|“Uschi” (Ursula Von Der Leyen, German Defense Minister), with some German troops|
Sputnik Germany, April 30, 2016
Translated from German by Tom Winter
The announcement of a possible deployment of German troops to Lithuania for “containment” of Russia has made quite a stir in the media and the social networks in Germany.
The opinions are often widely divergent. From the perspective of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Berlin faces a dilemma. If Germany would refuse the deployment of troops, that would be a lack of solidarity towards the Baltic States. Should it agree, that would strain relations with Russia. However Deutsche Rundfunk [The German Radio] considers these plans quite sound: NATO must guarantee the “territorial integrity of the countries” that “feel unsafe” near Russia.
But this reason, that the states felt threatened by Russia, the Left-politician Gregor Gysi considers unconvincing. “First, it is not about feelings, but the question of whether a real threat exists. Second, these 250 soldiers would be in case of a real war more than superfluous,” said Gysi on his Facebook page. To make his point even clearer, the politician thinks back on history: “Therefore, it is historically oblivious, and escalating, to send troops now to the Russian border”
The Member of Parliament Sahra Wagenknecht supported her party comrade: “Chancellor Angela Merkel is committing an irresponsible provocation, when she sends the Bundeswehr to the Russian border 75 years after the Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union.” [for her press release, click]
In the comments on the Internet, many readers have aired their displeasure about the plan of the Federal Government.
“The border to Africa / Turkey / Syria is open, but the danger comes from Russia. Right! Just crazy,” wrote one user in comments to the article in Die Welt.
Another reader, J89, pointed out that a NATO battalion constitutes no appreciable risk on the border with Russia: This is “symbolic politics.” Other Internet users are unenthusiastic at the prospect of German soldiers in the direction of Russia. A sample:
|Bundeswehr as a deterrent? Are the guns straightened out already?|