German journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker Hubert Seipel told in an interview what common qualities Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have.
In his new book “Putins Macht: Warum Europa Russland braucht,” published in 2021 by Hoffmann & Campe, Hamburg Seipel analyzes Russia’s foreign policy in recent years, the implications of the complex but necessary negotiations between the West and Moscow, as well as the global system of international relations, which is currently in crisis mode.
“It is always, of course, about national interests, but also about one’s own character. And both of them (Putin and Merkel) definitely have a common predilection for force and tactics. As Putin, Merkel is concerned that another person might look at her cards… and perhaps discover that there is no master plan at all. Politics is determined by history, collective experience, and specific interests,” Seipel said.
According to him, both leaders are also united by an attentive attitude to opinion polls. Putin and Merkel also “both speak each other’s language”: the Russian president speaks German, and the German Chancellor speaks Russian. All this, however, “did not greatly ease the situation” in the relationship between them, according to Seipel.
“Freedom is America for her (Merkel),” wrote the former head of the international department in (one of the leading German newspapers) Süddeutsche Zeitung in the biography “Angela Merkel, the Chancellor, and her world”. The book quotes the Chancellor’s dogma. “What unites and unites us Europeans is our common set of values.” Logical consequence: Germany should never pursue a policy that contradicts the interests of the United States… (But) for Vladimir Putin, the world of Angela Merkel is unlikely to be a neighbor, even if he lived in the GDR for five years during the Soviet Union,” the journalist believes.