Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Germany draws another line in the sand for the US — M.K. Bhadrakumar

The political message in all this is clear. On January 4, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told the news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur DPA that Berlin will not yield to pressure from Washington in their dispute over Nord Stream 2 even after the transfer of power in the US in January....

Maas added that although Berlin hopes for an improvement in US-German ties under Biden, a spate of bones of contention, including the Nord Stream 2 issue, will remain. “The German government will not change its stance on Nord Stream 2,” he pointed out, adding, “the important thing is that we are aligned on the central strategic and geopolitical issues, where we are on the same side of the field”....

Second, both the EU-China investment agreement and the Nord Stream 2 saga bring to mind what the French Foreign Minister Yves Le Drian had told Europe1 Radio in an interview on November 7 that the EU and the US would not return to the previous close relationship they enjoyed prior to Donald Trump’s presidency even with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the White House.

Le Drian had said, “We will not return to the status quo ante, to the good old days of the trans-Atlantic relationship. The world has moved on after these four years. Europe has emerged from its naïveté. It is beginning to 

assert itself as a power.”...

Most significantly: 

Besides, as Ines Pohl, Deutsche Welle’s Washington Bureau Chief, wrote recently, “we will see a Biden administration working hard to re-establish a sense of stability. Yet Biden’s administration will govern a polarised country, struggling with severe economic problems that further deepen these divisions.

“We will see the US consumed by domestic power struggles for years, even decades, gradually abandoning multilateral politics, especially in Europe. This trend will continue regardless of which party controls the White House. And this is a stark reality that Europe and Germany must acknowledge.”

A fortnight after Pohl wrote, the Capitol riots corroborate her prognosis. Germany and France will not hitch wagons with the Biden Administration on any confrontation with Russia. The likelihood of them joining the US’ “Indo-Pacific strategy” to contain China is even less....

India Punchline
Germany draws another line in the sand for the US
M.K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service.

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