[guest post by JVW]
I confess that I was a major skeptic, but Germany appears ready to stand resolute in the face of Russian aggression in their neighborhood. From NRO:
Germany announced Wednesday that it plans to end oil imports from Russia by the end of the year and will then begin phasing out Russian gas imports, charting a path to energy independence from Moscow amid its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
“I therefore say here clearly and unequivocally yes, Germany is also completely phasing out Russian energy imports,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said after a meeting with representatives from the Baltic states Wednesday.
“We will halve oil by the summer and will be at zero by the end of the year, and then gas will follow, in a joint European roadmap, because our joint exit, the complete exit of the European Union, is our common strength,” she added.
Now, I love a good “Oh Lord, Germany asserting itself can never be a good thing” joke as much as the next guy, but in this case I can’t help but see this as a positive development. Coupled with their earlier pledge to accelerate the date by which they meet their NATO defense spending obligations, it appears that Berlin is at long last making a clean break from its awful slump last century and accepting its role in defending Europe from foreign aggression. As with any democracy, Germany is always one election (or even some worrisome opinion polls) away from returning to smug pacifism and moral relativism, but I think this more confident and muscular Germany is just what Europe needs right now.