Germany’s Russia Moment

Germany’s Russia Moment

Germany's policy of engagement and partnership with Russia is rooted in the German experience within Europe. If economic interdependence and integration could transform Germany after both World War II and the Cold War, so German thinking goes, then it might also transform Russia.

Nevertheless, nearly 20 years after the end of the Cold War, Germany's efforts -- as well as those of Europe and the U.S. -- to transform and integrate Russia have failed. Over the past decade, Vladimir Putin's Russia has forcefully rejected integration with the West, predicating its desire for a return to great power status on expanded state power and the assertion of Russian autonomy. But despite Russia's recent shift away from democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, Germany has not only firmly maintained its approach, it has expanded it, leaving the U.S. and Europe divided on this increasingly urgent policy front.

Germany has been slow to come to grips with the clear and obvious failings of its Russia policy, which lie not in the concept underlying engagement, but in Germany's inability to achieve its objectives singlehandedly. Germany is not strong enough on its own to change Russia. It is, however, strong enough to change and unify Europe -- and a united Europe could be strong enough to, in turn, spur Russia to change itself.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review