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"Donald Trump reminds the west why it liked US leadership"


Die aktuellen Ereignisse in Nordsyrien offenbaren nach Ansicht von Janan Ganesh, wie die Alternative zur oft geschmähten "Pax Americana" im Nahen Osten aussehen würde. "The world resented American omnipresence before it complained about American dereliction. Inadvertently, Donald Trump is forcing the end of this ambivalence. The more the US president unwinds his country’s external commitments, the more other nations see the resultant damage to the global commons. His decision to expose Kurds in Syria to Turkish forces has been the most clarifying moment of all. But there have been others, over trade and climate change. Countries with historic qualms about US power are going through a chastening education in life without it. The perverse result: an America First president could bequeath his successor a world that is keener on US leadership than it was before."

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"Ukraine’s Zelensky calls for Putin and Trump to join peace talks"


Der ukrainische Präsident Zelensky hat neue Friedensverhandlungen zur Beilegung des Konflikts im Osten der Ukraine vorgeschlagen. An den Treffen soll neben Russlands Präsident Putin auch US-Präsident Trump teilnehmen. "Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s new president, has suggested that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump should join expanded talks aimed at ending a smouldering war with Russia-backed separatists in the country’s eastern regions. (...) Russia, which has insisted in past years that it would not discuss the return of Crimea to Ukraine, responded with scepticism to the suggestion of expanded talks, which Mr Zelensky said could take place in Minsk. 'I’m not prepared to answer anything . . . It’s an absolutely new format,' said Dmitry Peskov, the spokesperson of Mr Putin. 'Firstly, we need to understand whether such a meeting has any prospects, and secondly, we need to understand what kind of new format is being offered,' Mr Peskov added, in comments carried by Russian news agencies."

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"As Sudan descends into violence, Algeria’s spring lives on"


Im Gegensatz zu Sudan wird die Revolte gegen die autoritäre Regierung in Algerien bisher nicht gewaltsam niedergeschlagen. Heba Saleh führt dies auch darauf zurück, dass beide Seiten eine Rückkehr zur Gewalt der 1990er Jahre fürchten. "Algerian generals are reluctant to use violence against the protesters 'because they are not sure their troops will be loyal to them,' said Lahouari Addi, a prominent sociologist of Algeria at the Institute of Political Studies in Lyon. 'It is unique; you have millions of civilians who are putting the high-ranking officers under siege peacefully and politically.' So far, both the army and the demonstrators have been careful to avoid a descent into violence. Street protests, which draw hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life every Friday, have avoided calls for a general strike or the permanent occupation of public squares, which would be perceived as escalations. Meanwhile, the military has not used force to disperse demonstrations. Neither side wants a repeat of the 'black decade' of the 1990s in which more than 100,000 people died in a civil war triggered by the army when it interrupted presidential elections to prevent the victory of Islamists, analysts say. Unlike Sudan, there are no rogue factions within the military or militias that could cause mayhem, they add."

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"Trade is just an opening shot in a wider US-China conflict"


Philip Stephens sieht den neu entflammten Handelskonflikt zwischen den USA und China als Beginn eines geopolitischen Ringens um die künftige globale Vorherrschaft. "The trade narrative is now being subsumed into a much more alarming one. Economics has merged with geopolitics. China, you can hear on almost every corner in sight of the White House and Congress, is not just a dangerous economic competitor but a looming existential threat. Beijing may not have the same ideological ambitions as the Soviet Union, but it does threaten US primacy. It needs more than a level playing field for trade to confront this challenge. (...) The danger in all this speaks for itself. Treating China as a certain enemy is a sure way to persuade Beijing that it should behave as such. Mistrust begets mistrust, which in turn could provide the spark for open conflict. China is no innocent — witness the ever present cyber attacks on western militaries and vital infrastructure. But demonising everything it does simply opens up the path from a trade war to something much rougher."

