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Russian President Vladimir Putin has inadvertently achieved what Western allies have long struggled to: get Germany to step up to its role as a major global power with an assertive foreign policy backed by a strong military despite its war guilt.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced on Sunday a dramatic hike in military spending in view of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in what is being heralded as a historic speech that marks a paradigm shift in German foreign and defense policy.

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