YTN Warsaw: Germany, Russia, and the Rise of Geo-Economics
On March 18, 2015, GMF’s Warsaw office hosted a YTN talk on the German-Russian relations, featuring Stephen Szabo, executive director at the Transatlantic Academy.
Stephen Szabo drew upon his recent book Germany, Russia, and the Rise of Geo-Economics to discuss the gist of Germany’s international standing. Mr. Szabo started by highlighting that Berlin defines national interest in economic terms. Geo-economics has replaced geopolitics in his view. Germany’s power derives from major corporations with global reach, not from military might. The German system based on industrial and high-technology exports is exposed to cyclical economic crises, yet Berlin has exceled at overcoming them.
It was remarked that as one of the most popular states in the world, Germany does well at being a mediator in various conflicts; the most recent example is Ukraine and both Minsk agreements, where Berlin played a crucial role.
Finally, the discussion touched upon the German-Russian interdependence with Berlin providing know-how, and Moscow delivering its resources. The two powers have enjoyed a great rapport over the last 25 years. The question is whether revanchist Russian policy will be allowed to continue this strategic cooperation.