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"China offers to help fix Venezuela’s power grid"


China hat Venezuela Hilfe bei der Reparatur des Stromnetzes angeboten, berichtet Lucy Hornby aus Peking. "Beijing’s offer comes amid apparent uncertainty within the Chinese government over how to respond to the crisis in Venezuela. Although China is one of the few major countries, alongside Russia, that still recognises Mr Maduro’s government, it is also in informal contact with the opposition, led by Juan Guaidó, whose interim presidency is recognised by more than 50 countries, including the US. Officially, Beijing will only recognise Mr Maduro’s government as part of its principle of not interfering in other countries’ affairs. But some Chinese foreign policy analysts believe Beijing would quickly recognise another candidate, as long as he legally replaced Mr Maduro."

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"The US, China and the return of a two-bloc world"


Der Handelsstreit zwischen den USA und China, der Streit um das chinesische Unternehmen Huawei und das Vordringen der chinesischen "Belt and Road Initiative" nach Europa lassen Gideon Rachman erwarten, dass es erneut eine Blockbildung, wenn auch unter neuen Vorzeichen, geben könnte. "(...) an emerging two-bloc world is unlikely to be based around rival military alliances as it was in the cold war, when the Warsaw Pact faced off against Nato. Instead, it is technology that could become the basis of the new global split. China long ago banned Google and Facebook. Now the US is struggling to thwart Huawei. With concern mounting over the control and transfer of data across borders, countries may increasingly come under pressure to choose either the US tech-universe or the Chinese version — and they may find that the two are increasingly walled-off from each other. But a division that started with technology would not stay there. Data and communications are now fundamental to almost all forms of business and military activity. The two-bloc world of the cold war was replaced by an era of globalisation. Now globalisation itself may be threatened by the re-emergence of a two-bloc world."

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"The Trump era could last 30 years"


Der Aufschwung "populistischer" Politiker, Parteien und Bewegungen im Westen könnte in Anbetracht vergleichbarer Phasen der jüngeren Vergangenheit bis zu dreißig Jahre dauern, schreibt Gideon Rachman. "All efforts at historical periodisation are slightly artificial. But it is possible to identify two distinct eras in postwar western politics, both of which lasted roughly 30 years. The period from 1945-1975, known as les trente glorieuses in France, was identified with a period of strong economic growth across the west, alongside the construction of welfare states and Keynesian demand-management — all played out against the international backdrop of the cold war. (...) [The] 'neoliberal era' also lasted roughly 30 years until it was discredited by the global financial crisis of 2008. As with the end of the trente glorieuses, it took a few years of uncertainty before a new ideological movement emerged. But that happened in 2016, with Mr Trump’s election and Brexit. But why should cycles in modern history last for roughly 30 years? One possible explanation is that the successful ideologies and the political movements they spawn go through a cycle of emulation followed by overshoot."

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"Russia’s support for Venezuela has deep roots"


Die umfangreichen Investitionen des russischen Ölkonzerns Rosneft in Venezuela sind Alexander Gabuev zufolge ein wesentlicher Grund für die Unterstützung Moskaus für Präsident Maduro. "Russia’s policy on Venezuela is heavily influenced by Igor Sechin, the head of Rosneft, Russia’s national oil company. It is not only owed $3bn by Caracas, but also owns two offshore gasfields in the country and stakes in assets boasting more than 20m tonnes of crude. The involvement of Mr Sechin, who met with Mr Maduro in Moscow in September and flew to Caracas in November, suggests that Russia’s national security policymaking is increasingly driven by a combination of corporate interests and ambitions of powerful members of Mr Putin’s inner circle."

