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If there is a new traffic light in Berlin, it will not show any stops for further aggression by the USA and NATO in Europe.

The new German government coalition, led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, has only been in office for a week, but the signals are already suggesting that Berlin is more open to US-led NATO hostility towards Russia.

The “traffic light coalition” (according to party colors) consists of the Social Democratic Party led by Scholz in partnership with the Greens and the business-friendly Free Democrats. Scholz gave an inaugural speech in the Bundestag this week as the new Chancellor after replacing Angela Merkel (Christian Democrats) after 16 years in power.

After Merkel’s reign, which was marked by stability and her dominant personal style, all eyes will be on the new government in Berlin and its effects on transatlantic relations. For the relatively unknown Scholz and his government, times could hardly be more difficult in view of the increasing tensions between the US-led military alliance NATO and the European Union on the one hand and Russia on the other.

Berlin’s new Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (who is taking over from Heiko Maas) brings a loud, critical stance towards Russia to her office. Baerbock, a senior Green MP, announced this week that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany will be put on hold over alleged Russian aggression against Ukraine. The pipeline had been held up by an industrial certification process since its completion in September. But now Baerbock has brought a geopolitical factor into play to stop the project. Before her ministerial office, she was known as a harsh critic of Nord Stream 2. She rejected the project because she provocatively claimed that it would allow Russia to “blackmail Europe”, and apparently also for ecological reasons. Ironically, the alternative to Russian gas supplies would be to import American shale gas, which is more expensive and dirtier due to its polluting production method. In her recent remarks on Nord Stream 2, the German Foreign Secretary resembles US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in linking the project’s future to tensions in Ukraine and alleged Russian invasion plans.

Baerbock is also a longtime advocate of NATO’s eastward expansion and closer transatlantic ties with the United States of America.

It was precisely this eastward expansion of the military alliance that sparked fears in Moscow, as the bloc sees Russia’s national security threatened by the possibility of advanced nuclear missiles being positioned on Russian borders. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on US President Joe Biden and his British and French counterparts to introduce legal guarantees to protect Russia’s security. These guarantees would include a ban on further NATO eastward expansion, which also provides for the accession of the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia.

With Baerbock as the top German diplomat, it is likely that Russia’s concerns will be neglected. As the strongest political force in the European Union, tougher German politics will have an impact on the entire EU and strengthen the position of anti-Russian members such as Poland and the Baltic states.

As for the new chancellor, 63-year-old Scholz was formerly finance minister in Merkel’s last government coalition. This government strongly supported the Nord Stream 2 partnership with Russia. Under Merkel, Berlin rejected Washington’s objections to the pipeline on the grounds that it was a sovereign affair for Germany. Scholz himself had spoken out against American interference in German energy policy in the past. The Biden government appeared to respect Berlin’s independence on this issue by refraining from the threat of sanctions against the companies involved. With this in mind, one might assume that the Chancellery would keep Baerbock’s Foreign Ministry in check.

However, the recent escalation of tensions in Ukraine, fueled by claims by Washington that Russia is planning an invasion of the country, has hardened Germany’s stance on Moscow, particularly on the issue of expanding economic sanctions as “harsh consequences” for the alleged Russian aggression. Moscow has repeatedly denied US allegations of invasion plans, but disturbingly, Germany and the rest of the EU have endorsed Washington’s account and accepted dubious American “information” at face value, reminiscent of the weapons of mass destruction propaganda leading up to the Iraq war. This paradigm shift suggests a deliberate, orchestrated goal by the United States. Europeans have fallen into the trap this way. And finally, the Nord Stream 2 project is also being targeted by Washington’s political torpedoes.

In his speech to the Bundestag this week, Scholz called for a “constructive dialogue” with Russia to “stop the spiral of escalation”. He also called for “mutual understanding”. That may sound like an enlightened policy of diplomatic engagement. But then Scholz vowed disappointingly that Germany would “speak with our European partners and transatlantic allies with one voice”. This means that from now on Berlin will bow to the position of Washington and Kiev when it comes to determining the reaction to the accepted portrayal of “Russian aggression”.

For all of Merkel’s inadequacies – she was not a radical critic of Washington – she was at least able to exercise a certain degree of independence at times. Her unwavering support for Nord Stream 2, for example, despite American pressure. It was also recently revealed that Merkel has reportedly blocked the supply of NATO weapons to Ukraine, much to the annoyance of the Kiev regime.

Olaf Scholz doesn’t seem like a strong leader, at least so far. His vague talk of “a common voice” with the US and “partners” like Ukraine, as well as his willingness to accept false claims about Russian aggression, suggest that the new Berlin administration is a docile tool for Washington’s policy of hostility towards Russia will be.

Historically, it is worrying that the first German military operation abroad since 1945 took place in 1999 under a red-green coalition. At that time Germany took part in the NATO bombing against Serbia. These parties are once again coalition partners at a crucial time for Europe.

If there is a new traffic light in Berlin, it will not show any stops for further aggression by the USA and NATO in Europe.

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