Using diverse relations
“We all have a shared interest in overcoming the political crises,” Foreign Minister Gabriel emphasised. For him, there are many different ways of nurturing German-Russian relations: “This summer, I opened the German-Russian Year of Municipal and Regional Partnerships with my colleague Sergey Lavrov in Krasnodar. We are also promoting youth exchanges and fostering cultural exchange.”
As Gabriel pointed out, it is also in the interest of both sides to step up economic relations. He attended the 10th German-Russian Raw Materials Conference to have an opportunity to talk to the participants about the current situation regarding economic relations.
Political solution needed to overcome distrust
Economic relations are strained particularly due to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the resulting EU sanctions. Gabriel made clear: “We need an effective ceasefire in eastern Ukraine and compliance with the Minsk Agreement in order to reduce sanctions.” A political solution in Ukraine is essential for relations to return to normal. “Together we have the responsibility not to return to the spiral of distrust and rearmament.”
On 28 June, Foreign Minister Gabriel travelled to the Russian city of Krasnodar for the town-twinning conference and then from there to Moscow.
On Thursday (13 July), young people from Germany and Russia celebrated the end of the German-Russian Youth Exchange Year.