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"Mohammed bin Salman tests his standing with bold G20 trip"


Der saudi-arabische Kronprinz Mohammed bin Salman wird die internationalen Regierungschefs beim G20-Treffen in Buenos Aires in eine schwierige Situation bringen, schreibt Andrew England. "For many of the world leaders who will assemble at a riverside conference centre on Friday, the challenge will be to navigate between wanting to be seen as tough in their response to the killing and the pragmatic need to maintain relations with the world’s top oil exporter and their most powerful Arab ally. Some of those who just a few months ago were lauding the 33-year-old crown prince may now snub him, promising awkward moments as world leaders huddle for the two-day meeting. (...) 'We are going to see a kind of diplomatic dance . . . but it’s all about him touching down and everybody saying '[Prince Mohammed] is the only game in town, but we’ve got to manage the messaging back at home',' said Neil Quilliam, a Middle East expert at Chatham House. 'Even if it’s a snub, they will try and make it not too much of a snub.'"

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"Facebook executive contradicts Mueller indictment"


Facebooks Werbe-Vizechef Rob Goldman hat einer zentralen Aussage der Anklageschrift des US-Sonderermittlers Robert Mueller widersprochen und darauf hingewiesen, dass ein Großteil der russischen Ausgaben für Anzeigen auf seiner Plattform nach der US-Präsidentschaftswahl erfolgt sei. "A Facebook executive has argued the Russian disinformation campaign uncovered by the Mueller indictment was not intended to sway the US presidential election, after the investigation showed how Russians distributed propaganda on the platform. Rob Goldman, vice-president of advertising, tweeted that the majority of money the Russians spent on advertising was spent after the election - and that their real motivation was to divide the American people. 'The main goal of the Russian propaganda and misinformation effort is to divide America by using our institutions, like free speech and social media, against us. It has stoked fear and hatred among Americans. It is working incredibly well. We are quite divided as a nation,' he tweeted."

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"Tunisian unrest is a symptom of healthy democratic evolution"


Im Gegensatz zu manch anderen Beobachtern hält Safwan Masri die Proteste gegen die Regierung in Tunesien für ein Zeichen einer "gesunden demokratischen Evolution". "Some view the demonstrations and the government’s response as a dire warning that the end of Tunisia’s experiment with democracy is near. Others ask whether the country’s civic achievements, recognised as both an anomaly among and a source of inspiration for other Arab nations, need to be reconsidered. Both views are overly despairing. They fail to properly account for the source of the current round of unrest, the opportunities for overcoming it, and the stark differences in the two political moments. (...) The temptation to cast current demonstrations as a reprise of the 2011 revolutionary moment is flawed. Corrupt and authoritarian leadership is a different order of problem to structural economic issues, and Tunisia’s civil society and political actors have the capacity to come together around broader national aims."

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"Angela Merkel’s blunder, Donald Trump and the end of the west"


Auch Gideon Rachman hält Angela Merkels Aussagen zum transatlantischen Verhältnis für "unverantwortlich" und warnt, dass sich die Andeutung vom Ende des Westens in seiner bisherigen Form als selbsterfüllende Prophezeiung herausstellen könnte. "(...) her speech was a blunder for at least five reasons. First, it is a mistake to allow four months of the Trump presidency to throw into doubt a Transatlantic alliance that has kept the peace in Europe for 70 years. (...) Second, the US president actually had a valid point to make about the failure of most European countries to meet Nato targets on military expenditure. (...) Third, by implying that the western alliance is now coming apart, Ms Merkel has compounded the error that Mr Trump made when he failed to endorse Article 5. (...) Fourth, Ms Merkel was unwise and unfair to bracket the UK with Trump’s America. (...) The final flaw in Ms Merkel’s approach is that it displayed an uncharacteristic deafness to the echoes of history. (...) it is baffling that a German leader could stand in a beer-tent in Bavaria and announce a separation from Britain and the US while bracketing those two countries with Russia. The historical resonances should be chilling."

