Christian Mölling: "Americans leave common team"
A well-known German expert on foreign policy and security, deputy director of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Dr. Christian Mölling, commented the latest aggravation in the US-Russian relations and its possible political consequences in an interview with DLF public radio station.
According to Mölling, it was initially clear that Russia would react to US sanctions. Although it was difficult to foresee the recent decision to reduce the American diplomatic staff in its specific form, but it fits into the logic of the Kremlin's response. According to the expert, this decision will have a negative impact on the ability of the US to competently analyze Russian policy, since the political experience accumulated by the Americans during their work on Russia is leaving it along with diplomats. As a result, the structure of ties between the US and Russia is being weakened, and at some point, due to the lack of analysts on the ground, the Americans can make wrong decisions regarding the positioning of Russia in the Syrian issue or in relation to China. At the same time Mölling noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not an irrational politician and realizes the possible consequences of his decisions.
DGAP expert stressed that Russia, unlike the West, is able to act quickly and cohesively. "This is exactly what Russia clearly demonstrated us in 2013 and 2014 during the Ukrainian conflict," Mölling said. "Americans and Europeans, including some European states, constantly face the problem of reaching a consensus in democracies. It makes us vulnerable, takes time, and political quarrels lead to the fact that we become incompetent in terms of foreign policy after some time," the expert admits, commenting on the dissatisfaction of the European Union, in particular Germany, with a new package of US sanctions against Russia.
"I would not say that the German government has taken Russia's side on this issue, because, in fact, we are still interested in preserving the sanctions, therefore, it is important that each country does not take sanctions separately, but jointly. But now the Americans left the common team starting their own course," Mölling commented on Germany's critical attitude to Washington's actions. "In general, I think that we have seen quite clearly in recent months that the Europeans, especially the Germans, have increasingly tended to act independently, when Americans have been set aside - in sanctions policy, in trade policy and perhaps also in security policy," the deputy director of the DGAP concluded.