What is the German government's position on the inclusion of Nord Stream 2 into the sanctions package in case Russia further invades Ukraine?
My reading is that it's "strategic ambiguity": on the one hand, Berlin doesn't want to officially include NS2 into the list of potential sanctions, on the other hand, the message is that "all options are on the table", as @NilsSchmid (SPD) said yesterday.
@NilsSchmid This position is a compromise between a) those who want to keep Nord Stream out of the conflict with Russia -- as many in SPD do -- and those who think it can't be isolated from broader geopolitics -- as the Greens and probably FDP thinks.
@NilsSchmid It is b) a compromise between Scholz, who doesn't want to alienate the pro-NS2 camp in his party, and the US side, which would prefer a more detailed list of potential sanctions.
@NilsSchmid In theory, this is good enough: if Moscow thinks that an end to NS2 is one of the risks it faces, it will include this risk in its calculations; and the energy "special relationship" with Berlin is important to Putin.
@NilsSchmid Yet this strategic ambiguity only works if the government stays on message. There is a lot of cacophony coming from SPD; probably because Scholz has failed to put this approach into a clear message; he should urgently do this to make sure that Berlin reads from the same script.
Otherwise Moscow may conclude that the threat is not serious, and this would encourage the Kremlin to take a military risk.
Latest example of unfortunate comments from SPD: Defense minister @christinelambrecht declares that Nord Stream 2 has "no connection" with the conflict with Russia over Ukraine.
The last time when there was a showdown with Moscow over Ukraine, in 2014, Merkel took great care to stay ahead of the curve, to lead Berlin's approach and to make sure that everybody would stay on message, which included SPD (namely foreign minister Steinmeier).
Time for Scholz to take over responsibility and shape not only the policy, but also the discourse; instead of just uttering a few not very meaningful words about the conflict with Russia as he did yesterday. twitter.com/RegSprecher

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Ulrich Speck

Ulrich Speck Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @ulrichspeck

14 Jan
Besides everything else, the current debate about Russian demands and actions is also a battle of world views.
Those who think that Russia is a great power, or should be a great power, tend to think that Russia has been mistreated by the West since 1991.
Those who think that great powers deserve or naturally have a sphere of influence / domination in their neighborhood tend to argue that the US should seek a compromise with Russia; de facto a delineation of mutual spheres.
Read 8 tweets
14 Jan
Während Berlin mehr Gespräche und mehr Gesprächsformate mit Moskau fordert, erklärt Moskau, dass es an Gesprächen nicht interessiert ist.
Für Moskau sind Gespräche Mittel zum Zweck, und zwar nur eines der Mittel. Ein anderes ist die Drohung mit dem Einsatz von Militär.
Für Berlin dagegen scheinen Gespräche oft schon der Zweck an sich zu sein. Die Annahme scheint zu sein, dass die Gegenseite durch Gespräche gewissermaßen sozialisiert werden kann, dass sich damit Konflikte überwinden lassen.
Read 20 tweets
13 Jan
"... should not distract from the fact that Nato is not prepared to offer Ukraine membership. If doing so could avert a war, why not find some way to say out loud what any Nato official would say behind closed doors: that Ukraine’s membership in Nato is not being considered?"
@scharap assumes that all Moscow wants is a declaration that Ukraine is not becoming a Nato member anytime soon -- and that it would go back to the status quo ante, before the current crisis, if it gets this assurance.
@scharap He also assumes that otherwise Moscow would wage open war on Ukraine.
Read 15 tweets
12 Jan
Exactly: "the case against realist accommodation is not only ethical but practical: In the 21st century, spheres of influence neither satisfy large aggressors nor can easily be imposed on small victims."
Declaring that Ukraine won't join Nato wouldn't stop Russian aggression against Ukraine and the west, and it wouldn't stop Ukraine's resistance.
It would rather re-introduce a dangerous precedent in European politics: that bigger powers can limit the sovereignty of smaller powers by using force (or the threat of it). The rules of the game of Europe's peace order would be fundamentally changed.
Read 5 tweets
12 Jan
Dialogformate sind wichtig, aber die Machtbalance ist für den Handlungsspielraum des Kreml entscheidend.
Steht alles hier: Helmut Schmidt, Strategie des Gleichgewichts. Deutsche Friedenspolitik und die Weltmächte. Stuttgart 1969
Seite 19: "Weil eine Strategie der Kriegsvermeidung zu der Gefahr einer Prämie für denjenigen führt, der sich an ihre Prinzipien nicht hält und seine Macht zu Lasten der anderen zu erweitern trachtet, ist die Kriegsvermeidungsstrategie angewiesen auf eine Kontinuität des ...
Read 4 tweets
12 Jan
"CSTO support allowed Tokayev and his allies to hold on to power for the time being, yet it linked, perhaps inextricably, Kazakhstan’s political future to Russian President Vladimir Putin"
"In this new chapter of its political history, Kazakhstan’s relationship with the Russian Federation will undoubtedly be filtered through the lens of the authoritarian solidarity extended by Putin through CSTO intervention."
"Kazakhstani multivectorism—the foreign policy mantra of the Nazarbayev era—is now a thing of the past: as a consequence, we may reasonably expect the regime in Nur-Sultan to drop its typical reticence toward integration into the Eurasian Economic Union."
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!