Chancellor Olaf Scholz visits Japan, seeks to expand the economic and military cooperation. In September, German Air Force participates in military exercises in Asian-Pacific realm.
TOKYO/BERLIN (Own report) – The German Bundeswehr will send fighter planes to combat exercises in the Asian-Pacific realm. This was confirmed by the Air Force on the occasion of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’ visit to Japan. According to the statement, six German Eurofighters will be dispatched to Australia to participate in a maneuver and from there make a short visit in Japan. Scholz’ visit serves the purpose of expanding German-Japanese cooperation, in view of the intensification of the West’s power struggle with China. On the one hand, the German government seeks to expand German-Japanese business relations, to relativize the significance of the People's Republic of China for German industry, given the fact that Japan is considered an integral part of the western alliance and “conflict-proof” – unlike the case of China, western sanctions against Japan are out of the question. On the other hand, Berlin is seeking closer cooperation in foreign and military policy. For this purpose, in November 2021, the German frigate Bayern made a stopover in Yokohama at the entrance of Tokyo Bay. Germany’s military presence in Japan is beginning to normalize. Read more
Finland and Sweden’s applications to join NATO are reportedly imminent. Russia is reacting to this new strategic imbalance with its own arms buildup.
BERLIN/HELSINKI/STOCKHOLM (Own report) – Finland and Sweden are expected to jointly apply for NATO membership in mid-May, according to reports published yesterday in both countries. Thus, both Helsinki and Stockholm are definitively giving up what is left of their formal neutrality. The Finnish-Swedish rapprochement to NATO – including their participation in NATO wars – had already begun back in the 1990s. Both countries have been so closely linked to the alliance that experts recently remarked that their joining NATO is almost nothing more than a “matter of formalization.” This “formalization” will now take place. It will create a new strategic imbalance in northeastern Europe. Sweden’s island, Gotland, which will soon become part of NATO, can control the sea routes, for example, to St. Petersburg and to Kaliningrad. The approximately 1,340 km long Finnish-Russian border will become NATO’s external border. Moscow has announced it will counter this with arms buildup measures in the High North and possibly deploying nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad. Read more
In the Baltic, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock promotes the formation of the West in opposition to Russia and commemorates the “victims of communism,” but not Baltic victims of Nazism.
BERLIN/RIGA/TALLINN/VILNIUS (Own report) – In the shadow cast by the militarist formation of the West in opposition to Russia, signs are emerging of a shift in Berlin’s official commemoration policy. This is emerging from Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s schedule in the three Baltic countries, which began yesterday in Latvia. In addition to her talks with military authorities, in Estonia, today Baerbock intends to visit a monument for the victims of communism; however, no plans have been made for a visit to the victims of the Nazi occupiers and their Baltic collaborators, whose terror nearly wiped out the entire Jewish population. Out of deference to the Baltic countries, the German government has repeatedly abstained from voting in favor of UN General Assembly resolutions condemning the glorification of Nazism and its collaborators. Domestic Nazi collaborators are publicly honored in all three Baltic countries. Baerbock declared in the run-up to her trip, that above all the current issue is “defense” in face of Russia; “from the Baltic states, we can learn a lot”. Read more
Berlin and the EU prepare new arms deliveries to Ukraine. Ex-US diplomat says West favors a long war to weaken Russia.
BERLIN/WASHINGTON/KIEV (Own report) – Berlin and the EU are preparing new arms deliveries and are not ruling out the war’s prolongation to several years. Over the weekend, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reiterated that Brussels is open to exporting even heavy weapons to Ukraine. The German government is ready to provide “military aid” worth two billion euros to foreign states, the bulk of which should go to the Ukrainian forces. The Düsseldorf based arms company Rheinmetall is prepared to overhaul up to 50 Leopard 1 battle tanks and deliver them to Kiev. The Western powers' strategy is not oriented toward ending the battles as quickly as possible but to militarily weaken Russia and possibly even defeating it. EU Foreign Policy Commissioner Josep Borrell remarked that the war will be decided “on the battlefield.” According to a retired senior US diplomat, transatlantic powers are fighting Russia “to the last Ukrainian.” Read more
German government contemplates further arms supplies to Ukraine. In Italy and Greece, transport employees block arms exports to warzone.
BERLIN/KIEV (Own report) – In Berlin pressure is mounting for further deliveries of weaponry to Ukraine. Following Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s announcement that the Ukrainian armed forces would be “also provided with systems that we have not yet delivered,” the CDU Chair Friedrich Merz is now demanding that heavy weaponry be also considered. “Everything possible below entering into the war,” should “be feasible,” demanded Alexander Dobrindt, Chair of the CSU faction in the Bundestag. A list with potentially exportable combat material valued at €300 million has already been prepared. These demands are being raised at a time when, according to the Ukrainian negotiator, negotiations between Kiev and Moscow are making progress. Already last week, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on Kiev to only agree to a ceasefire when Ukraine is “militarily in the strongest possible position.” In Italy and Greece, on the other hand, transport workers are blocking the delivery of weaponry to the war zone, explaining, they will not be “accomplices” of the war machine. Read more