interests might lie - like not ending up in a little pile of ash you could fit into a thimble... for the benefit of Uncle Scam & The Greater Glory of the Axis Of ZION.

And even a fat sow like Merkel can find the odd 'truffle of truth' in the shit-pile she usually runts in.

hestroy Tue, 10/24/2017 - 04:23 Permalink

"Russia is moderately powerful militarily"This is pure bullshit. Russians have the best nuclear weapons so what the fuck is this Friedman talking about?