Ulrich Speck was formerly Visiting Senior Fellow at GMF.

In 2006, he was a DAAD­-fellow at AICGS in Washington, DC. From 2000 to 2005, he worked as a senior editor at Frankfurter Rundschau, a German newspaper. Speck has co-­edited three books (in German): on the Revolution of 1848/89 (Insel, 1998); American Empire (DVA, 2003); New anti­semitism (Suhrkamp, 2004). He holds a PhD in modern history from the University of Frankfurt. Speck’s articles have appeared in The New York Times, Financial Times, The Guardian, Moscow Times, on CNN.com, The American Interest, Berlin Policy Journal, in FAZ, SZ, Tagesspiegel, and elsewhere. Speck is a frequent speaker at conferences and panels all over Europe and is regularly quoted by The Economist, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, and other media. He is also a bi-monthly foreign policy columnist for Neue Zürcher Zeitung.


Media Mentions

[So far, by keeping Russian troops from crossing the so-called 'contact line' between separatist forces and Ukrainian soldiers, Mr. Putin appears to be trying] to navigate below the threshold of tough sanctions. [Mr. Putin’s tactics seem to be] advance, pause, negotiate.
Now all of these economic relationships are becoming geopolitically problematic and [Germany has to] revise its attitude toward Russia and China. That's a big, big process of reorientation. It takes a lot of time. [Former Chancellor Angela] Merkel was unwilling at the end to do it, even if she was tough on Russia from time to time. But she didn't really change this overall relationship. So I think this realization that we have to accept tensions with Russia, that's the big challenge for the Germans, for the German mentality.
[Mr. Biden was using the kind of language allies speak to one another.] But that’s not the way you talk to the Russians, because when you talk to the press you talk to the Russians. If the point is to reinforce allied unity, this was an unforced error.
In Germany’s new governing coalition, there is a balance of power in the background, and that matters. Scholz must deal with this reality and a European Parliament that is more and more angry with Russia, its hostility to the E.U. and its interference in domestic affairs.
Leaders need to talk. The assessment of this move depends on the message Scholz is going to deliver to Putin. And Scholz must make clear to him that he is serious, ready to impose substantial costs on Russia for further aggression against Ukraine.
With Nord Stream 2, Germany has the big geopolitical weapon in its hand without ever having sought it.
Merkel herself was important in keeping the E.U. together, she kept in mind the interests of so many in Europe, especially Central Europe but also Italy, so that everyone could be kept on board.