Best Frenemies Forever? Germany and Russia

Monday March 18th 2019, 12pm-2pm
Faculty Club Lounge

Karsten Voight

Speaker Karsten D. Voigt is a former member of the German Bundestag and served as the Coordinator of German-North American Cooperation at the Foreign Office of Germany from 1999 to 2010. He also served as Vice-President (1992-1994) and then President (1994-1996) of the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO.

From 1976 to 1998, he was a member of the German Bundestag, where he served as Foreign Policy Speaker of the Social Democratic faction from 1983 to 1998. For many years he was Chairman of the German-Soviet, and later the German-Russian parliamentary group.

Voigt is a board member of Aspen Germany and a Senior Associate fellow and member of the presidium of the German Council on Foreign Policy.

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2 Replies to “Best Frenemies Forever? Germany and Russia”

  1. Speaker Karsten D. Voigt today addresses the international relations between some recognizable and influential global entities, specifically German, Russia, America, and China. From the scope of past history and based on his own personal experiences, he points out that there are certain common grounds for both European nations and America to defend in response to the rising status of China: democratic governments, or maybe a transatlantic bipolar system that lies on two pillars of beliefs. During the further discussion with the audience, the relationships of today’s global powers (i.e. trade war between China and America, and President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia and Putin) are understood as a matter of different perspectives. Ultimately, from my understanding, the past global tensions between world powers are resolved at a certain extent because of the common sharing of beliefs and structures, and more importantly the commercial ties between them. However, new tensions of ideologies and competitions of economic resources may exist as China emerge as a newly rising global power.

  2. According to Speaker Karsten D. Voigt, because of the rise of China, the international relations of European countries and America will be less conflicting. He also points out that international relations, such as the relation between America and China and the relation between America and Russia, should be understood from different aspects. To my point of view, though there will still be some tensions among global powers, there will be more cooperations than conflicts in the international community. To start with, there are more and more democratic countries in the world, and conflicts are less likely to happen among those democracies since they have similar political structures, shared ideology, and common interests. In addition, with the contemporary globalization, the economic interactions become more intensive. Though these global powers still compete with each other, they actually have to frequently cooperate with each other in order to gain more benefits. What is more, the emergence of international institutions such as the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund reduces the conflicts between states to some degree by constraining countries’ behaviors.

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