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Nach der partiellen Schließung der schwedischen Grenzen für Flüchtlinge verhängt das erste deutsche Bundesland einen Aufnahmestopp.

EU oder Krieg
Luxemburgs Außenminister Jean Asselborn warnt vor einem Zerfall der EU.

Neue Lager
Die Innenminister der EU haben sich auf Maßnahmen geeinigt, die Flüchtlinge aus Deutschland fernhalten sollen.

Krieg in Europa?
Der ehemalige Bundeskanzler Helmut Schmidt warnt vor einem neuen Krieg in Europa.

Verletzte ausgeflogen
Die Bundeswehr hat 20 verwundete Kämpfer aus der Ukraine zur Behandlung nach Deutschland ausgeflogen.

Außen und innen
Der deutsche Außenminister moniert eine mangelnde Zustimmung in der Bevölkerung für eine offensive deutsche Weltpolitik.

Die Verantwortung Berlins
Der ehemalige EU-Kommissar Günter Verheugen erhebt im Konflikt um die Ukraine schwere Vorwürfe gegen Berlin.

"Ein gutes Deutschland"
Das deutsche Staatsoberhaupt schwingt sich zum Lehrmeister der Türkei auf.

Die Dynamik des "Pravy Sektor"
Der Jugendverband der NPD kündigt einen "Europakongress" unter Beteiligung des "Pravy Sektor" ("Rechter Sektor") aus der Ukraine an.

Der Mann der Deutschen
Die deutsche Kanzlerin hat am gestrigen Montag zwei Anführer der Proteste in der Ukraine empfangen.

Partners at the Pacific
(Own report) - Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe opened the CeBIT digital trade fair in Hanover on Sunday, emphasizing their commitment to expand German-Japanese cooperation. Japan is "a friend," Merkel declared, with whom one can advance in promoting digitalization. Japan had once been the Federal Republic of Germany's most important East Asian business partner, but, in terms of German foreign investments and trade, it has fallen far behind China over the past few years. Even though strategically highly significant, from a German point of view, economic relations have been stagnating. A counterweight to Beijing in East Asia would be advantageous for Berlin's foreign policy. Germany has therefore begun to expand military cooperation with the Japanese armed forces. During his visit in Tokyo last November, Germany's President, at the time, Joachim Gauck, explicitly encouraged Japan's rearmament, which is pointed directly at China. Having taken a sharp nationalist course, the Japanese government will send a new helicopter carrier to train with the US Navy in the South China Sea in May.

Secession as a Point of Leverage (II)
(Own report) - Scotland has established an investment center in Berlin, thereby reinforcing its economic ties to the EU and causing - with German support - new tension in Great Britain. According to critics, in its intended secession from the United Kingdom, for which it must establish economic security, the Scottish government is relying on German help. In fact, to increase the pressure on London to achieve the "softest" Brexit possible, Berlin and Germany's regional governments are going out of their way to strengthen relations with Edinburgh. This is considered essential to German interests. Government advisors in Berlin are recommending using Ireland for obtaining influence in the negotiations concerning the borders between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. In the event of a "hard" Brexit, this border would be a particularly sensitive point. Berlin is also using EU foreigners, residing in the United Kingdom, as an additional bargaining chip. Chancellor Angela Merkel has refused to have their rights of residence clarified beforehand.

Germany's Geopolitical Interests
(Own report) - In spite of the Turkish government's recent provocations, Berlin is steadfastly maintaining its cooperation with Ankara. Over the past few days, members of the Turkish government have affronted several EU countries as "fascist," thereby again provoking sharp protests. For some time, human rights organizations and other critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have been up in arms over Ankara's brutal violations of human and civil rights, its attempt to establish a presidential dictatorship and its arbitrary incarceration of citizens of foreign countries. Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that her objective was to prevent Turkey from "becoming even more alienated from us," which is why we must persist in our cooperation. Since some time, government advisors in Germany's capital have been warning that Ankara is seriously considering joining the Chinese-Russian Alliance (the Shanghai Cooperation Organization - SCO), and that, within the Turkish establishment, voices calling for Turkey to leave NATO are growing louder. That would be a serious setback for Berlin's ambitions to become a world power, which for geostrategic reasons, is dependent on its cooperation with Ankara.

With German Weapons against Yazidis
(Own report) - The German government's Kurdish protégés in Northern Iraq are using German weapons to attack the Yazidi minority. This has been confirmed by new photo and video documents circulating around the internet for the past few days. These documents depict the Erbil-based Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Peshmerga and its allied militias attacking Yazidis with Dingo infantry mobility vehicles (IMV), G36 assault rifles and other German weapons. The Peshmerga is seeking to round off the KRG territory and annex the region surrounding Shingal ("Sinjar" in Arabic) before the planned secession from Iraq of the regions under Erbil's control. Shingal had been the focus of international attention in the summer of 2014, when the IS/Daesh killed thousands of Yazidis and abducted, enslaved and raped thousands of Yezidis. Yazidis, who have always been harassed and discriminated against by the KRG are now fearing expulsion. For years, Erbil - which Berlin is supporting politically, as well as with training and arms for its Peshmerga - has been systematically expelling Arab speaking inhabitants from the territories under its control. Already in 2015, US observers were accusing the KRG of "ethnic cleansing."

