By Mick Krever, CNN
As tensions rise in eastern Ukraine, Germany may be the key to détente with Russia.
“We are the West’s number one modernization partner for Russia,” Markus Kerber, director-general of the Federation of German Industries told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour succinctly on Tuesday.
Germany came in for some early criticism of the Ukraine crisis for being viewed as too soft on Russia, because of the massive trade and historic links between the two countries.
Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel were both behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany in 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell – she as a young scientist and Russian scholar; he as a KGB officer. They speak each other’s languages fluently.
But if diplomacy doesn’t work, then German industry is publicly stepping up to refute the notion that billions of dollars in trade trumps the international rule of law.
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