Berlin: addressing global challenges impossible without Russia
German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Mueller said at the meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin about Russia's significant role in addressing global challenges.
"We have to admit that without Russia we are not able to cope with them," he said, adding that he means "climate protection, such global problems as hunger and poverty." "Russia is a truly important partner" in these matters, Muller stressed.
He also said that he held a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Alexei Gordeyev yesterday. The minister noted that during these negotiations an agreement was reached on forming a bilateral working group on the conservation of natural resources of Russia and Germany, adding that it will include politicians, economists and businessmen.
In turn, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister expressed hope that he would be able to discuss issues of international cooperation at the talks with the German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development. "It would be no exaggeration to say that we need to issues regarding the survival of humankind," TASS cited him as saying.
In addition, issues related to people's living conditions, as well as the gaps existing due to changes in the economy and the information revolution, will be touched upon, Pankin pointed out.
"We would like to continue the dialogue between our countries on these issues," the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister concluded.
The senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Olenchenko, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the minister made this statement on the eve of his visit to Moscow, thus voicing, in the first place, Germany’s intentions on the issues to be discussed.
"Second, he thereby warned his partners and opponents that Germany would strive for bilateral agreements with Russia in precisely these areas. The third message is that dialogue in these areas and agreements are hampered by the sanctions regime," the expert said.
According to Olenchenko, in addition to the areas named by Muller, Russia and Germany can cooperate in the field of hydrocarbons, engineering, car manufacturing (for example, the Mercedes plant in the Moscow region). "In general, we have a very wide range of ares that meets both German and Russian interests," the senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences noted.
Commenting on the fight against terrorism, the expert recalled that the Germans are practical people. "They are really interested in the fight against terrorism, especially after the tsunami of illegal migration, which has begun in 2015," Vladimir Olenchenko concluded.
Director of the Institute of Strategic Planning and Forecasting, Professor Alexander Gusev recalled that the 'Lisbon to Vladivostok' idea, proposed in the early 2000s, included Russia's serious positions in European institutions, but then European politicians, including Angela Merkel, did not understand everything suggested by Russia. "It included a European security system, a strategic partnership within the Russia-NATO framework and a strategic partnership in the economic, trade and economic sphere. The U.S. played a decisive role in Europe’s refusal," the expert explained.
But, according to him, the situation has changed recently. "It became especially obvious after 2016, when processes in Europe related to the open doors concept laid a heavy burden on Germans. After all, the Germans spend about 14.5 billion euros annually to support migrants. This amount is comparable to Germany’s membership fee. Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to create a European army was perceived in Berlin with laughter: the German authorities understand that the creation of a European security system is impossible without Russia. But Germany is still held by the United States with an iron grip," Gusev noted.
"But sensible people in Europe understand that Russia is not an aggressor country, on the contrary, it is a stabilizing factor in global politics. High-ranking German officials form public opinion so that the future federal chancellor will change attitudes towards Russia and build relations with it in terms of strategic partnerships in the military, trade, economic, humanitarian and other spheres," the expert concluded.