This very critical article by Soeren Kern begins with these words and then justifies his criticisms with sixteen pages of supporting comments which can be read by downloading the pdf file which we have posted below.
Questions are being belatedly asked — and grudgingly answered — about many aspects of Merkel's failed Russia policy, including her decisions to block Ukraine's prospective membership of NATO, gut the German military, undermine the transatlantic alliance, and institutionalize Germany's overdependence on Russian energy supplies.
The responsibility for Germany's failed Russia policy goes far beyond Merkel: German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and a large cross section of Germany's business, media and political elite have supported — and continue to support — pro-Russia (as well as pro-China and pro-Iran) policies that sacrifice democracy, human rights, and the rule of law on the altar of financial gain.
"The President of Germany is not ready to admit any of his huge personal responsibility for the failure of Berlin's Russia policy mistake. Even in times of such a war he wants to build new bridges with Russia." — Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk, interview with the Los Angeles Times.
"The modus operandi of German & EU politics is the indefinite postponement of conflicts. This seemed to have worked well in times of peace (though not in relation to Russia, obviously). The consequences of such an approach in times of war can be catastrophic." — Stefan Auer, Professor of European studies, University of Hong Kong.
"The problem in my view is one of mindset.... This Zeitenwende [turning point in German-Russian relations] will only succeed if it arrives in the heads of an entire complacent generation of boomer politicians in Germany who have to accept that their naïveté, egocentrism and smug self-righteous conviction in the supposed higher morality of their actions has directly contributed to the greatest catastrophe in European politics since 1945." — Georg Löfflmann, a German professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick.
"Germany's stubborn insistence on engaging with the Russian leader in the face of his sustained aggression (a catalog of misdeeds ranging from the invasion of Georgia to assassinations of enemies abroad and war crimes in Syria) was nothing short of a catastrophic blunder, one that will earn Merkel a place in the pantheon of political naiveté alongside Neville Chamberlain." — Matt Karnitschnig, Chief Europe Correspondent, Politico.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is forcing a long-overdue reevaluation of former German Chancellor Angela Merkel's legacy of appeasing Russian President Vladimir Putin. Pictured: Merkel greets Putin at the G20 economic summit on July 7, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Morris MacMatzen/Getty Images)