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"The isolation of Angela Merkel’s Germany"


Gideon Rachman schreibt, dass Deutschland heute Gefahr laufe, ohne eigenes Verschulden international isoliert dazustehen. Es gebe genügend Gründe, die Flüchtlings- und Euro-Politik von Bundeskanzlerin Merkel zu kritisieren, niemand bezweifle jedoch das deutsche Bekenntnis zu liberalen und internationalistischen Werten. "The problem is that Germany’s unwavering commitment to these values feels like the exception in the west, not the rule. One American delegate, returning from the recent Munich Security Conference, remarked to me that “it felt good to be in a normal country, again”. But German normality is now abnormal. (...) With so much going wrong for Germany, a huge amount hangs on the French election. If the pro-EU, pro-German Emmanuel Macron wins the presidency, there will be delight in Berlin. His election would break Germany’s growing sense of isolation, and offer renewed hope that a Franco-German partnership can revive the EU. By contrast, if Ms Le Pen wins, the German nightmare will be complete."

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"How history echoes Syria’s unholy war"


Trotz aller historischen Unterschiede hält Philip Stephens einen Vergleich des sunnitisch-schiitischen Konflikts mit der Konfrontation zwischen Katholiken und Protestanten im Europa des 17.Jahrhunderts aus analytischer Sicht für hilfreich. "For Catholic and Protestant, read Shia and Sunni. There are, I am sure, a hundred differences between the horrors that engulfed Europe and the flames consuming Syria. There are also uncomfortable coincidences. The brutality flowing from the intertwining of the spiritual and territorial is one; the misfortune of a patch of ground — Germany then, Syria now — in becoming a battlefield for outside powers is another. (...) The dividing lines on the ground are important. But, as in 17th-century Europe, what has kept the fires burning has been the involvement of outside powers. (...) The Gordian knot is the struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia, but a settlement would have also to acknowledge Russia’s interests and Turkey’s fears. Impossible, many will say. Maybe. But until it happens, today’s Syria will live the horrors of 17th-century Germany; and Isis will continue to find a safe haven for its twisted credo."

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"Paris attacks: Samy Amimour, the 'nice guy' who became a jihadi"


Die Biographie von Samy Amimour, der zu den Attentätern vom Club Bataclan in Paris gehörte, verdeutlicht Tom Burgis zufolge, wie schwierig es sei, gefährliche Extremisten rechtzeitig zu erkennen und Anschläge zu verhindern. "At first glance, he fits the standard profile of homegrown French jihadis, raised in crime-ridden ghettos and consumed by hatred. But details of his story, and of the limits of what intelligence agencies can do, suggest a more troubling possibility: that it is simply impossible to head off every plot, that others will certainly succeed and that nice guys with loving parents and decent jobs can be terrorists too."

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"Paris attacks: World powers agree to Syria elections push"


Bei der zweiten Syrienkonferenz in Wien hätten sich die teilnehmenden Staaten auf einen grundlegenden Fahrplan für einen Waffenstillstand zwischen dem Assad-Regime und moderaten Rebellengruppen geeinigt, berichtet Geoff Dyer. Wichtige Fragen z.B. zur Zukunft von Präsident Assad seien allerdings noch ungeklärt. "While ministers acknowledged the very large gaps that still remain to be worked out in the proposal, they said that the new timetable agreement could generate momentum behind a diplomatic process to end the conflict in Syria that has become a breeding ground for Isis and other Jihadi groups. 'The events in Paris underscore the threat that Daesh poses to all of us,' said US secretary of state John Kerry, using an alternative name for Isis. (...) Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said that Mr Assad was not the main issue in the Syrian conflict. 'It does not matter if you are for Assad or against him,' he said. 'ISIS is your enemy.' He added: 'I have a feeling that there is a growing recognition of the need to create an effective international coalition to fight Isis.'"

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"Disgruntled Polish youth eye far right"


In Polen werden sich viele enttäuschte junge Wähler angesichts der hohen Arbeitslosigkeit im Land bei den kommenden Parlamentswahlen weit rechts stehenden Parteien zuwenden, erwarten Henry Foy und Zosia Wasik in ihrem Bericht aus Warschau. "Political change is rumbling in Europe’s sixth-largest economy, largely borne out of anger and disillusionment among young people who feel they not benefited from the past decade’s economic boom. (...) If young voters lurch to the right next Sunday — as many expect — the ruling liberal and centrist PO party will likely be replaced by a coalition government led by the right wing Law and Justice (PiS) party and reliant on outside support from fringe parties, potentially disrupting the pro-EU reform path that has made Poland Europe’s star economic performer over the past decade."

