Seen from Moscow, Angela Merkel’s long tenure was a period of relative, if not always palatable, predictability in German-Russian relations. The future of the relationship will depend in no small measure on who succeeds her and how skilled that successor is at the art of statecraft. Merkel is leaving behind very big shoes to fill.
In theory, climate change and green energy are areas in which there is scope for joint international projects, new investment, and the transfer of green technology to Russia. Yet drastic differences in targets set and regulatory frameworks make such an optimistic scenario unlikely.
The Biden-Putin summit has elicited hopes for a new status quo in relations between Russia and the West, marked by guardrails and the prevention of further destabilization. Yet this momentum will be short-lived if it is not backed up by coordination between the United States and Europe, and commitment from Moscow.
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