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 Interview: German-American Relations and the Ukraine Crisis 

Submitted by Eric W. Fraunholz on Mon, 03/24/2014 - 09:11

MDR Info, the main public radio news provider for central Germany, interviewed Crister S. Garrett for its Sunday noon news show about the implications of the unfolding crisis in Ukraine for German-American relations.

Reporter Ina Namislo asked whether president Obama looks weak overall as Putin continues to push his agenda in Ukraine. Professor Garrett responded that the White House is closely coordinating a realistic response with Berlin and Europe to present Moscow with a clear message that its politics of annexion will not be accepted. While there are Republicans and some Democrats who see the president as acting timidly during the crisis, most Democrats and many Republicans are praising the president for a multilateral and restrained response. Obama is trying to show the relative merits of coercive diplomacy, and Berlin plays a central role in the effort, especially with its strong ties to Russia.

Repeated phone calls between Merkel and Obama during the crisis underscore the close coordination taking place and the robust pursuit of common interests despite such contentious issues as the NSA affair and tensions over transatlantic trade negotiations.

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