Since the start of Putin’s aggression, Central and Eastern European neighbours of the beleaguered country came to the aid of Ukraine and its citizens. These bordering countries took on enormous numbers of refugees, granting them shelter, humanitarian aid, parental, and working benefits. Germany still remains far behind European solidarity in this respect.
Poland and the Baltic countries proved hugely generous with military equipment shipments including hundreds of tanks and modern artillery. And yet it is somehow odd how this story reveals that one of the most important EU countries has been somewhat lacking with these efforts. The state proclaims itself a European leader, residing on the high ground of the lessons learned during and after the second world war.
This country is indeed Germany and in this article, we will look deeper into the causes of the ostensibly unclear stance being displayed by the EU’s driving force. This seems to be leaving the Ukrainian people to their own devices in facing Putin’s troops who are aiming at annihilating their past, present and future statehood and identity.
“Man kann nicht alles auf einmal haben”
At the beginning of our analysis, we will look at a common saying found in most European countries, referring to gaining benefits with little or no effort. This kind of thing takes place often in collective organisations in which constituent members differ in size and economic power.
Germany’s dominant role in the European economy is for sure the result of the country’s legendary work ethic and culture. But when we look closer at these notions, the results are often unclear and as a result of relations with undemocratic regimes tending to build their power on fossil fuel distribution around the globe.
Germany built its production and export potential thanks to low-price energy produced with help of Russian fossil fuels. The key to understanding here is the natural gas trade Germany had with the Russian Federation and its consequences for other countries in the region. This gives a picture rife with contrast in which we see a country that tries to set an example for other European democracies, whose economic foundation is based on cooperating with an authoritarian regime.
Although this situation could be considered a part of every state’s right to maintain bilateral relations, even with undemocratic regimes, there is an aspect to it that draws the attention of all concerned about Russia's brutal expansionist policy.
Germany is a prominent member of the European Union, a multinational organisation that opened our markets and borders years ago. In this case, such strategic dependence on an openly hostile regime brings a patent threat to the entire community.
For this very reason, Germany’s hesitation to provide help to Ukraine seems harder to accept, especially by Central European member-states of the European Union, who were previously the object of Russian aggression.
The regional take on this action has been expressed in many appeals to the German government and their politicians to take up and stress a clear stance against Russia’s latest crimes. And this stance should correspond in its capacity and clout to the rank Germany is holding within the European and Euro-Atlantic political and defence structures.
The time Ukraine has to push out the Russian aggressors from their country is passing quickly, and there is no reason to support those who shall face legal responsibility for war atrocities. It is not only immoral but impractical for the entire European community.