Brief: Germany, Russia, and Energy Politics

Fifth and final brief in the Germany and Baltic Security Series

Together with the ICDS-International Centre for Defence and Security, we introduce a collection of policy briefs titled “Germany and the Security of the Baltic States”. In this concluding brief Kalev Stoicescu examines Germany's relations with Russia, also taking into account energy dependence.

Photo by Norbert Braun on Unsplash.


"Relations between Germany (or historical German and German-led states) and Russia have often been a decisive factor in the history of the Baltic region in the last 800 years. The Baltic states are dedicated to the European Union, in which Germany plays (together with France) the leading role. However, their main concern remains security against a resurgent and aggressive Russia. Effective deterrence and defence is provided by NATO, and particularly by the US, whereas the non-nuclear and under-spending Germany plays a secondary role. The most contentious issues in Germany-Russia relations, from a Baltic perspective, have been Germany’s increasing energy dependence on Russia, particularly if/when the Nord Stream 2 pipelines become operational, and Berlin’s ambiguous approach towards Moscow in pursuing in parallel a firm (sanctions) and, on the other hand, a conciliatory (business) line. The Baltic states tend to believe this strategy will not change Russia’s behaviour/policy and risks further decreasing Europe’s security. However, the new German “traffic light” coalition government may prove to stand closer to Baltic perceptions and interests, and become a more principled and difficult counterpart for Russia.", writes the author. 


The publication is available for download on our website.