Despite the demonstrative friendship between Schröder and Putin, Germany’s Russia policy under Schröder seemed to want to limit itself to a partnership based only on mutual interests, since the German side avoided making public statements about its partner’s domestic affairs.* The CDU/CSU and FDP opposition, however, steadfastly maintained that a partnership with Russia could not thrive without a foundation of shared values.**
Shared values are an important element of any foreign and security policy that rests on the basis of cooperation. Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell emphasized this in an article in Izvestija, where he indicated that aside from common interests and trust between political leaders, the ability of nations to cooperate is based on a convergence of the fundamental principles shared by their respective societies.*** This linking of values and interests also forms the basis of the notion that a market-based economic order can be guaranteed in Russia in the long term only if democratic values are recognized and practiced and a corresponding legal system exists. This legal system in turn provides the foundation for balanced economic development that is not based exclusively on the exportation of crude oil and natural gas. It is an essential prerequisite for the successful involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises, which depend on a functioning legal system. Germany also has a great interest in this. Therefore, there are good arguments for insisting on a dual approach to Russia, for making pragmatic agreements in the area of foreign and security policy (e.g., in the inclusion of Russia in efforts to resolve the Iran issue) but also for demanding progress in Russia’s domestic affairs.
[ . . . ]
* See Hannes Adomeit, Katrin Bastian, and Roland Götz, “Deutsche Rußlandpolitik unter Druck,” SWP-Aktuell 56/2004, www.swp-berlin.org (1. February 2006).
** See Hans-Joachim Spanger, “Paradoxe Kontinuitäten. Die deutsche Russlandpolitik und die koalitionären Farbenlehren,” HSFK-Report 12/2005, pp.13 ff., www.hsfk.de (13. February 2006).
*** Guest article by Colin Powell in Izvestija on January 26, 2004, cited in Hans-Joachim Spanger, “Modernisierung contra Demokratisierung: Putins russischer Weg,” HSFK-Report 12/2004, pp. 34ff., www.hsfk.de (1. February 2006).
Source: Roland Götz, “Deutschland und Russland – ‘strategische Partner’?” [“Germany and Russia – ‘Strategic Partners’?” Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, no. 11 (March 13, 2006), pp. 14-23.
Translation: Allison Brown