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A positive trend in relations of Russia and FRG

  • 11 April 2016
Relations between Russia and Germany are gradually improving, although the general negative political background remains. This opinion was voiced by IE RAS experts, who, by request of TASS, commented the statement of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on possible Russia’s return to G8.

The experts stressed not only the statement itself, but also the warm atmosphere of the recent visit of Bundestag delegation to Moscow, as well as the round table «Russian-German Dialogue: on the Way to Trust and Global Security» that took place in Sochi in the course of preparation to the Russian-German forum «Petersburg dialogue».

«The relations between Russia and Germany are gradually improving, but the political background remains the same, – said Head of IE RAS Center for German Studies Vladislav Belov. – Crimea and the Ukrainian crisis are still the key issues, including the realization of Minsk agreements». The expert believed that the April meeting of Russian and German deputies, the round table in Sochi and the statement of Steinmeier – all serve «to demonstrate that many spheres of Russian-German relations deserve more attention».

Vladislav Belov stated that, since mid 2015, the German party had been sending clear signals that, despite the general negative background, the relations between FRG and Russia should be preserved and, possibly, improved: «In contrast to the USA, Germany is the country interested in preserving stable relations with Russia and political stability in Russia. Germany would not want our relations to go out of control».

«Definitely a warming, but not yet a spring in our relations», – agreed deputy Head of IE RAS Center for German Studies Ekaterina Timoshenkova, who believed that the Foreign Minister statement reflects the general mood in Berlin and was coordinated with Chancellor Angela Merkel. «Steinmeier does represent the CDU who traditionally treat Russia better, but he is nonetheless the Foreign Minister who would not make any discordant maneuvers behind the Chancellor’s back. There are indeed various political forces in Germany who treat Russia differently. But Merkel is, nonetheless, a very balanced politician, – underlined Timoshenkova. – The Germans never burnt the bridges behind them. Their interest is both political and economic. As for the German business, they were against the sanctions from the very beginning and are lobbying their withdrawal now. We clearly see the unwillingness of the Germans to lose Russia».

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