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Steinmeier may be 'preparing soft landing' in Putin’s big business: journalist Janecki

PR dla Zagranicy
Alicja Baczyńska 21.06.2016 12:07
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier may be "preparing for the end of his political career and preparing some kind of a soft landing,” says Stanisław Janecki, a journalist for Poland's W Sieci.
Wolfgang StaudtWolfgang Staudt

Last week, Steinmeier criticized recent "sabre-rattling and warmongering" NATO exercises in Poland, saying that more dialogue is needed with Russia.

In an interview for Polish Radio, Janecki said: “I hope Chancellor Merkel… has a different opinion on this issue [of NATO exercises in Poland]. German caution in regard to the installation of NATO units in the East, however, supports what Steinmeier said, rather than contradicting it. That would not be a good sign for the future.”

On Tuesday, Paweł Soloch, the head of the National Security Bureau (BBN), said that Berlin is playing a “great business game”, and that a number of strategic decisions by German authorities are dictated by compromises with the Russian head of state.

Commenting on Steinmeier’s statement, Janecki said it was possible that he would follow in the footsteps of former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

Steinmeier was a close aide of Schröder, who is now chair of the shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream AG, a Russian-European consortium that built and operates the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline between Germany and Russia, bypassing Poland and the Baltic states.

The latter countries say the pipeline, along with the planned Nord Stream 2 project to double the amount of gas shipped directly from Russia to Germany, is a threat to their energy security.

“It may be that Mr Steinmeier is preparing for the end of his political career and preparing some kind of a soft landing, like his boss Gerhard Schröder,” Janecki told Polish Radio’s Halina Ostas. “It’s no secret that Mr Steinmeier maintains close contact with his former boss, former Chancellor Shröder.”

“It may be that Mr Steinmeier does not represent the policies of the government of Chancellor Merkel. That would be the more favourable version for both us and for Mr Steinmeier. But there could be a worse version – that’s there’s a division of roles in the government and Mr Steinmeier is playing the bad guy who’s saying things about policy on Russia that are not appropriate for [Germany’s] Christian Democrats to say."

Janecki says that if the German government is “playing it two ways, it would mean some kind falsity in German foreign policy towards allies, where the real opinion of the German government is not being revealed.”

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