• English posts

    A killing in Berlin raises uncomfortable questions about Germany’s relationship with Vladimir Putin

    Boris Reitschuster is a Berlin-based journalist and specialist on Russia. On Aug. 23, an assailant gunned down a Chechen dissident during broad daylight at a park in the center of Berlin, just a short walk from the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Now, a week later, Germans are still agonizing over the shooting’s likely effect on their country’s relationship with Russia. The victim, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, was a 40-year-old ethnic Chechen from Georgia. Starting around 2001, he fought on the rebel side — against Russian troops — during the Second Chechen War. The Kremlin, correspondingly, considered him a terrorist. For his supporters, he was a fighter for the independence of Chechnya. Continue reading…

  • English posts

    To Deal with Bad Ideas, Develop Better Solutions

    The Russo-German Nord Stream gas pipeline projects—Nord Stream I, completed in 2011, and Nord Stream II scheduled to be completed around the end of 2019—are bad projects because they increase European dependence on Russian gas in general, and especially because they give the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin the option of delivering gas to Germany while bypassing other European countries. Putin’s Russia has a track record of using gas exports as political pressure, for example, against Ukraine in the years leading up to Putin’s attack on that country in 2014 and has threatened to do the same to Central European countries, including those in the European Union. Given this, and their long…

  • English posts

    US Congress eyes sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline

    Rick Perry, the US energy secretary, on Tuesday said he expected Congress to pass a measure that would impose sanctions on Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, a project that critics say could be used by the Kremlin as a political weapon. “The opposition to Nord Stream 2 is still very much alive and well in the United States,” Mr Perry said in Kiev, where he was attending the inauguration of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. Mr Perry said the Senate and House would pass a bill that Mr Trump would approve. “It is going to go to the president and he is going to sign it,” the…

  • German posts

    Masha Gessen: “Russland ist ein mafiöser Staat”

    Die Machthaber in Russland verfolgten ausschließlich eigene Clan-Interessen, sagt Masha Gessen, Preisträgerin des Leipziger Buchpreises zur Europäischen Verständigung in der DW-Sendung “Nemtsova.Interview”. Zhanna Nemzowa: Frau Gessen, “Die Zukunft ist Geschichte: Wie Russland die Freiheit gewann und verlor” ist nicht Ihr erstes Buch über Putins Russland. 2012 erschien das Buch “Der Mann ohne Gesicht – Wladimir Putin: eine Enthüllung”. Warum sollte man Ihrer Meinung nach Putins Rolle und die Umstände seiner Machtübernahme überdenken? Masha Gessen: Mir ist wichtig deutlich zu machen, dass ich 1991 nicht als einen Wendepunkt in der Geschichte Russlands betrachte. Ich glaube nicht, dass wir es in Russland mit einer sich hinziehenden Übergangsphase zu tun haben, und ich…

  • English posts

    Russia ‘very likely’ to meddle in European Parliament elections, warns Estonia spy chief

    The intelligence boss also says Russia is continuing to develop and train its armed forces for a “large-scale war against NATO”. The Kremlin will “very likely” try to intervene in European parliamentary elections this May to help pro-Russia and anti-EU politicians win seats, Estonia’s equivalent of MI6 has warned. The Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service said President Putin’s goal is to undermine unity with the European Union “by sowing disorder and disbelief” within and between the 28 – soon to be 27 – member states. The comments came in an annual security report that also said Russia’s secret security services are still carrying out hostile activity in cyber space despite the…