Divide and Rule
(Own report) - With today's special summit of four heads of state, Berlin is preparing the EU's transformation in response to the Brexit. The German chancellor will meet in Versailles this afternoon with France's president and the prime ministers of Italy and Spain. Selected southern EU members have been included in alleged leadership meetings with the German chancellor to prevent a southern European bloc from emerging, which could possibly, in the future, put an end to German austerity dictates. With Great Britain's exit, the neo-liberal oriented EU countries are loosing the necessary quorum for a veto in EU bodies. Berlin could also encounter problems with the Eastern European "Visegrád Group," which does not want to support the emergence of a powerful integrated core around a German hub, because it would consolidate a two or even three-class EU. Reinforcement of the EU's anti-refugee border-management and particularly its resolute militarization are emerging as the common denominators for the Union's transformation.

Focus on Global Politics
(Own report) - A new "White Paper" is supposed to precipitate the debate about the EU's future. The paper, presented by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday, sketches out five scenarios for the EU's possible development. These should be taken into consideration in preparations for the EU's March 25 special summit. One of the scenarios corresponds to that of the "multi-speed EU," which Chancellor Angela Merkel had recently called for. Juncker also now favors this demand. This demand means that certain groups of countries forge ahead with intensive cooperation in particular fields of politics leaving others two or three steps behind. This scenario permits the creation of multinational armed forces in Europe, in spite of persistent resistance from several EU member states. This is why Berlin favors it as a solution. Another of Juncker's scenarios suggests that the EU reduce its number of key policy fields, to include warding off refugees, foreign and military policy. With elements of this scenario, Berlin could avoid paying billions to shoulder the consequences of the Brexit - at the expense of poorer EU members.

Breaking up Iraq
(Own report) - The regional government in Kurdish-speaking northern Iraq, which enjoys Berlin's support, is calling for breaking up the country and establishing its own state. A referendum on secession is a "natural, God-given right of the people in Kurdistan," declared Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). The issue is national independence, KRG Foreign Minister Falah Mustafa underlined. Consultations on these topics were allegedly held on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. Barzani explicitly does not include Syrian and Turkish Kurdish-speaking regions in his plans to establish a state. Experts have long been warning against the possibility of Iraq's disintegration or being plunged into a new civil war, once IS/Daesh is defeated. The KRG can rely on Germany's legwork, in its demand for national independence. Berlin has been particularly keen to support the Kurdish-speaking regions in Iraq and has even trained and armed the KRG's military forces, the "Peshmerga," since September 2014 - within the framework of the war against IS/Daesh. Berlin has consistently ignored human rights organizations and US experts' allegations that, in the wake of this war, the Peshmerga is carrying out "ethnic cleansing," to expel unwelcome Arabs from its "Kurdistan" of tomorrow.

Driven into their Arms
(Own report) - The Mexican government is pushing to rapidly modernize its free trade agreement with the EU and has declared its "close affinity" to Germany, following US President Trump's threats of massive reprisals by building a wall at the border and imposing punitive tariffs. Because of its extreme dependence on the USA, Mexico can only hold its ground by intensifying its relations with other countries, according to Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray. Mexico's enticements are greeted with sympathy by German business circles. The majority of German firms active in Mexico had already decided on new investments and is planning to carry these out, despite expected disadvantages from the projected US trade policy. Experts assume that the US administration cannot afford excessive punitive tariffs or other exorbitant escalations. At an appearance last week in Mexico, Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser ostentatiously announced investments worth US $200 million and signed an agreement of intent with Mexico's Minster of Economics for infrastructure and industrial projects with a possible volume of up to US $36 billion.

On a Par (II)
(Own report) - At the Munich Security Conference last weekend, the German government assumed the role of an ally "on a par" with the United States. The chancellor and several ministers of Germany formulated conditions for continued cooperation with the US government, while holding out the prospect of a "stronger Europe," which, according to Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, should be capable of independently "coping successfully" with the "reality of crises and wars outside the bounds of the European Union." Appropriate rearmament measures are being prepared. The chancellor conceives of a military budget increase of around eight percent annually, while the discussion on German-European nuclear arms is continuing. Publicists are hinting at the possibility of Berlin sharing influence over the Force de Frappe through co-financing France's nuclear arms arsenal. Berlin is still relying on the alliance with Washington, at least for the time being, because rearmament and access to nuclear arms take time.

Torchbearer of the West
(Own report) - In the run-up to the Munich Security Conference this weekend, leading German foreign policy experts are calling on the EU to reposition itself on the world stage, replacing the United States as the West's "torchbearer." Since Washington's change of government, the United States no longer "qualifies as the symbol of the West's political and moral leadership," according to Wolfgang Ischinger, Chair of the Munich Security Conference. It is therefore up to Europe "to make up for this loss." Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold a programmatic speech at this weekend's conference, focusing on the future relationship between the EU and the USA. In anticipation of the looming power struggle, in the German capital, the EU is already being warned not to allow itself to be torn apart by outside rivals. Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth cautioned against "special deals" being made between individual EU countries and the new Trump administration. If there is sufficient coherence necessitating, for example, majority decisions in foreign policy, "we Europeans" could become an "impressive political and military power," Ischinger cajoled.

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