As a part of our annual Polish-German Roundtable, we recorded 3 interviews with German participants on the Russian war in Ukraine.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine caught Germany completely unprepared. Berlin was entangled in a web of mutual economic and political relationships with Moscow. The attitude is slowly changing, and aid to Ukraine is flowing. As explained by Franziska Davies, a historian of East European history at the University of Munich, Germany still has problems breaking the appeasement attitude and seeing the aggressor for what it is.
Russia is devastating the Ukrainian economy. Garry Poluschkin, an economic advisor for the Ukrainian government in a project financed by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, describes the current needs and the level of support Ukraine requires. At the same time, the expert underlines that there are discussions about the post-war reconstruction and the reforms that Ukraine will have to implement to attract investment and ensure compliance with EU requirements. A perspective of EU membership would attract investors and help the country.
The Black Sea plays a key role in the Russian aggression on Ukraine. Together with the Caucasus, it also has an important role for the EU and NATO. Despite its crucial position, as well as political and economic weight, the West has neglected the area, as argued by Wilfried Jilge, an expert on Eastern Europe, Ukraine and the Black Sea Region at the Center of International Peace Operations in Berlin. The fault has to be mended.