Just saw the first panel of the MSC. Annalena-Baerbock as the first speaker. Content: Politics not only as a matter between states, but for people and humans. Human rights policy. And specifically women’s rights. Only when mothers and children are safe are peoples and humans safe. Illustration based on a kindergarten and a destroyed house during her visit to the battle line in eastern Ukraine. The age of the strong man must end. Some of these men present almost dropped their masks, the applause remained more than restrained throughout the speech. Rather icecold silence with the exception of frenetic clapping by Claudia Roth in the face of feminist foreign policy. Otherwise, rather white men in shock. „The Ukraine crisis is a Russian crisis“. Emphasis on Western unity. Division of labor with different roles. Unity in diversity. Paris Charter instead of Yalta.
Blinken did not give a speech, but entered the discussion with Baerbock. Praise for Baerbock, especially for emphasizing the moral side of the conflict alongside German economic aid to Ukraine. Heusgen then addressed arms supplies, which Baerbock rejected, emphasizing German history and the country’s different role in the alliance. Good cop/B ad cop, while Blinken agreeing with her.
Question and answer session: two Brits. The first a member of the British Defense Committee who wanted to see Germany take a more decisive stance. Then the historian Timothy Garton Ash, who asked what the state of unity would be like if Putin did not invade or only to a limited extent and relied more on hybrid warfare and perhaps separated Donbass and Lugansk. And how Baerbock sees the possibility of a New Ostpolitik and what the three pillars of it could be? Blinken said they were prepared for all scenarios and that unity would be maintained, even if the confrontation lasted months and years (Even if Trump is reelected?) . Baerbock said a new Ostpolitik had to be based on Helsinki, but adapted to the current world situation. But there didn’t seem to be anything elaborate yet, at best a work in progress, if anything. A representative from Bangladesh then asked whether the West might forget about climate protection because of Ukraine and armament and then make less payments to the less developed countries, to which Blinken officialyy denied.
In my opinion, Timothy Garton Ash asked the best and most important questions, and I also found it interesting that he was the first to use the term Neue Ostpolitik. However, I have the impression that Putin now wants to recognize Donbass and Lugansk. Maybe even without a tank, but as Ash says by hybrid warfare. After the State Duma passed a resolution that Russia should recognize Donbass and Lugansk and the situation has escalated in the last 48 hours and Russian media such as SNA (successor of Radio Moscow) are again openly talking about genocide against Russians in Ukraine, it seems such a annextation is quite possible. Unless Putin backtracks if he gets more concessions on Donbass and Lugansk autonomy. Blinken and Lavrov still want to meet next week.
As always. The question is whether Putin doesn’t want to create a fait accompli. Novorussia, enduring 2 years of sanctions until Trump is re-elected in 2024 and then making a deal with him at the expense of Europe, Germany and also the Eastern Europeans. Many call Trump a business man, a geo-economist who sees the competition with the USA primarily from an economic policy point of view – which is why Russia and North Korea are not his problem, but above all China and the EU, especially since he also said that the EU is „worse than China, but smaller,“ but can also be fought. Iran, which is also economically insignificant, is the exception in its theory. China and Iran are Trump´s main opponents. However, he prevented a trade war against the EU halfway after EU Commissioner Juncker showed him the EU’s torture methods in reverse. And Trump was also clear: Two trade wars at once would probably be too much. So he focused on the center of Europe, Germany, because of the lack of a NATO arments target and Northstream, but in doing so he also questioned the entire NATO using these scapegoats, since he questioned NATO as „obsolete“ and then Macron called NATO „brain dead“. It doesn’t matter: Putin and Xi hope for these contradictions. Putin on the rule of three stages: Novorussia, Trump’s re-election, deconstruction of NATO and the EU into individual countries that can then be colonized, pushing the US back out of Europe, while Xi also hopes for a second front in Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific in cooperation with Russia, that weakens and distracts the US from Asia. Trump might make a deal at the expense of NATO and Eastern Europeans, might even pull out of Europe to be more active against China in the Indo-Pacific, but he would put the US and the West in the position of pulling out in Europe and then the final battle against China. Since this dual economic war and one-sided orientation would result in Trump diametrically opposed to China but unable to defeat either Russia or China, he would have to retreat to the US like Global Britain to his island and a few micromilitary references elsewhere. The most critical phase would come when Trump has offered Russia so much in Europe that he hopes for it as a junior partner. At best, Russia will remain neutral in the Sino-American conflict, but perhaps see concessions on Europe and NATO as gains that spur it on to go further, perhaps with China. The sticking point would come when Trump was given the choice of taking military action against Russia and China and possibly risking a nuclear war. Then Putin and Xi hope again that he behaves like a businessman and, in addition to verbal declartions , withdraws to his American island. Like Global Britain, Make America Great Again would then be an isolated great power that is pulling out everywhere and becoming smaller and smaller. Biden and the transatlanticists do not want that, although they have not yet broken with their expansionism in the direction of NATO expansion and their imperial overstretch, but could. But that was not what Annalena was talking about.
Putin adviser Rahr said ironically to me that Baerbock receives a lot of praise, also from Russia. Because Russia also knows women’s politics – see Catherine the Great and Crimea.