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"EU looks to suspend Belarus sanctions in wake of election"


Der autokratisch herrschende Alexander Lukaschenko hat sich am Wochenende in Weißrussland bei den Präsidentschaftswahlen erneut im Amt bestätigen lassen. Da die Wahl diesmal ohne eine gewaltsame Repression von Oppositionskandidaten durchgeführt worden sei, erwäge die EU die Aufhebung einiger Sanktionen, berichtet die Financial Times. "Belarus, which is dependent on Russia for trade and credit, has in recent years sought to move slightly away from its former imperialist master. Mr Lukashenko has watched President Vladimir Putin’s interventions in Ukraine with concern, while benefiting from a surge in popularity among Belarusians who see his strongman persona as a defence against Russian aggression. But the rapprochement with Belarus poses a quandary for the EU. The moves by Minsk to distance itself from Moscow has been welcomed by Brussels, but the EU is also keen to see more democratic, economic and financial reform in the country before extending greater support to Mr Lukashenko."

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"Russia must work with, not against, America in Syria"


Zbigniew Brzezinski, früherer Sicherheitsberater von US-Präsident Jimmy Carter, schreibt, dass die US-Regierung künftige russische Luftangriffe gegen syrische Rebellen, die von den USA unterstützt werden ("American assets"), ab einem bestimmten Punkt nicht länger hinnehmen sollte. Das russische Militär in Syrien könne wenn nötig "entwaffnet" werden, so Brzezinski. Um eine solche Eskalation zu verhindern, empfiehlt er eine Kooperation beider Mächte. "(...) Russia might be persuaded to act with the US in seeking a wider accommodation to a regional problem that transcends the interests of a single state. Were that to happen, even some limited American-Russian political and military collaboration on the Middle East might prompt a further positive geopolitical development: constructive engagement on the part of China in containing the dangers of a wider Middle East explosion. Beijing has a significant economic stake in the prevention of a larger Middle East conflict. It should not only be interested in preventing the further spread of chaos but also in increasing its own regional influence."

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"Syria: Is there an alternative to Bashar al-Assad?"


Die tief gespaltene syrische Opposition habe bisher keine ernsthafte Alternative zu Präsident Assad präsentieren können, schreibt Erika Solomon. Allerdings erscheine es ebenso ausgeschlossen, dass Assad das Land nach Jahren des Bürgerkrieges wieder einigen könne. Die Suche nach einer möglichen Übergangslösung gehe deshalb weiter. "President Barack Obama on Monday called for a 'managed transition' in Syria that would leave Mr Assad temporarily at the helm. Britain’s David Cameron and French President François Hollande have made similar noises. But it is far from clear who could lead any transition in the conflict-riven country. (...) Ahrar al-Sham may be deemed too Islamist for some but analysts say it may be necessary to involve some similar groups in order to make sure any political deal has force on the ground. The group was part of a recently negotiated truce with Iran and Assad forces, and has shown interest in transition talks. A potential figurehead could be someone like Manaf Tlass, a former regime insider whose 2012 defection caused a big stir. He rarely spoke to the media and moved to Paris after his defection, but, according to occasional media reports, has met intelligence or political figures."

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"Russian law sparks web surveillance fears"


Die russische Regierung will Unternehmen verpflichten, gesammelte persönliche Daten russischer Bürger auf russischen Servern zu speichern. Das neue Gesetz hat die Befürchtung geweckt, dass die Regierung die Bevölkerung und das Internet stärker überwachen wolle. "'It has nothing to do with personal data protection. They want foreign companies to put their servers on Russian territory because they need access,' said Andrei Soldatov, author of the upcoming book The Red Web, a history of internet controls in Russia. 'They have tried on many different levels.' The law is vague and broad — some companies based outside Russia may not have to comply but it is not sure which ones — and allows the government to block internet services seen as violators or fine them."

