Germany’s politicians are ordering millions of Sputnik V vaccine doses from Russia, claiming this will save lives. Not only are they “misleading the public”, they’re shooting themselves in the foot, says Klaus Geiger in Die Welt. Germany has more than enough doses in the pipeline to achieve herd immunity without Sputnik, and in any case Russian production is “very slow”. The Sputnik offer is a trick to lure Germany and the EU away from the US “and bind them to Russia”. The Russians want to convince us we can’t succeed without them, as they have with the Baltic Sea gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2.
Russia is thinking long-term. So, just as it claims the Sputnik vaccine is riding to the EU’s rescue, its forces are massing in eastern Ukraine. “Does anyone think that’s a coincidence?” Germany and the EU need to remember that they share their liberal values with the US, not with Putin’s dictatorial Russia. Even if the US is pivoting from Europe to Asia, we must realise that “Russia is not an alternative ally, but a rival”. That’s the only way the EU will learn to stand up to Moscow in hotspots such as Syria. In the meantime, as Germany struggles with the pandemic, it must not fall for “the Kremlin’s siren songs”.
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