A Deutche Welle article cites German luminaries as thinking Germany can mediate the “dispute” between Russia and Ukraine.
For instance, here’s Christoph Heusgen, Under-Secretary for Foreign and Security Policy in the German Chancellery from 2005 to 2017 and upcoming Munich Security Conference Chairman:
Germany overall has assumed a more active role in world politics, and people are asking for this. There are lots of expectations that we play an important role, and we do this. You know, I mentioned the Ukraine crisis. We do this when you look at the Balkans where we are very active.
Reiner Schwalb, ex-military attaché for Germany in Moscow, though, gave the game away (as did Heusgen in the above).
Berlin is a point of contact between Europe and America from the American perspective. Despite our history, the German-Russian relationship has a certain stability. There is a great economic exchange, with cultural exchange and scientific exchange, and repeated attempts by Germany to cooperate more intensively with Russia.
“From the American perspective” is a cynically offered irrelevancy. What’s central are two aspects of the German-Russian relationship. One is this “great economic exchange.” That’s an exchange that’s based on and strengthened by Germany’s dependence—voluntarily entered into by the German government—on Russia for its energy.
The other aspect is that “repeated attempts by Germany to cooperate more intensively with Russia” business. Cooperate with Russia, especially with Russia holding—and having already demonstrated that it does—the whip hand on German energy.
Regarding Heusgen, his “look at the Balkans where we are very active” brag. Germany also has been very active in the Baltics vis-à-vis Ukraine—barring Estonia from transferring badly needed arms to Ukraine if those arms originated in Germany.
Germany as mediator—a risible concept.