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Nach der partiellen Schließung der schwedischen Grenzen für Flüchtlinge verhängt das erste deutsche Bundesland einen Aufnahmestopp.

EU oder Krieg
Luxemburgs Außenminister Jean Asselborn warnt vor einem Zerfall der EU.

Neue Lager
Die Innenminister der EU haben sich auf Maßnahmen geeinigt, die Flüchtlinge aus Deutschland fernhalten sollen.

Krieg in Europa?
Der ehemalige Bundeskanzler Helmut Schmidt warnt vor einem neuen Krieg in Europa.

Verletzte ausgeflogen
Die Bundeswehr hat 20 verwundete Kämpfer aus der Ukraine zur Behandlung nach Deutschland ausgeflogen.

Außen und innen
Der deutsche Außenminister moniert eine mangelnde Zustimmung in der Bevölkerung für eine offensive deutsche Weltpolitik.

Die Verantwortung Berlins
Der ehemalige EU-Kommissar Günter Verheugen erhebt im Konflikt um die Ukraine schwere Vorwürfe gegen Berlin.

"Ein gutes Deutschland"
Das deutsche Staatsoberhaupt schwingt sich zum Lehrmeister der Türkei auf.

Die Dynamik des "Pravy Sektor"
Der Jugendverband der NPD kündigt einen "Europakongress" unter Beteiligung des "Pravy Sektor" ("Rechter Sektor") aus der Ukraine an.

Der Mann der Deutschen
Die deutsche Kanzlerin hat am gestrigen Montag zwei Anführer der Proteste in der Ukraine empfangen.

France's Elections
(Own report) - Berlin's favorite candidate took the lead in the first round in Sunday's French presidential elections. According to the latest predictions, Emmanuel Macron won with 23.4 percent of the votes, followed by Marine Le Pen of the Front National with 22.6. Macron is expected to win the May 7 runoffs. Initially, the German government had banked on and openly promoted the conservative candidate François Fillon. However, after his approval ratings significantly dropped in the polls, due to the scandal over high payments to his wife as his parliamentary assistant, Berlin was forced to turn to Macron. Like Fillon, Macron is considered "Germany-compatible" by a German think tank, whereas all other candidates are viewed as unsuitable for "constructive cooperation" because of their criticism of the EU and/or of NATO. Recently, Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble ostentatiously recommended voting for Macron. Berlin's interference on behalf of Macron shows once again that German domination of the EU does not stop at national borders, and - according to a well-known EU observer - surpasses by far Russia's feeble meddling in France.

Moderate Success
(Own report) - Moderate business success and lack of unity among the leading western powers are affecting Germany's current policy toward Iran. Last year, German companies were able to significantly expand their business with Iran; however, they did not achieve the ambitious level they had been hoping to reach. Despite the 25 percent increase in German exports to Iran, it seems unlikely that the aspired export volume of ten billion euros will be reached in the next few years. The strong market position of the People's Republic of China - which had not joined the western sanctions - is one of the reasons. Russia also has gained considerable influence and can not only hope for contracts in the oil and natural gas sectors, but also for the expansion of the broad gauge railway network up to the Persian Gulf. Whereas the United States does not want to abandon its military trump and prefers to persist in war threats, the German government is seeking to serve as mediator in the unrelenting hegemonic conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. However, no breakthrough is in sight.

A Matter of National Interest
(Own report) - In light of the drastic warnings of the EU's possible disintegration, Berlin seeks to prevent the formation of contending forces. "The European Union is drifting apart to an extent hardly imaginable 15 years ago," according to a recent analysis, written by a board member of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). The "dividing lines" between the north and the impoverishing south, as well as between western and eastern EU member countries are disquieting. To prevent the formation of a southern European bloc opposing the German austerity dictate, Berlin is particularly trying to integrate France into its EU policy. Yesterday, the German chancellor sought closer cooperation with the Czech Republic and Slovakia, to undermine an alliance of the Visegrád members against German predominance. At the same time, promotion of the EU has been intensified within Germany. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel explained how Germany ultimately profits from its net contributions to the EU budget: The success of German exports depends on "the people in the other EU countries" being able "to afford" German products - with the help of Brussels' subsidies.

Struggle over Marginal Seas
(Own report) - German military specialists are evaluating the growing significance of the Baltic and the Black Seas in the West's power struggle with Moscow. These two "marginal seas" are of great importance to Russia, according to a recent analysis published in the specialized periodical "MarineForum." Whereas the Baltic Sea serves Russian maritime trade as a "gateway to the Atlantic," the Russian Navy needs the Black Sea as a strategically central "diving board into the Mediterranean," facilitating Russia to gain influence from the Middle East all the way to the Indian Ocean. Whereas NATO controls the access to both "marginal seas," Moscow is seeking to consolidate its strategic positions, and to better extend its reach from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean. NATO is seeking countermeasures to again confine Russia, the MarineForum writes. Germany is also expanding its activities in and at the Black Sea and is inviting allied navies to participate in joint maneuvers in the Baltic Sea.

