cj#1173> Mein Kampf fulfilled: Germany annexes Russia


Richard Moore

From: "Carolyn Ballard" <•••@••.•••>
To: <Undisclosed-Recipient:@ns2.cetlink.net;>
Subject: Shifting Europe's Power Balance
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2000 19:06:00 -0800

            Shifting Europe's Power Balance 
            2301 GMT, 001229Summary 
Russia and Germany are considering converting a large chunk
of Russia's $14 billion debt to Germany into equity stakes
in Russian companies, which would make Germany a major
shareholder in Russian industry. The deal will represent an
important move in forging a close geopolitical partnership
between Germany and Russia. This may help Russia's revival,
and Germany could emerge as the leader of a united Europe
with Russia on its side. Such a development would
significantly weaken U.S. influence in Europe while
dramatically strengthening Germany and Russia and helping
them to advance to the front stage of world geopolitics.

Germany and Russia are forging an economic deal that, if it
succeeds, may shift the balance of European power. Werner
Muller, German economic minister, and German Gref, Russian
minister of economic development and trade, met in Berlin
Dec. 12 to debate details of a plan to exchange Russian debt
for German equity in Russian companies.

The two sides have agreed in principle to swap a large share
of Russia's $14 billion debt, The Times reported Dec. 13.
One option they are considering is giving to Germany a
significantly larger share in Gazprom, Russia's gigantic gas
export monopoly. Germany's Ruhrgas now holds 4 percent.
Obtaining several billion dollars worth of stakes in Russian
enterprises would make Germany a major shareholder in
Russian industry, giving Berlin a stronger voice in Moscow.
In addition, it would further tie Berlin's interests to
economic and political stability in Russia. Russia already
supplies about 35 percent of Germany's gas needs.

Moscow and Berlin understand this fast-growing mutual
cooperation will strengthen each country's potential and
help advance both to the front stage of world geopolitics.
This most recent deal is just one important move in this
direction. Such moves have significantly accelerated since
President Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia. Several
factors pull Russia and Germany closer. On the verge of
economic collapse, Russia has been bitterly disappointed
with its failed romance with the United States in the first
post-communist years, during which Moscow received no real
help. It fears Washington's single-superpower domination and
Moscow's lack of real geopolitical allies will contribute to
precluding Russia from restoring its world power status and
possibly lead to the end of the Russian state.

But Russia cannot afford a direct confrontation with the
United States in the near- or mid-term future. The only
country that could help Russia successfully confront the
United States is China. But with all the talk about the
Russia-China geostrategic partnership, Russia is concerned
China's geopolitical designs may include swallowing vast,
underpopulated regions of weakened Russia at some point in
the future. Being a part of European civilization and always
yearning for recognition in Europe, the majority of Russia's
elite and the current Russian government in particular have
been reluctant to turn east in their search for allies. They
still see Europe as the most desirable place to be. Russia
desperately needs large-scale foreign direct investments.
Even if they wanted to, neither Britain nor France – not to
mention the other European countries – would be able to
shore up Russia's economic and overall revival. As for the
United States, Moscow believes Washington will continue to
insist Russia makes one concession after another until it
becomes fully subjugated to the United States. China and
other non-Western nations cannot afford any large investment
in Russia: They themselves need it to come from abroad. And
Japan is reluctant to proceed until it resolves the problem
of the "northern territories" with Russia. But Germany seems
to be both able and willing to support Russia's revival,
while not demanding humiliating concessions. Berlin sees a
close partnership with Moscow as a future geopolitical

First, for its own further growth, Germany needs Russia's
enormous natural resources, the last in the world to remain
largely untapped. By giving Russia economic and political
aid, Germany makes sure these resources will flow to its
territory from a stable, German-friendly Russian government,
such as that of Vladimir Putin, who speaks German. Second, a
stable, Germany-backed Russia would provide the cheapest,
fastest and safest transportation corridor for shipping
goods and resources between Germany and the  rest of Europe
and the world's most dynamic economies in the Asia Pacific.

Third, Germany feels building a secure, united Europe would
be impossible if Russia were left without support,
destabilized and hostile. After experiencing a half-century
Cold War, during which the main front-line was right in the
middle of Germany, Berlin would hate to see the old times
return. German strategists realize a weakened and abandoned
Moscow might feel threatened enough to take on prosperous
Europe as a desperate measure if it senses Russia's final

In a broader sense, Germany foresees Russia as guarding the
outer borders of a larger European community from Islamic
radicals and other growing external threats. For the same
reasons, Germany would be glad to see Russia's vast
resources come to Germany and Europe rather than to the
east, particularly future geopolitical rivals China and
Japan. Berlin would also prefer these resources do not move
overseas to the United States, Germany's current
geopolitical rival. Europe and the European Union – except
for U.S.-oriented Great Britain – seem to be solidly behind
Germany in its Russian policy. The difference is that
Germany is pioneering and leading this process, while aiming
to benefit from it the most.

Forging a close geopolitical partnership between Germany and
Russia, if it is successful, will dramatically change the
global balance of power. Assisting in Russia's integration
into Europe would result in Germany's emergence as the
leader of a united Europe with Russia on its side. Such a
development would significantly weaken U.S. influence in
Europe. On the other hand, Chinese positions will be
weakened as well, with Russia drifting away from it and
toward Germany and Europe.

- Stratfor 

Richard K Moore
Wexford, Ireland
Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance 
email: •••@••.••• 
CDR website & list archives: http://cyberjournal.org
content-searchable archive: http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/

Please take a look at 
    "A Guidebook: How the world works and how we can change it"

                A community will evolve only when
                the people control their means of communication.
                        -- Frantz Fanon

Permission for non-commercial republishing hereby granted - BUT 
include and observe all restrictions, copyrights, credits,
and notices - including this one.