A Marriage Made in Adversity

Global economic crisis is bringing Germany and Russia closer together.

When Russia attacked Georgia last August, the world took notice. “Russia is back,” shouted the headlines. Pundits the world over reacted to the great bear’s new aggressive foreign policy.

One nation expressed particular alarm. For some time, Germany has been seeking alternative energy sources, fearing Russia’s ability to withhold the flow of gas to Europe, especially in winter. Germany had already suffered twice under that threat in the past. It was seeking access to Caucasus energy resources through nato-friendly Georgia when Putin invaded and shut that vital energy corridor down.

But how suddenly things change on the world scene in this prophesied time of “no more delay”! (Revelation 10:6; Revised Standard Version).

Within just three months of Russia’s aggression against Georgia, the bottom fell out of Russia’s economy, drastically leveling the playing field between the EU—Germany in particular—and Russia.

Russia may be cash rich through the profits it has reaped via its oil and gas bonanza (Russia is spending $220 billion to shore up its financial services industry), but problems loom as the nation’s principal market dries up because of the oil price crash. Fully two thirds of the total value has been stripped off the nation’s stock market. The volatility of the Russian market triggered its intermittent closure during October.

“Russian companies need to refinance a total of $120 billion in corporate borrowings before the end of the year,” the Economist wrote. “The likely upshot is that politically well-connected tycoons will be bailed out, while those less favored (and those who have borrowed rashly) will turn from oligarchs to nanogarchs overnight. Those who control the tap of state spending will decide who survives. It will be interesting how that plays out: collecting debts in Russia may start in court, but end in the morgue” (Oct. 16, 2008).

Now, with Putin diverted for the moment from further aggressive foreign-policy moves as he concentrates on the impact of the global financial crisis on Russia’s economy, Germany is strengthening its commercial links with the EU’s eastern neighbor.

“Troubled finances can strain many a relationship,” the New York Times wrote. “But the marriage of business interests between Russia and Germany is strengthening even as the global financial crisis deepens. Despite a rapid downturn in both economies, German companies are planning to ramp up long-term investments in Russia” (Oct. 24, 2008).

What should not be forgotten is that German investment in Russia was crucial in the rebuilding of that nation’s economy after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The economic symbiosis between these two countries continues today despite their occasional political spats. “Russia’s vast natural resources and Germany’s engineering skills bring the countries together more often than they drive them apart. Today, the relationship is centered on Germany’s thirst for Russian oil and natural gas, as well as on Russia’s need for capital investment and German manufacturing acumen” (ibid.).

German bankers, financiers and corporate moguls have a history of seeking close links with the Russian economy. At a September meeting of these movers and shakers, the Times reported, “Many of the hundreds of guests oozed confidence that, despite the conflict in Georgia and the storm in world finance, Russia and Germany would deepen their centuries-old bonds—perhaps even realizing a dream long held by some of binding Russia closer to the West” (ibid.). This report spoke of how, at this meeting, “German managers from Moscow mingled with Russian officials, and East German veterans of Soviet enterprises chatted up younger Russian entrepreneurs.” Despite all the economic tumult, Russia and Germany continue to pursue ever closer ties.

The Trumpet has continually reinforced Herbert Armstrong’s prophetic claim that a Russo-German pact—akin to the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop pact agreed between these two nations preparatory to Nazi aggression triggering World War ii—would precede Germany’s pursuing its imperialist foreign goals under the umbrella of a united Europe. The conclusion of a trade pact between Russia and Germany will be but a precursor to a strengthening of political ties between the two, short-lived though that arrangement may be. Bible prophecies race toward their conclusion—the replacing of the whole doomed global system through godly intervention.

Events in Germany and Russia are moving quickly toward the fulfillment of Herbert Armstrong’s prophetic vision for both of these nations.

Request a free copy of The Rising Beast—Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans for more on this highly topical subject.