"A Key Role in the World"
(Own report) - With last Saturday's "Rome Declaration", the EU has declared its commitment to an offensive global policy, including an intensified militarization, as was demanded by Berlin. In the coming years, the Union must play "a key role in the world," the declaration states, while calling for "strengthening its common security and defence." At the same time, German government advisors are vigorously demanding that the militarization decisions already taken, be rapidly implemented. Berlin and Paris could conclude a joint 40 billion euro program for new measures for dealing with "missions, procurement, capabilities and counter-terrorism," according to a document published by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). The Bundeswehr could also integrate troops from other EU countries to form "a sort of Europe Division." On the weekend, Hungary's foreign minister affirmed his country's support. In a recent resolution, the European Parliament stressed the need for increasing military spending with an extra €100 billion by the end of the coming decade. Couched in the usual propaganda phraseology, the "Rome Declaration" states "we have united for the better."

A Dangerous Game
(Own report) - Berlin and Brussels are intensifying their pressure on London prior to next Wednesday's official Brexit notification. "Britain's example" will make all others see "it's not worth leaving," European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker declared. According to Brussels, the Brexit could cost the United Kingdom up to 60 billion euros. London sharply objects to this impertinence, pointing out that, the EU and particularly Germany, are dependent, for economic and military considerations, on consensual exit regulations. German industry would in fact be hit hard by a hostile British exit. Britain is Germany's export-oriented economy's third largest customer and second largest location for German direct investments. For quite some time, Berlin also has set its hopes on Great Britain's contribution to the EU's militarization - even after Brexit - because of the military clout of its armed forces and its nuclear arms.

Partners at the Pacific
(Own report) - Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe opened the CeBIT digital trade fair in Hanover on Sunday, emphasizing their commitment to expand German-Japanese cooperation. Japan is "a friend," Merkel declared, with whom one can advance in promoting digitalization. Japan had once been the Federal Republic of Germany's most important East Asian business partner, but, in terms of German foreign investments and trade, it has fallen far behind China over the past few years. Even though strategically highly significant, from a German point of view, economic relations have been stagnating. A counterweight to Beijing in East Asia would be advantageous for Berlin's foreign policy. Germany has therefore begun to expand military cooperation with the Japanese armed forces. During his visit in Tokyo last November, Germany's President, at the time, Joachim Gauck, explicitly encouraged Japan's rearmament, which is pointed directly at China. Having taken a sharp nationalist course, the Japanese government will send a new helicopter carrier to train with the US Navy in the South China Sea in May.

Secession as a Point of Leverage (II)
(Own report) - Scotland has established an investment center in Berlin, thereby reinforcing its economic ties to the EU and causing - with German support - new tension in Great Britain. According to critics, in its intended secession from the United Kingdom, for which it must establish economic security, the Scottish government is relying on German help. In fact, to increase the pressure on London to achieve the "softest" Brexit possible, Berlin and Germany's regional governments are going out of their way to strengthen relations with Edinburgh. This is considered essential to German interests. Government advisors in Berlin are recommending using Ireland for obtaining influence in the negotiations concerning the borders between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. In the event of a "hard" Brexit, this border would be a particularly sensitive point. Berlin is also using EU foreigners, residing in the United Kingdom, as an additional bargaining chip. Chancellor Angela Merkel has refused to have their rights of residence clarified beforehand.

Germany's Geopolitical Interests
(Own report) - In spite of the Turkish government's recent provocations, Berlin is steadfastly maintaining its cooperation with Ankara. Over the past few days, members of the Turkish government have affronted several EU countries as "fascist," thereby again provoking sharp protests. For some time, human rights organizations and other critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have been up in arms over Ankara's brutal violations of human and civil rights, its attempt to establish a presidential dictatorship and its arbitrary incarceration of citizens of foreign countries. Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that her objective was to prevent Turkey from "becoming even more alienated from us," which is why we must persist in our cooperation. Since some time, government advisors in Germany's capital have been warning that Ankara is seriously considering joining the Chinese-Russian Alliance (the Shanghai Cooperation Organization - SCO), and that, within the Turkish establishment, voices calling for Turkey to leave NATO are growing louder. That would be a serious setback for Berlin's ambitions to become a world power, which for geostrategic reasons, is dependent on its cooperation with Ankara.

With German Weapons against Yazidis
(Own report) - The German government's Kurdish protégés in Northern Iraq are using German weapons to attack the Yazidi minority. This has been confirmed by new photo and video documents circulating around the internet for the past few days. These documents depict the Erbil-based Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Peshmerga and its allied militias attacking Yazidis with Dingo infantry mobility vehicles (IMV), G36 assault rifles and other German weapons. The Peshmerga is seeking to round off the KRG territory and annex the region surrounding Shingal ("Sinjar" in Arabic) before the planned secession from Iraq of the regions under Erbil's control. Shingal had been the focus of international attention in the summer of 2014, when the IS/Daesh killed thousands of Yazidis and abducted, enslaved and raped thousands of Yezidis. Yazidis, who have always been harassed and discriminated against by the KRG are now fearing expulsion. For years, Erbil - which Berlin is supporting politically, as well as with training and arms for its Peshmerga - has been systematically expelling Arab speaking inhabitants from the territories under its control. Already in 2015, US observers were accusing the KRG of "ethnic cleansing."

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