IMPLICATIONS OF BREXIT: GERMAN-RUSSIAN RELATIONS AFFECTING THE DIRECTION OF THE EU
Shapiro, Barry M
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The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, known as Brexit, brings uncertainty to Europe. While the future of the UK is unknown, other states within the EU seem well-positioned to gain from the exit; Germany is in such a position. Germany, a regional hegemon and continuously growing economy (and already the largest economy in the EU), will be prominently at the top of the EU pecking order. The downtrace implications of Brexit have ripple effects across Europe, and beyond. The subsequent reactions from British action is a domino effect. Having this leading role is advantageous, since Germany can shape and lead the direction of the EU. The history of German-Russian relations in the modern era starts with Ostpolitik and rapprochement, which normalized efforts. Yet Germany has increased economic ties to Russia in recent years, and continues to focus on projects with Russia such as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. While German-Russian relations continue to grow, EU-Russian relations remain tepid, especially after EU-imposed sanctions in response to the Russian invasion of Crimea. Given Germany’s increased trade partnership with Russia in recent years, Germany’s relationship with Russia may be an influencing factor in the direction of the EU.