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Annalena Baerbock's message to America: She's in sync with Biden | Atlantic Council - May 6, 2021 |

No more "behaving very passively" in world affairs

Aggression by Russian President Vladimir Putin, such as his recent massing of troops along the border with Ukraine, stems in part from a lack of an "active foreign policy" from Germany and the EU in standing up for Eastern European allies, Baerbock said. "Germany is the biggest player in the EU and it's crucial that if the EU wants to be strong, if the EU wants to play an international role and also a role in its own neighborhood, that it needs a strong, open, but active German foreign policy. It's not about Germany telling the others what to do, but if we are behaving very passively, it's hard for the others." 

On the question of whether to go forward with the Nord Stream 2 natural-gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, Baerbock is a hard "no," in contrast to Merkel and Armin Laschet, the new leader of the CDU and Baerbock's chief rival to become chancellor. Laschet has said he wants to continue with the project. In Baerbock's view, the pipeline would violate the spirit of the EU's economic sanctions retaliating against Russian aggression. "This pipeline contradicts our sanctions, so it cannot go in place," she said. "It cannot start."

Baaerbock's reasoning on this point isn't just geopolitical. She instead wants to work with Ukraine to set up a hydrogen pipeline. "We need some hydrogen in Europe to be carbon-neutral in the future," she said. "There's a high potential in Ukraine for renewable energy, for wind and solar. We have already this pipeline there to transfer now fossil [fuel] gas. We can set it up for [a] green hydrogen pipeline in the future."



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jan 19th, 2022 at 10:39:15 PM EST
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