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德俄關係--寒冬將至(1)

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Europe

歐洲板塊

German-Russian relations

德俄關係

From "flawless" to lawless

從“完美無瑕”到無法無天

Angela Merkel's glum trip to Moscow and Kyiv

安格拉·默克爾對莫斯科和基輔的陰鬱之旅

When angela merkel took over as Germany's chancellor in 2005 Western leaders had high hopes that Russia would progress from semi-authoritarian regime to liberal democracy. Four years earlier Vladimir Putin had declared in a speech in German to the Bundestag, "Russia is a friendly-minded European country." The then chancellor, Gerhard Schroder, Mrs Merkel's predecessor, became so chummy with Mr Putin that shortly before leaving office he approved the construction of a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany crossing the Baltic Sea. Russia provided 40% of Germany's gas. Germany was about to become Russia's largest trading partner.

當安格拉·默克爾2005年接任德國總理時,西方領導人曾對俄羅斯寄予厚望,希望它能從半獨裁政權走向自由民主。四年前,弗拉基米爾·普京在德國聯邦議院的一次演講中宣稱:“俄羅斯是一個思想友好的歐洲國家。”當時的總理,格哈德·施羅德,默克爾的前任,與普京關係非常親密,以至於在卸任前不久,他批准了一條穿過波羅的海從俄羅斯到德國的天然氣管道的建設。俄羅斯提供了德國40%的天然氣。德國即將成為俄羅斯最大的貿易伙伴。

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Sixteen years later, each country's expectation of the other has failed to materialise. Germany had imagined a more liberal Russia; Russia had hoped that Germany wouldhelp convince Europe to treat Russia as an equal, and to create a free-trade zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok. On August 20th Mrs Merkel will travel to Moscow during the last weeks of her chancellorship to say goodbye to a leader whom she has come to distrust deeply. Mr Putin will bid farewell to his most important interlocutor among Western leaders.

16年後,兩國對對方的期望都未能實現。德國曾設想一個更加自由的俄羅斯,俄羅斯曾希望德國能幫助説服歐洲平等對待俄羅斯,並建立一個從里斯本到符拉迪沃斯託克的自由貿易區。8月20日,在默克爾總理任期的最後幾周,她將前往莫斯科,向一位她已經深深不信任的領導人告別。普京也將告別他在西方領導人中最重要的對話者。

The debacle in Afghanistan will be high on their list, as well as the nearly finished gas pipeline, which America's Congress fiercely opposes. Now known as Nord Stream 2, it has become a stain on Mrs Merkel's legacy. The chancellor is normally adept at balancing competing interests, but she utterly underestimated how much the pipeline, which she supported mainly to appease the business lobby and her Social Democratic coalition partners, would upset America and Ukraine. They fear it will isolate Ukraine (which also stands to lose lucrative transit fees) and make Europe even more dependent on Russian gas. After her stop in Moscow Mrs Merkel will travel to Kyiv for talks with Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president.

在阿富汗的潰敗將是他們的首要任務,同樣重要的還有即將完工的天然氣管道,這一工程遭到了美國國會的強烈反對。現在被稱為“北溪2號”,它已經成為默克爾遺留政策的一個污點。默克爾通常擅於平衡相互競爭的利益,但她完全低估了這條管道會在多大程度上激怒美國和烏克蘭。她支持這條管道主要是為了安撫商業遊説團體和她的社會民主黨聯盟夥伴。他們擔心這會孤立烏克蘭(烏克蘭也將失去有利可圖的過境費),並使歐洲更加依賴俄羅斯的天然氣。在莫斯科停留之後,默克爾將前往基輔與烏克蘭總統弗拉基米爾·澤倫斯基舉行會談。

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