Edition: Lublin 2014
The article presents the reactions in Germany to the annexation of the Crimea by Russia. This event made it clear that the long-term German policy towards Russia had failed. This policy tried to contribute to Russia’s modernization by economic cooperation which was to enhance also the development of the country towards democracy and rule of law. In the new political situation German economy is trying to maintain economic relations with Russia, but is also respecting the sanctions of the European Union. The leading media are very critical towards Russia’s behaviour and report also on the media offensive of Russian propaganda. Public opinion polls show growing distrust towards Russia in German society and growing support for NATO and EU. The positions of political parties are pretty clear. The post-communist Left shows much understanding for Putin’s position. The new populist Alternative for Germany even wants to resume elements of Bismarck’s policy towards Russia. From the very beginning of the Ukraine conflict, the Greens have severely criticized breaking of the international law by Russia. The governing parties CDU/CSU and SPD, in vast majority, have been criticizing Russia’s policy. Some politicians, however, continue to understand Putin, but their number has decreased during the conflict. The German government unequivocally has been criticizing Russia’s behaviour. Within the European Union it has changed from a dove into a falcon. It belongs to those who most firmly support sanctions, but at the same time, it is trying to maintain diplomatic contacts and find political solutions.