Germany’s election on September 24 is critically important for all of Europe, not just German domestic politics. This is because Germany is not only the richest and economically strongest player in Europe but also because Chancellor Angela Merkel dominates the European scene and is often called the leader of Europe.
The impact of the election’s outcome in relation to Russia should be top of mind. For the last 250 years, Russia’s primary European interlocutor has been first Prussia and then Germany and their strategic interaction has been decisive in shaping European political outcomes until now.
Neither is there any doubt that Putin, who speaks fluent German, sees things in this way given the efforts he has made to cultivate German political and business elites. Therefore we may assume that Russia is not merely a passive onlooker but is actually trying to shape the elections’ outcome and aftermath.