In Berlin, senior officials and politicians understand that Germany cannot lead its partners on Russia policy if it is on one side of the spectrum of EU opinion on how to handle Moscow – the soft side. Rhetorically, Merkel’s tough words on Russia in recent months have positioned Germany close to the middle. As for a possible shift on substance, it is too early to tell where Germany will end up. The pressures on Germany to remain Russia’s special friend in Europe – from business, sections of the SPD (as well as some Christian Democrats) and much of public opinion – are immense. But Germany’s partners, in the US as well as in Europe, hope that the Gauck speech marks the start of a new era in Germany foreign policy – one that is less commercially-driven, more favourable to common EU policies and more willing to take on greater responsibility for European security.
if there is another paradigma that will be put into question than it is the military participation of Germany in the defense of Europe and its partners. It will be a first in recent European history to have german soldiers next to americans, brits and others fighting to keep off the Russians or their proxy armies or to show to be willing to do so
even the intentions and declarations which wouldn't leave any doublt are enough to make people have some (more) doubts in Moscow about the course to follow