On negotiations with Russia

Anders Östlund

Scholz keep the door open for negotiations with Russia. The problem is that negotiations usually means compromises. For Ukraine any compromise with Russia on territory or political freedom means that the war will continue in one form or another. Russia want to erase Ukraine. twitter.com/mathieuvonrohr…

Putin is today's Hitler, there is no point in negotiating with him. Russia will break any agreement made and will never back-off Ukraine. Scholz position cannot be interpreted as anything else than a last straw of a long held pro-Russian position.

The conclusion is clear. Scholz and large parts of the German establishment has not yet broken with Russia. The talk of "Zeitenwende" should be viewed as words only, the deeds have yet to be seen.

One thing I have thought of is the mid- and lower ranking staff in the German ministries. How many of them have Russian roots? It would be natural for a Russian speaker in Germany to work with Russian affairs. Where are their loyalties? How deep is the rot in the German state?

One would think that policy is decided by elected officials but in most states the data and analysis upon which decisions are made are prepared by unelected officials, and if those have pro-Russian views these will penetrate the material politicians use for decision making.

That Scholz is said to even prohibit his ministers from visiting Kyiv is telling. The only reason for this must be that Scholz somehow doesn't want to upset the Kremlin by showing support for Ukraine. In my opinion Scholz is so far as bad a Chancellor as Schröder and Merkel.

Ever since the war started in 2014 I have been more nervous about Germany than Russia. At least we know to always expect the worst from Russia. Waiting for Germany to do the right thing has been far more nerve-wracking.

The only thing that has been obvious with Germany's policy towards Russia is that Germany always does what it can to protect Russia's interest, and when actions against Russia are taken we can be sure Germany holds back to make the actions softer.

The way I see it now Germany is ready to push Ukraine into a negotiated deal with Russia that would save Russian interests while at the same time making sure Ukraine is kept under Russia's thumb.

We talk about Putin's calculus and what could make him back-off but we should talk about Scholz' calculus too. What would make Scholz take action against fascist tyranny in Europe? Would Scholz endorse an oil and gas embargo if Russia slaughtered more children or nuked Ukraine?

Thanks to the hard dollars Russia receive from the oil and gas trade it can pay its butchers enough to motivate them to slaughter civilians in Ukraine just as Russia can continue paying for its oppressive machine at home.

Every single dollar and cent that Russia earns from exports will be used to slaughter civilians, either directly by paying the killers or indirectly to produce the weapons needed and by keeping the oppressive regime in place.

By refusing to act to stop Russia Scholz is making himself passively complicit in the ongoing massacre in Ukraine.

And it's not just a moral obligation and common decency to stop an ongoing massacre, it's also the rational thing to do from a hard and cynical economic and military point of view. Russia's war cost all of Europe enormous money and create enormous insecurity.

Scholz and the German government is making a big deal about taking care of Ukrainian refugees, and that is nice, but just as with the Syrian refugee crisis Germany refuse to address the reason for the refugee crisis - Russia. The unwillingness to confront Russia make me nauseous.

This is of course pure nonsense. A better headline would be: "Despite the atrocities Germany still refuse to confront Russia in a meaningful way".