NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI NEWPORT United States
This paper examines Germanys strategic approach to Russia. It contends that while three main factors drive Germanys Russia policy 1 economic interests, 2 the tradition of Ostpolitik, and 3 support for liberal values it is the first factor that will steer Germany on the issues that really matter. A strong economy is central to modern Germanys self-image. To keep that economy healthy, German leaderships main concerns will be sustaining exports and securing affordable energy. Because Russia is a natural economic partner on both fronts, Berlin will likely move closer to Moscow over the medium and long term. This will complicate U.S. and NATO efforts to build consensus on confronting the Kremlin.