Natalia Meden

PhD (Economics), the Russian Academy of Science

all articles

May 10, 2017
A String of Scandals in the Bundeswehr

…Last year, the Bundeswehr was hot under the collar over problems not with right-wing extremists, but with Islamists: 20 soldiers had been identified from within its ranks who were associated with radical extremist organizations. Fears were expressed that such individuals were deliberately enlisting in the Bundeswehr to obtain military training, which they would then use to fight infidels, for example, in the ranks of the Islamic State. As a result, the counterintelligence services were granted the right to screen all volunteers for membership in such organizations. Last year’s news stories have already been forgotten, but it looks like this new scandal isn’t going to blow over anytime soon.

April 29, 2017
The Freedom Party of Austria in a Competitive Political Market

The problem of realising the significant cooperation potential between Austria and Russia in the economic and investment fields (the gas energy sector, transcontinental transport links, and the high-tech segment of engineering) is looming large not just for business people, but for politicians as well. 

March 10, 2017
Will Refugees Be Moved from Germany to Georgia and Egypt?

In election year, Germany’s Christian Democrats are frantically trying to find a way out of the mess the current CDU chairperson Angela Merkel put them in when she opened the country’s borders to an avalanche of refugees. It is not an easy thing to do, especially as the party’s leader cannot own up to her mistake out loud since she would then have to give up her dream of holding the post of chancellor for another term. That’s why Merkel’s forcedly optimistic slogan «We can do it!» is technically still being used; the German Chancellor remains outraged at Trump’s immigrant ban and says that Germany will continue to take in refugees from conflict zones. 

July 1, 2016
The Prospects of a German Europe Look Murky

The article «Germany Home Alone» in the conservative weekly Junge Freiheit includes the gloomy observation that «England is out, and in France the influence of the National Front is growing … 59 years after signing the Treaty of Rome, skepticism is spreading in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy. There’s no one home but Germany. Rich, yet helpless». But it’s hard to believe that this dejection is sincere…

December 2, 2015
Prospects for Russia-Germany Dialogue

To a large extent the future of the Russia-Europe relationship depends on the bilateral dialogue between Russia and Germany. There are two forums used for regular contacts between Moscow and Berlin: the Russia-Germany Forum and the Petersburg’s Dialogue. The both are brainchildren of the former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder…

November 26, 2015
Fight Against Terror: Germany Faces Hard Choices

Right after the Paris terrorist attacks, anti-terrorist operations were launched in France – the country living under state of emergency – as well as some other European states. It became evident that the Schengen zone is vulnerable. Belgium and Germany, the neighboring countries located near the «French hotbed», were the first to react. It’s not only geography. What is more important is the assessment of the potential threats by their governments. 

November 8, 2015
US Strikes New Blow Against VW and Merkel Shows Admiration for American Partners

It seemed that the scandal surrounding Volkswagen, Germany’s largest automotive group, had died down. As Frankfurter Allgemeine wrote last week, the group had managed to get away with a black eye. To be more precise, Volkswagen’s management admitted that 11 million vehicles produced between 2009 and 2015 had been fitted with software allowing the results of emissions tests to be falsified. The German car manufacturer was forced into the admission by the US Environmental Protection Agency, which tested the diesel engines and found irregularities…

November 5, 2015
Policy Regarding Path of Russian-German Relations

Sigmar Gabriel, Vice Chancellor and Minister of economic affairs and energy of Germany, visited Moscow from Oct. 28-29. The German politician had previously visited the Russian capital in March of last year, prior to a memorable referendum on the reunification with Crimea. Are we to understand that the ice has broken, and the German business community has finally convinced its politicians that the sanctions against Russia represent a road to nowhere, and if so, that it’s time to make an effort to find an exit strategy? Alas, that would be an overly optimistic assessment…

October 5, 2015
German View on Syria, Merkel as Sphinx

Not too resourceful, she is reluctant to take risks: to put it in one word, US ambassador to Germany called her «Angela Teflon Merkel». This nickname misses the mark, because in reality Angela Merkel is a sphinx. Nobody can hold a candle to her when it comes to talking in riddles. She can say something that sounds mysterious and then you’re free to construe it anyway you like. You can never be sure you got the message right…

September 12, 2015
Migrants: Germany Is Being Hit with Tsunami

The sheer number of refugees arriving in Germany speaks for itself. The Bavarian minister for social affairs, Emilia Müller (CDU) admitted that “a record for all time” has been set in her region, with 79,000 requests for asylum in July alone. But that was back in July, and according to the same ministry, so far in September an average of 2,000 refugees have been arriving daily in the Bavarian capital of Munich…