Understanding Germany: one year after Zeitenwende

The Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA), in cooperation with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in the Baltic States, invites you to the public discussion: "Understanding Germany: one year after Zeitenwende" that will take place on February 27 from 14:30 - 15:30 at Hotel Bergs, Glass hall, Elizabetes Street 83/85, Riga. 

The recording is available below: 

Opening remarks:

  • Oliver Morwinsky, Head of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung office in the Baltic States. 


  • Jürgen Hardt, German politician of the Christian Democratic Union who has served as a member of the Bundestag (attending virtually);
  • Benedikt Meng, Advisor for Security & Defense Policy, Member of the Young Foreign Policy Experts at Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.


  • Mārtiņš Vargulis, Deputy Director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs, Lecturer at the Riga Stradiņš University. 

The security of Europe has come again to the forefront after Russia's aggression in Ukraine this year. Military actions and growing ambitious rhetoric made by Russia's political regime has raised the issue of the overall security of the Euro-Atlantic area. It has also forced Europe to step in politically, economically, or militarily. 

Although the speed of the decision-making, as well as assistance provided to Ukraine, have been unprecedented from European nations, there have been discrepancies in how various stakeholders in Europe perceive the conflict and their role in this geopolitical rivalry. 

Germany and its involvement in various ways and means have been one of the most topical issues during the first year of Russia's aggression in Ukraine. On both sides of the Transatlantic community, there has been a mix of feelings when it comes to Germany's participation – from appreciation to incomprehension and misunderstanding of how Germany perceives and acts on the merits of Russia's aggression in Ukraine. 

The famous Zeitenwende speech by the chancellor of Germany, Olaf Sholz, on February 27, 2022, was long-awaited, at least from the Baltic perspective. It was perceived as a turning point in the foreign and security policy of Germany as well as for the future security architecture of Europe. The overall sentiment was optimistic. However, as Russia continued to attack Ukraine in various ways and means, the demand for greater German involvement grew. 

Overall, it has highlighted that there are diverse perceptions on various issues: 

  1. How should European stakeholders be involved in Russia's aggression in Ukraine? 
  2. What is the role of the EU and NATO to be played? 
  3. How to deter Russia, and what is the future security architecture of Europe? 

The stance of Germany on the above-mentioned questions will be one of the main determinants of dynamics and developments in the context of Russia's aggression in Ukraine as well as the future security of Europe. 


Publicēts 20. februāris, 2023