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"Terror attack on train puts spotlight on Schengen"


Der verhinderte Terroranschlag in einem französischen Zug hat eine Diskussion über das Schengener Abkommen ausgelöst. Einige Politiker und Experten fordern die Wiedereinführung strengerer Grenzkontrollen, um die Sicherheit im europäischen Zugverkehr zu erhöhen. "Charles Michel, Belgium’s prime minister, called for urgent talks with France, Germany and the Netherlands on increasing security on cross-border trains. However, the European Commission said the Schengen treaty on freedom of movement was 'non-negotiable' and there were no plans to change it. But it said increased security controls could be compatible with Schengen 'if they do not have an effect equivalent to border checks'."

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"Fears grow as Ukraine rightwing militia puts Kiev in its sights"


In der Ukraine wachse die Sorge, dass der Rechte Sektor sich mit seinen bewaffneten Bataillonen offen gegen die Regierung in Kiew stellen könnte, berichtet Roman Olearchyk. "(...) some Ukrainians who previously dismissed the threat posed by Right Sector are growing nervous. '[Right Sector] have been mainly a problem for Ukraine’s image in the west, but now there is added concern because they have turned against the government,' said Andreas Umland, a German academic based in Kiev who studies the far right. 'But they don’t yet have the political support or firepower to topple the government, and they know this.' Popular support for the group remains low, although a poll found it had risen from 1.8 per cent last October to 5.4 per cent by July."

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"David Cameron’s 'Little England' is a myth"


Gideon Rachman hält den Vorwurf, dass sich Großbritannien in der Regierungszeit von David Cameron von der internationalen Bühne zurückgezogen habe, für weit übertrieben. "The notion, common in Washington, that Mr Cameron’s Britain is a smaller actor on the world political stage is hard to argue with. The House of Commons vote in 2013 to reject military action in Syria increasingly looks like the moment when Britain decided that it was going to turn in its deputy sheriff’s badge and leave the US to play the role of world policeman alone. The Iraq and Afghan wars have sapped Britain’s will for foreign wars and that is reflected in declining defence budgets. But a willingness to drop bombs on the Middle East is not the only measure of internationalism. And the idea that Mr Cameron’s Britain is turning into a sleepy and cramped Little England is very wide of the mark."

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"Greece, Russia and the politics of humiliation"


Gideon Rachman meint, dass die Anerkennung eines verletzten Nationalstolzes in vielen internationalen Krisenherden eine wichtige Rolle bei der Konfliktlösung spielen könnte. "The implication of all this is that solving international conflicts may involve thinking as much about emotions as about interests. Sometimes the concession required to address a sense of national or cultural humiliation may be impossible. Nobody is going to concede a caliphate to tend to the wounded feelings of Isis. But sometimes the gestures required to restore a sense of national pride may be relatively minor. Greece does not seem to have extracted significant concessions from its creditors. Nonetheless, a display of national defiance, combined with some linguistic and technical changes, appears to have mollified the Greeks for now. As the west contemplates a dangerous conflict with Russia and the ambitions of China, it might remember that symbols can sometimes matter almost as much as substance."

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"Nato spending promises largely ignored"


Mit den USA und Frankreich werden der Financial Times zufolge nur zwei der großen NATO-Mitglieder ihren Verteidigungshaushalt wie vor fünf Monaten vereinbart erhöhen. "Britain, Canada, Germany and Italy are all forecast to cut military spending this year, flouting an explicit promise not to do this, made at September’s Nato gathering in Wales. Nato nations are expected to spend a minimum of 2 per cent of gross domestic product on defence, but very few do so. (...) 'The last year has been much more a triumph of rhetoric over delivery,' said Ian Kearns, ELN director and a former UK defence policy adviser. 'In spite of the talk of Ukraine being a game-changer for the alliance, it is much more business as usual.'"

