CAN ZEITENWENDE DELIVER? A CONVERSATION WITH LARS KLINGBEIL, CO-CHAIRMAN OF THE GERMAN SPD - Only days after Russia began its illegal invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Scholz delivered, a now famous, “Zeitenwende” speech. Since, Germany has been front and center in discussions about foreign and security policy. Mr. Klingbeil as a Chairman of the SPD initiated a debate within the party and German society on Germany’s relationship with Russia and its role in the world. The country has made a 180-degree shift by pivoting away from relying on Russian energy, re-investing in the historically underfunded armed forces, and by fundamentally re-thinking its place as a major economic player in both Europe and on the world stage. Germany has made great strides since announcing the Zeitenwende not only through the announcement of the €100 billion military spending but also by expanding the scope and quantity of Germany’s military support for Ukraine. Germany is now the third-largest contributor of military equipment to Ukraine after the United States and Britain.
Mr. Lars Klingbeil joined the Atlantic Council to discuss the ongoing shifts in German foreign and security policies, how Germany is recalibrating its relations with Russia, and how Euro-Atlantic defense and security architecture should be modified to address forthcoming challenges. Following his remarks, Mr. Klingbeil took part in a moderated discussion and a panel discussion with leading experts on Germany’s foreign policy.
ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 11/14/22