The collapse of the special relationship
between Russia and Germany is the latest and most serious in a series of blows to Russia's position
in Europe. In recent years, high-profile corruption scandals in various countries have eliminated
leading politicians who were inclined to cooperate with Moscow: presidential candidates Dominique
Strauss-Kahn and François Fillon in France, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini in Italy, and
Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache in Austria.
In other countries — Spain, Greece,
Bulgaria, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Norway — Russian conspiracies or spies were
exposed, leading to a cooling in relations with Russia. Finally, the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and
his daughter in the British city of Salisbury had a truly universal fallout.
scandals and other obstacles, the key interests of both Europe and Russia require coordination and
cooperation. These periodic scandals don't override those interests; they simply sometimes drown
them out. For this reason, it's vital to keep emotions in check, and take a broader view of the
Everyone in the Euro-Atlantic region needs to remember that the Russo-German
reconciliation is a vital pillar of European security: nothing short of a modern miracle,
considering the rankling wound of Nazi aggression, the enormous scale of destruction, and the many
millions of lives lost.