Scholz’s political motives in view of Russia’s war on Ukraine

Key Findings

  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to the United States, where he met with President Joe Biden, demonstrated a significant beef-up of Berlin’s international posture over the past year.
  • Since 1991, Russia’s intelligence agencies have been corrupting Germany’s business elite and significantly expanding its influence within the country.
  • It is highly likely that Scholz’s repeated attempts to launch negotiations with Putin and maintain a communication channel with the Kremlin are the result of Berlin’s fears that Russia could exploit the potential of its diaspora and influence on the political elite to destabilize the country.
  • There is a theory that Scholz’s restraint in matters of arms supplies to Ukraine is due to the critical state of the Bundeswehr and Germany’s previous leaders ignoring the need to finance their own defense sector and re-equip their military.
  • Germany’s military assistance to Ukraine in its fight to restore territorial integrity and sovereignty can have a positive effect on the German defense industry.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to the United States, where he met with President Joe Biden, demonstrated a significant beefing up of Berlin’s international posture over the past year. However, the fact that Russian agents of influence have infiltrated Germany’s political and defense circles requires constant assistance and consultations.

Since 1991, Russia’s intelligence agencies have been corrupting Germany’s business elite and significantly expanding their influence within the country. This was facilitated by the simple fact that, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, nearly 1 million Russians have emigrated to Germany. Of the 81.7 million people residing in Germany, Russian is the primary language in 15% of the country’s households. This means that these Russian speakers, who have predominantly obtained German citizenship, never sought assimilation, remaining carriers of cultural and historical perceptions traditional for Russia, and, therefore, constituting a potential base to be used by the Russian government for its malign purposes. The level of the Kremlin’s influence in Germany allows Moscow to retain certain control over political parties and run mass rallies in German cities as part of meddling operations.

The recent arrest of a Russian spy in Germany’s BND intelligence agency has raised concerns about how far Russia has gone to infiltrate other countries.

Scholz’s repeated attempts to start talks with Putin and keep a line of communication open with the Kremlin are probably a result of Berlin’s fears that Russia could use its diaspora and power over the political elite to make the country unstable.At the same time, it’s unlikely that the Scholz government thinks about the possibility of a military escalation when making decisions.All existing models of conflict development indicate that Moscow is incapable of entering into a direct conflict with NATO allies, while its nuclear threats are highly exaggerated and aimed at exerting psychological pressure on the populations of Western democracies. Another proof to support the assumption is that such threats are mainly voiced by the deputy chief of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, who has long lost authority, influence, and any political prospects amid a severe alcohol addiction.

Nevertheless, Olaf Scholz’s Germany is intensively changing its image, effectively ridding itself of the negative trail of history dating 84 years back. It is Scholz who is succeeding in turning Germany into a power that protects Eastern Europe from the genocide pursued by the Putin regime, which, having massively abused anti-Nazi rhetoric, has itself turned into a sort of Third Reich.

Thus, Scholz walked a 12-month path, making a U-turn from pacifism and neutrality attempts to a proactive position and vowing to fight for European security.

It was the Scholz government that ensured reduced dependency on Russian natural gas—something that no previous German government was able to achieve.

Some people think that Scholz’s reluctance to send weapons to Ukraine is because the Bundeswehr is in bad shape and because Germany’s previous leaders didn’t pay enough attention to the need to re-equip and fund their own military. Donald Trump, during his tenure as U.S. president, harshly criticized Germany for non-compliance with the defense budget to GDP ratio obligations. These issues climaxed with the German Defense Minister eventually announcing plans to restore tank battalions, which, as of 2018, existed only on paper. At the end of the Cold War, the Bundeswehr operated 2,125 Leopard 2 main battle tanks. However, the demilitarization policy pursued by German leaders until recently had led to a 90% reduction in their numbers by 2018. Since 1992, the Bundeswehr has disposed of 16,000 armored vehicles of various types. The course taken by German politicians to shrink their own army and make it less costly led to critical consequences for the country’s defense capability. This means that throughout this time, Berlin has lost the ability to independently partake in a conflict of pretty much any intensity, including expeditionary missions. It can’t be ruled out that this is precisely what affected Germany’s decisions on operations in Libya and Afghanistan. Germany’s military assistance to Ukraine in its fight to restore territorial integrity and sovereignty can have a positive effect on the German defense industry. Besides the fact that it’s feeding defense enterprises and creating jobs, German companies get the opportunity to modernize military equipment that will go into service with the Bundeswehr.

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