A New Strategic Partnership Emerges
Before war there is often a fateful moment when conflict becomes inevitable. When this point is breached, no amount of negotiation or compromise can prevent the impending violence.
In the case of World War ii, that point occurred close to midnight on Aug. 21, 1939, when the music stopped playing on Berlin radio and the Reich government announced that it had “conclude[d] a pact of nonaggression” with the Soviet Union. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed two days later, officially making Russia a friend of Germany, and allaying Hitler’s last remaining fear.
Eight days later, he began his slaughter.
Of course, like all treaties, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was made to be broken. Within months of the Nazi invasion of Poland, the Soviet Union and Germany had tossed the pact aside and had reverted back to their historic penchant for conflict. Though it was hatched more than 70 years ago, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact furnishes an important lesson: Security agreements between Russia and Germany are marriages of convenience—forged out of mutual strategic necessity in the lead-up to major conflict—which always end in divorce, often violent.
In other words, a Russian-German security alliance is a harbinger of conflict.
Which is why the strategic relationship currently blossoming between the European Union and Russia is so interesting. Ever since the end of the Cold War, Russia’s relations with Europe, particularly Germany, have been steadily improving. A newly empowered Russia has grown to rely heavily on Europe for investments, and as a primary export market, particularly for its energy. Meanwhile Europe, especially Germany, has grown increasingly dependent on oil and gas from Russia. Economically and in terms of trade, both sides have come to rely on the other. Hence the rosier relations.
Over the last 12 months, these relations have evolved significantly. They have moved beyond trade and the economy and taken on a rather dramatic strategic dimension. Earlier this month, Russian and EU leaders conducted a summit in Rostov-on-Don. The first EU-Russia summit since the Lisbon Treaty was signed, it concentrated largely on trade and economic issues. Apparently it was a resounding success, with both parties agreeing to launch a modernization partnership program designed to streamline and diversify Moscow’s economy. Remarking on the summit and the EU’s willingness to further relations with Russia, EU President Herman Van Rompuy, in a light jab at U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, stated: “With Russia, we don’t need a reset. We want a fast-forward.”
He got it. Two days after meeting with Van Rompuy, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev jetted to Berlin for discussions with Europe’s real decision makers. Enclosed within Meseberg Castle, and buoyed by his successful meetings with the EU president, Medvedev spent two days in talks with German elites, including the German chancellor. The discussions centered on what has long been a pet project of Medvedev’s: namely, the drafting of a new Russian-European security pact. The meetings were successful and a plan was hatched whereby Germany could impose its ambition for improved strategic relations with Russia on greater Europe.
In fact, the two-day conference concluded with Medvedev and Merkel signing a memorandum on forming an EU-Russia Political and Security Committee. The purpose of the committee, which will operate under the joint stewardship of the EU and Russian foreign ministers, is to reform and enhance the strategic relationship between Russia and Europe. Commenting on the memorandum—and what is clearly now a German-led ambition for improved strategic relations—Merkel said she hoped it would find “positive resonance within the entire European Union” (emphasis mine throughout).
Yesterday, it appeared as if Merkel’s hopes had begun to be realized. Meeting in Paris, foreign ministers from France, Germany, Poland and Russia endorsed the German-Russian proposal for a joint EU-Russian security committee. Importantly, the proposal seemed to sit well with France and Poland, two nations that would be dramatically affected by a Russian-EU strategic axis. “We should propose (the idea) together, which must obviously be accepted by the European Union,” stated French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. “Partnership with Russia is a strategic objective” for the EU, he added. “It is not at all a divisive factor.”
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was especially enthusiastic, remarking, “We want to elevate cooperation with Russia on security policy to another level. These talks have contributed to that end.”
Both historically and prophetically, the creation of this committee (the brainchild of Germany in cahoots with Russia), and more importantly the broader motive behind it, is of terrific significance. Its main purpose, reports the Associated Press, “would be to set guidelines for joint EU-Russia crisis management, including military operations.” In an excellent analysis of the magnitude of what Germany is seeking to achieve, Stratfor’s George Friedman concluded: “With this proposal, the Germans are looking to change the game significantly. They are moving slowly and with plenty of room for retreat, but they are moving” (June 22).
Ultimately, Berlin’s efforts to forge a strategic relationship between the German-led EU and Russia is a foreboding sign!
It is entirely justifiable for people to view with apprehension and concern this growing relationship between Russia and Germany, which is currently—under Berlin’s direction—expanding into a strategic alliance between Russia and the EU. “The last time Germany and Russia ‘united their potential,’” wrote Stratfor, “the result was the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which carved up Eastern Europe between the Soviet Union and the Third Reich in 1939” (June 11, 2009). Really, the formation of an EU-Russian axis is currently one of the most significant and underreported trends on the world scene.
Believe it or not, history informs us that such a pact is a sure sign that one or both are preparing to engage in an imperialistic mission!
More than likely, the EU’s strategic relationship with Russia will continue to grow. Why? Because the EU is dominated by Germany, and Berlin is currently revamping and strengthening its strategic relations with Moscow. Very soon now we could see another formal security agreement akin to Hitler and Stalin’s Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In fact, as Gerald Flurry wrote after Germany essentially sanctioned Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August 2008, an informal agreement may already be in place. “[D]id you know that Germany and Russia have probably already dealt with their most urgent differences?” he wrote in 2008. “I believe that Germany’s leaders may have already agreed to a deal with Russia, a modern Hitler-Stalin pact where Germany and Russia divide countries and assets between themselves. This agreement would allow each to turn its sights on other targets.”
Sure, that is a bold statement—but it’s proving true! Just look at the rapid improvement since August 2008 in strategic relations between Russia and Germany, and now Russia and the European Union. Capture the significance of this trend. History is repeating itself—and end-time Bible prophecy is being fulfilled. To learn more about the prophetic significance of a Russian-German pact, read “Russia’s Attack Signals Dangerous New Era.”