In light of Vladimir Putin’s first visit to Germany in four years, Prof. Dr. Segbers gives his assessment of the prospects of a diplomatic meeting with the German Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande.
News from Oct 19, 2016
Ever since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict and Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, relations between Russia and Western governments have been rather hostile. With an ongoing conflict between Russian separatists and the Ukrainian military in the Donbas region, the peace agreement of Minsk has proven to be inefficient. Furthermore, the start of the Russian intervention in the Syrian war reinforced the confrontation course towards the West. Russia has since been internationally criticized for supporting the Assad Regime; especially for the bombing of civilians.
Amongst these hardened fronts, could the German Chancellor act as a mediator? According to Prof. Dr. Segbers, Chair of Eastern European Studies at the Otto-Suhr-Institute at the Free University of Berlin and Director of the Center for Global Politics, a profound change of the situation’s challenges is very unlikely. While diplomatic advances are always favorable, Russia has repeatedly violated international norms which cannot be ignored by Western governments. Moreover, Putin’s course of action is not going to change as his foreign policy moves are part of his inner political agenda to reestablish Russia as an important global power. Given the desolate state of the county’s uncompetitive, regressive economy, Russia’s foreign policy is of high strategic importance for patriotic compensation.
The geo-political conflict, however, according to Prof. Dr. Segbers, is a much bigger one: With the axes of the USA – Russia conflict and the Saudi – Iran conflict with regional militias, the overall situation is critical as risks are rising with the number of actors involved.
You can find the interview here.