A short analysis on German policies towards Russia in light of Syria

Grand coalition is parting ways on Russia sanctions. Merkel in favor of Syria sanctions, SPD (Steinmeier) against.

Unlike re Ukraine 2014, not much public pressure re Syria today in Germany; mostly painted as US-Russian battle with both sides somehow equally guilty.

Also SPD wants to win votes in autumn 2017 by presenting itself as “peace party”, distinct from Merkel on Russia.

Steinmeier increasingly paints conflict with Russia as extremely dangerous (in line with Kremlin’s intimidation tactics).

The more dangerous Russia appears, the more important it is to have SPD as the party that is friendly with Kremlin.

Merkel’s stance pro Russia sanctions related to Syria however will make it easier to keep sanctions related to Ukraine.

Ulrich Speck

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