Cover Osteuropa 7/2013

In Osteuropa 7/2013

Cooperation Is Essential!
Against the Blindness of Putin’s Enemies

Hans-Joachim Spanger

Deutsche Fassung


In the discussion about what a policy towards Russia and other authoritarian regimes should look, Wolfgang Eichwede criticized the alleged statism of the Social Democrats. Instead of cooperating with the ruling elites, Eichwede argues, civil society should be strengthened. This demand ignores the paradox of détente as a policy of dialogue. Such a dialogue recognises what it rejects and stabilises by means of cooperation that which cannot be overcome by means of confrontation. To propagate a selective understanding of values and parade one’s own view of the world as a monstrance is of little use to people in Russia. This type of dialogue as moral exercise quickly degenerates to monologue. Instead, it is necessary to specify one’s own interests and then to compare Russia’s interests so that it can be determined where cooperation is possible.

(Osteuropa 7/2013, pp. 169–178)