German-Russian relations : End of the "honeymoon"? Note du Cerfa n°26 (a), September 2005
The developments in Putin’s Russia away from democracy and the constitutional state have also placed Germany’s policy on Russia under scrutiny. In the run-up to the election to the Bundestag on September 18th, representatives of the opposition parties CDU/CSU and FDP have thus made it clear that they no longer approve of the policy Chancellor Schröder has adopted with regard to Russia. The new EU member states in Eastern and Central Europe are accusing Germany of pursuing a Sonderweg compared with the rest of the EU and attempting to build a special relationship with Russia. This article addresses the question of whether this criticism is justified, and what is behind the “strategic partnership” that Chancellor Schröder and President Putin have attested to time and again.
Hannes Adomeit has been a Senior Research Fellow at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) in Berlin since 1997, specializing in Russian issues.