Putin's renewed escalation in Ukraine - why now?
Expert points to Merkel's departure
Created: 01/27/2022, 12:14 p.m
By: Cindy Boden
Angela Merkel (CDU, then Chancellor) and Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, shake hands after a press conference (archive photo).
© Pavel Golovkin/dpa
There is much speculation as to why the Ukraine conflict with Russia is currently threatening to escalate.
An expert also draws conclusions about ex-Chancellor Merkel.
Berlin/Moscow - When it became clear that Angela Merkel would soon no longer be chancellor on the international stage, the thought kept coming up: Will her successor be able to continue to represent Germany in foreign policy in this way?
Her negotiating skills had been repeatedly praised by many during her 16 years as chancellor.
Her successor is now Olaf Scholz.
The SPD politician is leading a new government alliance at the federal level - the traffic light.
Shortly after taking power, one could hear from the SPD that foreign policy was being controlled "particularly in the chancellery".
Arguing with Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) programmed?
Expert on the Ukraine conflict: Putin is waiting for the right moment - "Merkel's departure was a key moment"
In any case, Baerbock cannot complain that he has not had enough to do since he took office. The Ukraine conflict has kept them and the other Western nations in suspense for weeks. From Russia there have been frequent threatening gestures and attacks of various kinds*. So why is the conflict heating up now? There is a lot of speculation about this - some of which also have to do with the traffic light and Merkel.
"I think that in Putin's foreign policy a lot happens on the fly, without a very big master plan," explained André Härtel in an interview with
regarding the Russian President.
The expert works at the Science and Politics Foundation in the Eastern Europe and Eurasia research group.
“He's just waiting for an opportune moment.
Angela Merkel's departure as Chancellor was a key moment for Putin.”
Video: Majority of Germans against arms deliveries to Ukraine
Factors for the Ukraine conflict: "Vladimir Putin sees a gateway"
Other factors, in his view, could be the perceived instability of the Ukrainian government, but also generational change in Ukraine as a long-term factor.
With regard to factors for Germany and the European Union, Härtel explains: "These are the change to a social-democratic federal government, the perceived weakness of Europe and the fact that the EU is currently preoccupied with itself." Vladimir Putin sees a gateway there.
Vladimir Putin is "not a fantasist, I still consider him a very realistic foreign politician".
But what is it about the ruler?
The expert said: "To more or less control states on the post-Soviet territory and to prevent them from joining the EU or NATO and thus saying goodbye to the Russian catchment area in the long term." Putin is clear that Russia with its current economic strength can hardly keep up could keep up with the EU and was less attractive for countries like Ukraine.
“That is why he resorts to security policy.
In this way he wants to prevent politicians from coming to power who want to lead their countries into Western institutions.”
Ukraine conflict with Russia: Kremlin rejects invasion plans
Russia had submitted draft agreements to NATO and the United States in which Moscow demands security guarantees in Europe.
It calls for an end to the eastward expansion of NATO.
Above all, the Kremlin wants to prevent Ukraine from being admitted.
The US and NATO suspect Putin of planning an invasion of Ukraine.
The Kremlin has been rejecting this for weeks.