The SPD has created a network similar to mafia structures

Over the years, the SPD, which leads Germany’s ruling Social Democrat coalition, has developed a network of ties with Kremlin-dependent raw material companies reminiscent of mafia structures. Today, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who represents the party, is imitating aid to Ukraine, which has drawn criticism from public opinion and its coalition partners. Bogdan Musiał.

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The ruling coalition of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) with the Greens and the Liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) is increasingly divided in its policy towards Ukraine. It was forced.

Where does Scholz’s protest come from?

Green politicians, including Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Economy Minister Robert Habeck and the FDP, support the rapid delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine, which is fighting Russian occupation. Chancellor Scholz is blocking these initiatives. And in the end, it is necessary to confirm such decisions, – said the interlocutor.

Scholz said that Ukraine has allocated one billion euros for the purchase of weapons. But this is a classic runway. It is not clear where the money will go, who will spend it, when and how. Commentators say it is a fake move against the public

– Musiał says.

According to the PAP interlocutor, the decision to block more aid to Ukraine reflects the attitude of many influential SPD politicians who have formed an “energy alliance” with Russia over the years. They have worked closely with Russian energy companies, including. Gazprom and North Stream were lobbying for projects such as the two gas pipelines.

The policy of this energy alliance with Putin was formed under Gerhard Schroeder (German Chancellor of the SPD from 1998-2005), even before Angela Merkel’s 16-year rule from the CDU. , developed it further; but the main driver of these actions was the SPD

– Musiał notes. He added that it was now clear that the scale of SPD activists’ ties with Russia was “deeper than we thought” and that the nature of some of those ties “resembled mafia structures”.

As an example, he cites successive prime ministers of the SPD’s Mecklenburg-Vorpommern federal state: Erwin Sellering, who held the post until 2017, and his successor, Manuela Schwesig. Politicians have actively supported the construction of the North Stream 2 gas pipeline, and in practice have followed special instructions received directly from Gazprom’s Russian headquarters. According to historians, the PR actions that confuse German public opinion are in the interests of Gazprom, not Germany.

According to Musial, Schwesig spoke about his actions, including the behind-the-scenes efforts of Scholz and Merkel, then Vice Chancellors, to circumvent US sanctions on the completion of North Stream 2. Welt am Sonntag. He added that questions about whether Schwesig had violated the law also arose from politicians from the FDP, the Greens and the CDU, who unanimously demanded the explanation and resignation of the Prime Minister of Mecklenburg.

What is the Hannover connection?

Another example of the relationship between SPD politicians and Russian business is an informal group called the Hanoverian Connection, which includes Lars Klingbale, the current leader of the SPD and former head of German diplomacy, and Sigmar Gabriel, who later worked for Russian lobbying companies. and Schroeder himself, who is known in Germany for representing the interests of Russian raw materials companies, says Musiał. .

Due to its indecisive attitude to the war in Ukraine, Germany, as a country, is suffering great image losses in the world. In the long run, they can’t afford it. Thus, SPD politicians have a problem, because it is very difficult for them to cut ties with Russia, apparently, they are not ready for it.

– evaluates the historian. He adds that Scholz’s current steps can therefore be seen as pragmatic, even malicious, aimed at anticipating war and avoiding a solution to Germany’s previous position behind the scenes less than public opinion and Ukraine’s expectations. Social democracy, which contributed to the strengthening of Putin’s position, prepared Russia for occupation.

Musial noted that another element that prevented the SPD from reacting more harshly to the Russian aggression was the strong anti-American attitude of the formation.

The PAP interlocutor predicts that any change in the SPD’s policy will depend on several factors: pressure from German public opinion, the behavior of coalition partners, the reaction of other governments and the development of the situation in Ukraine itself. He stressed that there is a clear change in the attitude of the German society, which is increasingly supporting Ukraine and defending sanctions against Russia.

The attitude of the coalition partners is also important – the Greens have always been a party of values ​​in foreign policy, and even before the parliamentary elections (September 2021) they supported Ukraine. The FDP is also becoming more resolute, which supports increasing aid to the country, which defends itself from Russia, and criticizes Scholz for being late, Musiał said.

Not only Schröder

The historian recalls that the SPD’s current approach is in line with the broader foreign policy paradigm set by Willi Brandt, the Social Democrat who ruled Germany in the first half of the 1970s, against the USSR and then against Russia. Under the rule of the Christian Democrats. This approach is based on the normalization of contacts, the acceptance of the status quo and the development of trade relations.

However, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is also coming out of this approach faster and faster, as it quickly says goodbye to Merkel’s legacy of this way of thinking, Musiał comments. He added that under the leadership of the party’s current leader, Friedrich Merz, who has always opposed Merkel’s policies, the party is increasingly adopting a pro-Atlantic line.

Professor Bogdan Musiał is a historian specializing in the study of the history of Germany, Poland and Russia in the 20th century, especially during World War II and the interwar period. He is the author of many books, including: “Who will help the Jew …”, “Rozstrzelać counter-revolutionary elements”, “The West over the body of Poland”. He worked, among others, at the University of UKSW, the National Institute of Remembrance, and the German Institute of History in Warsaw, and is now director of the Institute for War Loss. Yan Karski.

gah / PAP

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