Washington openly threatens Berlin to restrict intelligence sharing

Washington openly threatens Berlin to restrict intelligence sharing unless the Germans stop cooperating with the Chinese company Huawei. Berlin does not hide the irritation of the White House. Whether this will result in a protracted conflict.

At the disposal of the newspaper The Wall Street Journal turned out to be a letter from the US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenelle addressed to the Minister of Economy of Germany, Peter Altmayer. Among other things, the diplomat stresses that secure communications systems play an important role in intelligence cooperation, and companies such as Huawei in China “may pose a threat to the confidentiality” of contacts between allies.

Americans are not going to completely stop sharing intelligence information, but the level of interaction may decrease. As German officials explained to the publication, Berlin was saddened, because for Germany, as well as the entire European Union, operational information from the United States is of particular value for the fight against terrorism.

The Chinese corporation Huawei Technologies faced problems a few months ago. At the end of January, the US Justice Department filed formal charges against both the company and its financial director, Meng Wanzhou, detained in December. We are talking about industrial espionage, money laundering, banking and electronic fraud. One of the main complaints is that Huawei conducted millions of dollars “directly violating sanctions against Iran” transactions.

“The United States is using state power to blacken and attack individual Chinese companies in order to destroy their normal and legitimate business operations,” responded in Beijing.

In the German government, the threats have not yet responded. However, the open pressure of Americans more than once caused irritation in the Federal Republic of Germany.

The current scandal involving the American ambassador to Germany is not the first. Richard Grenell has already attracted media attention with his penchant for the epistolary genre. In violation of diplomatic norms, he recently sent letters to the sharks of the German business demanding to withdraw from the project to build the Russian Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline. Otherwise, the sanctions – against investors and companies involved in laying the pipeline.
Although the head of the American diplomatic mission in Germany asked not to consider his words as a threat, businessmen complained to the German Foreign Ministry. The ministry called the letter a provocation and recommended not paying attention to it. In the Bundestag, they responded more emotionally, pointing to the “unacceptability of a unilateral sharpening of tone in transatlantic relations.”

The White House fears Moscow’s dominance in the European Union’s energy market. Experts and politicians, including American ones, take it more easily. They explain: on the one hand, the United States is a major gas exporter and will continue to develop in this direction. On the other hand, the EU has tightened the requirements for greenhouse gas emissions, so Russian companies will have to invest in infrastructure and the Americans will have a competitive advantage.

However, the Germans advice from Washington is increasingly perceived with hostility. Evidence of this is the reluctance of Chancellor Angela Merkel to support the American-Ukrainian proposals on the Kerch Strait and to send German ships to the Black Sea. As reported by Bloomberg, the leadership of NATO and the Minister of Defense of Germany, Ursula von der Lyayen, insisted on the participation of Berlin. But their arguments did not convince the Chancellor. Merkel said that “Russia is unlikely to simply look at such a provocation,” refusing to take any steps in this direction.

Despite the differences, the Germans and the Americans are in many ways the same look at contemporary international problems. Thus, two thirds of the polled citizens of Germany and the United States positively assess the role of NATO, in particular, the percentage of Germans who believe that government spending on defense should still be increased by 11 percent. And in both countries they do not trust Moscow: only 35 percent of Germans and 21 percent of Americans are positive towards Russia.

Be that as it may, Washington and Berlin need each other. The United States remains the guarantor of security. During the years of being under the umbrella of NATO, the Germans have forgotten how to ensure their defense. American support adds political weight to Germany, while adherence to the principles of atlantism has a calming effect on Europeans, who are afraid of an over strengthening of the Federal Republic of Germany. In turn, the Americans need Berlin as one of the main centers of power in Europe and the main mediator of Washington.

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Washington openly threatens Berlin to restrict intelligence sharing - /10

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Washington openly threatens Berlin to restrict intelligence sharing unless the Germans stop cooperating with the Chinese company Huawei. Berlin does not hide the irritation of the White House. Whether this will result in a protracted conflict.

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