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"Serbia caught between Russia and the west"


Die Einstellung des South-Stream-Projekts durch Russland sei in Serbien mit besonders großer Enttäuschung aufgenommen worden, berichtet Andrew Byrne aus Belgrad. "The ill-fated pipeline was Moscow’s most enticing offering to Belgrade but it was not Russia’s only investment. State-controlled Russian Railways is set to refurbish Serbia’s creaking rail infrastructure in an $800m scheme, while privately owned oil company Lukoil owns almost 80 per cent of Beopetrol, Serbia’s former state petrol retailer. Belgrade also hopes Russian investors will buy some of the 500 state-run enterprises it will seek to privatise next year. Opinion is divided over whether the end of South Stream will push Serbia’s government closer to the EU. To many Serbians, Russia appears to be a familiar country thanks to a shared religion, Cyrillic alphabet, close cultural links and Russia’s historical opposition to recognition for Kosovo".

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"Finland and Russia deepen energy ties"


Trotz europäischer Widerstände gegen engere Beziehungen zu Russland hat der finnische Energieriese Fortum beschlossen, beim Bau eines neuen Atomkraftwerks mit dem russischen Unternehmen Rosatom zusammenzuarbeiten. Beide Unternehmen befänden sich mehrheitlich im Staatsbesitz, berichtet Richard Milne. "Fortum is also restructuring its joint venture with a subsidiary of Gazprom that operates hydro and thermal power plants in northwest Russia and heating networks in St Petersburg. The Finnish group, in which the government holds more than 50 per cent, will form a joint venture for the hydro power assets in which it will hold three-quarters while Rosatom will own the remainder. Gazprom, which was the majority shareholder of the joint venture, will gain control of the other assets. 'These transactions strengthen the co-operation between energy sector companies in Finland and Russia and also with our long-term partner, Fortum,' said Sergei Kirienko, chief executive of Rosatom."

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"German businesses suffer fallout as Ukraine sanctions take hold"


Die deutschen Exporte nach Russland seien aufgrund der westlichen Sanktionen in den ersten acht Monaten des Jahres um 16 Prozent zurückgegangen, berichten Chris Bryant und Stefan Wagstyl. Gerade für Mittelstandsunternehmen, die sich auf den Handel mit Russland spezialisiert hätten, sei die Lage zum Teil "dramatisch". "As business with Germany becomes more difficult, German companies fear their Russian customers are turning elsewhere, in particular to China. 'The risk is that this is not a temporary effect,' says [Ulf Schneider, managing partner at Russia Consulting in Moscow.] 'Companies worry it will be very difficult to get business back later and rather it will be lost in the long term.' For this reason, Mr Beck says, sanctions are counterproductive for Germany. 'Russia and Germany had a good relationship,' he says. 'The government’s policies are too much against Russia at the moment.' But for some, wider political concerns trump business difficulties. 'I support sanctions 100 per cent,' says Christoph Thoma, who heads Herkules."

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"China and Russia vow to build alliance"


China und Russland haben eine stärkere militärische Kooperation vereinbart, berichtet Jamil Anderlini anlässlich des Besuchs des russischen Verteidigungsministers Sergei Shoigu in Peking. "The two sides agreed to hold joint naval exercises, their fourth in recent years, in the Mediterranean next spring, followed by further naval exercises in the Pacific. As fighting intensifies in eastern Ukraine and Russia’s neighbours fret over Moscow’s rising belligerence, Beijing has described Sino-Russian relations as the best they have ever been. (...) But both sides remain wary of getting too close and have trouble overcoming a long history of mutual mistrust and contempt, according to Chinese and Western experts who monitor the relationship. For all the talk of closer military ties and joint exercises, Russia has so far refused to sell its most advanced military technology, including jet engines and fighters, to China."

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Innerstaatliche Konflikte

Vom Kosovo nach Kolumbien, von Somalia nach Süd-Thailand: Weltweit schwelen über 280 politische Konflikte. Und immer wieder droht die Lage gewaltsam zu eskalieren.

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