Wie sich eine Einigung mit Putin erzielen lässt

PARIS – Im Showdown mit Russland in Bezug auf die Ukraine haben die Schwächen und Uneinigkeiten innerhalb der Europäischen Union den russischen Präsidenten Wladimir Putin ebenso ermutigt, wie es Amerikas zögerlicher Ansatz in Bezug auf Syrien getan hat. Wenn Europa verantwortlich handeln will, muss seine Politik gegenüber Russland durch drei zentrale Konzepte bestimmt sein: Festigkeit, Klarheit und die Bereitschaft, einen akzeptablen Kompromiss herbeizuführen.

Ohne Festigkeit geht gar nichts. Natürlich haben Europa und die USA im Gefolge des Zusammenbruchs der Sowjetunion Fehler gemacht. Insbesondere den USA kann man vorwerfen, dass sie arrogant gehandelt und Russland unnötig gedemütigt haben. Doch war der Niedergang der Sowjetunion das Ergebnis einer langen Reihe von Fehltritten, die mit der Unfähigkeit des vorsowjetischen Russlands begannen, die Moderne anzunehmen. Die postsowjetische russische Führung hat sich diesen Versäumnissen bisher nicht gestellt.

Doch mit der von ihm eingenommenen aggressiven, revisionistischen Haltung hat Putin einen strategischen Fehler von historischen Ausmaßen gemacht. Putins Modell hätte Peter der Große sein sollen. Sein Ehrgeiz hätte sein sollen, Russlands Zukunft an die Europas zu knüpfen. Stattdessen hat sich Putin von Nicholas I. inspirieren lassen, dem reaktionärsten unter den russischen Zaren des 19. Jahrhunderts.

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