Newsletter 2010/04/12 - A Question of Orientation
MOSCOW/BERLIN (Own report) - After construction began on the Baltic Pipeline ("North Stream") at the end of last week, government advisors in Berlin have begun campaigning for further expansion of German-Russian cooperation. Moscow must be prevented from taking an East Asian orientation and exporting more of its natural resources to China than is currently the case, one can hear in the German capital. Therefore, the founding of an energy alliance between Russia and the EU, modeled on the West European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), is being recommended. The rapidly increasing availability of liquified gas and Moscow's diminishing power, removes the danger of Germany becoming dependent upon Russian natural gas. Russia is "no longer a great global player" according to the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). At the same time, German companies are interested in obtaining substantial shares in the more than 5,000 Russian state enterprises soon to be privatized. The German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations is negotiating sales modalities with the Russian Minister of Economy. This Committee considers that Russia should make use of Germany's experience gleaned from selling off the GDR's state enterprises.