Arnon Grunberg



On the status quo in Germany – Der Spiegel (Valerie Höhne, Martin Knobbe and Jonas Schaible) interviewing Foreign Minister-Designate Annalena Baerbock.

‘DER SPIEGEL: Once you are sworn in, you will immediately have to address a significant developing conflict. Russia is mobilizing troops on its border with Ukraine and it is supplying less gas to Europe. In Belarus, refugees are being smuggled to the border. Is this a hybrid attack by Russia against the EU? Baerbock: These are anything but easy times. We are experiencing a double blackmail by Lukashenko. On the one hand, refugees are being abused to divide Europe. On the other, the government wants to be recognized by the Europeans as negotiating partner, even though it is suppressing the opposition. You cannot allow yourself to be blackmailed by dictators. The EU must stand together as a community of values. That is why it is right to tighten sanctions and continue to put pressure on the Lukashenko regime. At the same time, diplomacy always means seeking dialogue.

DER SPIEGEL: So, unlike your fellow party members, you have no problem with the fact that Chancellor Angela Merkel called Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko? Baerbock: You cannot pursue foreign policy without dialogue. We are also talking to the Taliban to get people to safety, after all. But it did not need to be the chancellor calling Lukashenko.’

Read the interview here.

Whether you like it or not, if the new German government is radically breaking or even not so radically breaking with the Merkel era it will be by accident, not because they really intended to set up a new paradigm.

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