INTERNATIONAL  INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC STUDIES 
Back to the list

Comment by Ralf Ostner/ Global Review

30.09/2019

As it stands, the next German government will become a black-green coalition or even a green-black coalition with a green German chancellor. The other more unlikely option would be a green-red-red goverment--however: The Green Party would also play the leading role. . Weber (CSU / EPP) has even described a black-green coalition as a model for the future. The Greens see themselves not only as an environmental party (Umweltpartei) , but also as value orientated party (Wertepartei). 


Putin-Russia is thus confronted with a party that, unlike former chancellor Schröder or Socialdemocrats like Gabriel, thinks in terms of values and not that much of interest. To counter this, Russia would have to make some concessions, as well as to comply with the Minsk agreement The Green Party could then put aside its concerns about ecological cooperation with Russia.

It will be important to make clear to the Greens that the Siberian forests destroyed by China, such as the Amazon, are the green lungs of Eurasia and of humanity. But preventing further deforestation and reforestation are not the only fields of a possible cooperation. Sasha Rahr still names properly water managmement, hydrooxide technology, technology for the management of waste and rubbish as concrete examples of a coperation. And .-for sure- there are certainly other fields of cooperation.

Within the EU, especially Poland could act against such cooperation.But Poland is in danger of isolating itself as a “coal state” and a disruptor to a humanitarian project for menkind within the EU.. Poland will also try to bring the values ​​orientation of the Greens against Russia into play, but is in the glass house because of its own authoritarian PiS government.If PiS-Poland tries to veto any EU-Russian ecological cooperation and wants to play the anti-Russian bully, then a coalition of the willing inside the EU will be the alternative and will have an overwhemingly majority within the EU.

The fact that Russia has now joined the Paris Climate Agreement at the UN summit in New York makes such cooperation much easier. An important step in the right direction thanks to Putin.

However, Putin sees the Siberian forest as similar to Bolsanaro the Amazon as a matter of national sovereignty. Bolsanaro refused to call the Amazon the green lung of humanity. Similarly, Putin does not want supranational institutions such as the UN or the EU to intervene in Russia’s national sovereignty and determine its forests. This must be kept in mind by every NGO and every EU-Russian eco-alliance and both sides have to create cooperative solutions with incentives that are acceptable to Putin.

But Putin, for his part, has now documented, by Russia’s accession to the Paris Climate Agreement, that he is different on that point from Trump and Bolsanaro, and more ready for pragmatic compromises. Conversely, every eco-alliance with Russia has to make sure that results are achieved and that it is not empty talk.

An environmental alliance between the EU and Russia, as a confidence-building measure, could also become the entry into a more comprehensive New East Policy (Neue Ostpolitik), defining Ukraine and Belarus as neutral bridging states between the EAEC and the EU, and advocating a mutual disarmament initiative within NATO, as well for a renewal of an economic and ecological modernization partnership.