Sabina Fischer, a member of the EU-Russia expert network on foreign policy, analyzes on the website of the Carnegie Moscow Center Russian-German relations, which have cooled radically in connection with the poisoning of Alexei Navalny and the statement of Angela Merkel, in which she actually blamed Russia for it. Experts were quick to conclude that the trusting relationship between Russia and Germany ended there, however, according to Fischer, they ended long ago, just in Moscow they did not fully understand it.
Russia has mistakenly perceived German politics since the 1990s, when the unification of Germany contributed to its maximum rapprochement with Europe. However, at the same time, Germany also strengthened ties with the countries of Central Eastern Europe, striving to integrate them into the European Union as best as possible, while Russia paid little attention to its former satellites, for some reason believing that they were already in the Russian zone of influence. And the expansion of NATO in the late 1990s in general put the two countries on opposite sides of the barricades.
The revolutionary events in Georgia and Ukraine have spoiled Russian-German relations even more. This was followed by large-scale rigging in the 2011 Duma elections, the suppression of mass protests, and Putin's return to the presidency. Germany was forced to revise the principles of its eastern policy - and this marked the final disappointment in Russia. It was then that Berlin began to play a major role in the introduction of European sanctions against Russia in punishment for the events in Crimea and Donbass.
Since then, more and more problems have arisen in the relations between the two countries.There is a hacker attack on the Bundestag servers with traces of Russian special services in 2015, and a fake with the kidnapping and rape of a Russian girl in Berlin in 2016, and Moscow's flirting with ultra-right parties in the countries The European Union, including the Alternative for Germany, and interference in the American elections in 2016 and in the French elections in 2017. Then there was Syria, the attempt on the life of Sergei Skripal and his niece, and so on and so forth...
And the further, the worse: in 2019, a man, whose connection with the Russian leadership was proven, killed the former Chechen field commander Tornike Khangoshvili in the center of Berlin, and today it is obvious to the whole world that Moscow actively supports the dictator Lukashenko, who brutally suppresses perfectly fair protests. against falsification of the presidential election results.
And if Germany all this time, even in the most difficult circumstances, tried to conduct a dialogue with Russia, the Kremlin did not appreciate this at all and did not notice, continuing to act in its own way. It is not surprising, therefore, that Berlin's confidence in Moscow was finally undermined, and now even the purely economic problem of Nord Stream 2, which was separated from politics, is increasingly being linked to it. And while there are still calls on the far left and far right of the German political spectrum to get closer to Moscow, centrist forces are moving further away from it.
Why doesn't the Kremlin understand this, the expert asks? And he gives three possible explanations at once.
In any case, Germany, according to the expert, will not finally abandon the dialogue with Russia, but it is not going to restore the lost confidence in it until the Kremlin itself realizes its true role in the deterioration of relations.