A wave of publications with results of surveys focused mainly on the attitude of the Germans to the situation around security provision globally and in Germany in particular, has swept through the country’s media in the run-up to the traditional Munich Security Conference. However, despite the western propagandists’ strive for showing Russia in the press and on TV on an almost daily basis as an aggressive monster continuously attacking the ‘civilized world’ just about across the globe – from Ukraine and the Baltic states to Syria and Venezuela, the Germans see the US as the main threat to global peace.
Specifically, the findings of Pew Research Center included in the recent official report, which usually sets the stage for the Munich Security Conference, say that 49% of German citizens believe that “the US power and influence” is a major threat to their country. The same is the case for Russia and China, according to 30% and 33% of the Germans polled, respectively, the portal of Second German Television zdf.de reports. The Germans’ responses to the question how much confidence they have in the international policy of the leaders of their and other major countries of the world are also quite indicative. Only 10% of the respondents have confidence in US President Donald Trump, 35% - in Russian President Vladimir Putin, 30% - in China’s leader Xi Jinping, 77% - in French President Emmanuel Macron, and 68% - in German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Those figures highlight not only the fact that the Germans have a good historical memory, but also that they remember relatively recent events in the global arena. For example, the scandal involving eavesdropping on German politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, organized by the US special service NSA (National Security Agency) on the territory of Germany, NATO bombings of Yugoslavia, the US’ war crimes in Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Many German citizens also consider both the upgrade of US nuclear forces in Germany and the deployment of NATO’s armament along Russia's borders – in the Baltic states and Poland – extremely dangerous for their country.
It stands to reason that that rp-online.de portal notes that “the global peace is very fragile, with numerous conflicts in the past and in upcoming years being typical for it.” Now, who poses the biggest threat to the worldwide peace? According to the research of the ‘Center for strategy and leadership’ in Cologne conducted jointly with the Allensbach Institute for Public Opinion Research referred to by the portal, the United States of America does. Such was the reply of 56% (40% in 2018) of the respondents. It is followed by North Korea (45%; 73% in 2018), Turkey (42%; 33% in 2018) and Russia (41%; 28% in 2018). What stands out is that only 21% of those living in East Germany see threat from the Russian side. In this respect, Die Welt newspaper notes that the research mainly suggests that “the US headed by Donald Trump is the key threatening factor for German citizens.”
It only makes sense that the German citizens do not simply rely on likes and dislikes when making estimates of their attitude towards this or that country or its leaders. Pragmatic Germans having retentive memory take into account both the prospects of job conservation and heating tariffs for their apartments. Consequently, they will not side with Trump pushing Germany towards boosting its military budget, and will back Angela Merkel who is dead set on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction. It is common knowledge, for example, that East Germany has more than most faced the situation when EU sanctions against Russia damage traditional economic ties of that region with the Russian Federation, while small and medium-sized entrepreneurs fail to divert their business, say, to the US. The Americans just do not let them in. Western Europe is also problematic – competition as matter stands.
It is no coincidence that late last year the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations expressed serious concern over the prospects of German companies operating in Russia and with Russia, urging a gradual removal of anti-Russia sanctions. A survey was conducted together with the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce, in which 168 German firms with total turnover in Russia amounting to almost 23 bln euro participated. Most of all they are worried about the ruble’s volatility and EU economic sanctions against Russia, as well as potential new sanctions to be slapped by the US against Russia’s European partners. Interestingly, everyone in Germany understands that the US attack is aimed entirely at promoting the American business in Europe and, particularly, at eliminating competition here for cheap liquefied gas from across the pond.