Newsletter 2009/10/07 - The Berlin-Moscow Economic Axis (II)
BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) - The incoming German government will continue to pursue close cooperation with Russia. This was predicted by Berlin's most prominent expert on Russian affairs in the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). According to this expert, the cooperation between Berlin and Moscow corresponds "in its entirety to national interests" and is not up for discussion, even for an FDP foreign minister, whose party is known for its declarations critical of Russia. In fact, for years enterprises in Germany have been particularly profiting from the rapprochement with Russia. This, for example, has provided German energy companies the possibility of maintaining privileged access to Russian resources. The most recent result of this cooperation is the entry of the Russian Sberbank as an investor in Opel (Ruesselsheim), which was put through under pressure from the German government. The development of these German-Russian business relations reveals durable shifts in power constellations. Whereas transatlantic trade is continuing to shrink, business with Russia is growing much faster than the norm. German commodity exchange with Eastern Europe is now two and a half times more than trade with the USA - a clear indication of Berlin's weakened transatlantic bonds.