The end of Ostpolitik: Dream of Europe ‘whole & free’ over as Russian-German friendship fades & Moscow pivots to Asia | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

The end of Ostpolitik: Dream of Europe ‘whole & free’ over as Russian-German friendship fades & Moscow pivots to Asia

This Monday marked 50 years since one of the 20th century’s most iconic moments, when German Chancellor Willy Brandt fell to his knees in Warsaw, emotionally apologizing for the horrors the Nazis had unleashed on Eastern Europe.

It was one of the milestones of the Neue Ostpolitik – Bonn’s policy aimed at normalizing relations with the USSR and its East European satellites. On the day of this anniversary, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wrote the following: “Unlike Brandt, we no longer have to go via Moscow to talk to our eastern neighbors nowadays. Many partners in Eastern and Central Europe now view Russia very critically – and German foreign policy must take our neighbors’ concerns seriously. In addition to offers of dialogue, clear German positions vis-à-vis Moscow are therefore important for maintaining trust in Eastern Europe.”

A clear testimony to the fact that, compared to other Eastern European states, Russia is now of secondary importance to Berlin. This is perhaps the first time it’s been stated so explicitly.

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