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What will be the German-Russian relations after 17 years
Material posted: Publication date: 30-06-2013

In Berlin hosted a presentation of four scenarios for relations between Germany and Russia in 2030, prepared by the universities in Yekaterinburg and Frankfurt on the Oder.

In Germany do not cease sharp debate between the advocates of moral-ethical approach to relations with Russia and supporters of the pragmatic course of the so-called real politics. At the same time, laments the Executive Director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung), close to the Social democratic party of Germany (SPD), Roland Schmidt Roland Schmidt), "completely missing the look into the future, pondering on the achievement of what goals should be oriented politics".

Such a space is to fill the initiative of the head of the SPD parliamentary group Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Frank-Walter Steinmeier). He offered the young Russian and German scientists with unblinkered view of things to develop different scenarios for the state of relations between Germany and Russia in 2030, depending on particular developments in the world and in those countries themselves.

The idea was supported by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and directly worked on the project the experts of Ural Federal University in Yekaterinburg and the European University Viadrina (Europa-Universität Viadrina) in Frankfurt-on-Oder. The result of their research was presented June 26 in Berlin four scenarios of German-Russian relations in 2030. Each of them — imagery — received type or other marine vessel.

Cruise liner

The script for "cruise liner" describes the partnership between Germany and Russia on the basis of shared values. Relations between the two countries is good as ever — Germany and Russia closely cooperate in all spheres.

The prerequisites of this scenario — the continuation of the economic and financial crisis in Europe, radical changes in the energy market due to the shale revolution, a sharp decline in prices for gas and oil. This in turn leads to the necessity of a regime of fiscal austerity in Russia, with negative social consequences.

Further protests, promises of political reforms, the unrest, the coming to power of the reformist forces headed by the charismatic opposition figure as President. The new government committed itself to modernization of society, overcomes corruption, strengthens the rule of law.

All this leads to the overcoming of tensions in Russia's relations with Germany, which actively supports the new policy of the Kremlin. Thanks to the initiatives of Berlin and Moscow formed the Russian-EU free trade area, visa-free regime applies, a joint missile defense system for Europe.

A cargo ship

The second scenario is a pragmatic partnership. It is possible, if because of the crisis in Europe to power in some countries will come populist parties who decide to withdraw from the EU, and it will be only - with the German core.

Such a stripped-down but deeply integrated Union will pursue a pragmatic foreign policy.

European prices for oil and gas, and in this case drop, but not so radically. Russia finds new buyers for energy commodities in Asia, primarily in China, is at the expense of Chinese money authoritarian modernization of the economy, including using imported equipment from Germany.

Over time Russia succeeds in forming a new Eurasian Union with the participation of Georgia and Ukraine, which became the main trading partner of the mutated EC. With him also achieved the agreement on the free trade area and on visa liberalization. Strengthened and cooperation between Germany and Russia in the security sphere, because the United States increasingly lose interest in Europe and its neighbouring regions.

Coast guard ships

This is the most pessimistic case scenario, the probability of which is confirmed by recent events — searches in the offices of German foundations in Russia, almost the scandal during the visit of Chancellor of Germany in Saint Petersburg, cold atmosphere at the last G8 summit.

Factors that can contribute to the realization of such a scenario — the tightening of the political regime in Russia, strengthening of repression, if only voluntary of the country, and in Germany — strengthening the position of those who advocated a more critical attitude towards Moscow and the revitalization of German policy in those countries which Russia considers as a zone of its interests.

The prerequisites for such a scenario, the authors also attribute the success not only an economic but also a political turn Russia towards Asia and the BRICS countries, as well as reduce the dependence of Germany on Russian energy supplies as a result of the diversification of energy supply markets and the shale gas revolution.


The fourth of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation of the scenarios is the actual saving in 2030 the same situation as now. Participants in the working groups of the two universities compare it with the sailboat, which moves wherever the wind carries him up and down on the waves.

Associated with good breeze and favorable weather these relations are gaining momentum. But they can be in a state of stagnation, if there is calm, and even completely collapse in case of a storm.

The prerequisites of this scenario — the contradiction between the pragmatic approach in the economic sphere and pointed discussion of values at the political level, the unfulfilled hopes for shale gas and alternative energy with the preservation of the German dependence on Russian energy, the export of which is still the main budget revenues of Russia, managed in 2030, though the new elite, but to preserve the continuity of the current. Commenting on the proposed scenarios, Frank-Walter Steinmeier called it "a dizzying journey through a country almost unlimited political potential." The difficult the future, he added, but what it will be depends on us.

Nikita Zholkver


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