In an interview with Deutsche Welle, German President Joachim Gauck argues that Germany can no longer shy away from its international responsibilities - even if that means resorting to military force.
On Friday, 21.02.2014, Joachim Gauck spoke to Dagmar Engel, the head of DW's Berlin studio, about Germany's role on the international stage. He expanded on his much-discussed speech at the Munich Security Conference, again calling on Germany to take more responsibility in world politics."Germany is mature and serves as a guarantor of stability and democracy, and we must not back away from these responsibilities," he said.
Referring to Germany's "dark past," Gauck told DW that "Germany is a completely different country than it was in between the two World Wars." He said that the country is now often regarded as a model of democracy.
Gauck argued that, in light of its changing international position, Germany should take on a mediating role in international conflict situations wherever it can and shouldn't shy away from using force if necessary. He said that Germany can hardly be indifferent to the events taking place in Ukraine, for example, and should instead "take on the role of mediator in cooperation with other European states" there.
Russia has criticized sanctions imposed by the EU and US this week, saying they will lead to higher energy prices in Europe. In eastern Ukraine, meanwhile, fresh peace talks appear possible - with an unusual host.
The US Federal Reserve has said it is in no rush to raise interest rates, even while issuing positive predictions on inflation and economic growth. The central bank continued scaling back its stimulus spending.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has agreed to host talks that Minsk has said are open to "all interested sides." The discussions are expected to focus on access to the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash site.