Executive Intelligence Review


Much Disagreement among German Politicians To Berlin’s Ongoing Anti-Ostpolitik

March 28, 2018 (EIRNS)— Some political figures in Germany have more sense than the Berlin government on the Skripal case. Matthias Platzeck (SPD), chairman of the German-Russian Forum and former Governor of Brandenburg, told ARD TV network that sanctions against Russia should be lifted and a dialogue restored. “If we continue to whip up the spiral of sanctions, it will not result in peace,” he said. He argued that restrictive measures “have failed to even approximately bring about” what the West had wanted from Moscow. “We have to look for new ways so as to restart the dialogue,” Platzeck said, according to a report by TASS.

On the Skripal poisoning case in Great Britain, he called for taking “a sober look” at the situation and said that “Germany must make a contribution to impartiality.”

Social Democratic Party (SPD) Deputy Chairman Ralf Stegner gave an interview to the Munich daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, under the headline “In the SPD, Discomfort over Russia Sanctions Grows,” in which he asserts that the expulsion of Russian diplomats over the Skripal case, “is not the smartest thing to do” and could trigger an escalation “that can cause us a lot of damage.” Stegner demanded “that concrete evidence for Russian responsibility [for the poisoning] be finally put on the table.” Under Western principles, he said, “appearance and plausibility alone are not enough to reach a verdict.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that Stegner is not the first SPD leader who has raised criticism regarding the government decisions. Stegner was preceded by Rolf Mützenich, deputy head of the Bundestag faction, and before him, there was the former EU Commissioner for Enlargement Günter Verheugen. By contrast, the SPD’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas justified the actions by citing Moscow’s refusal to meet the British ultimatum.