Germany and the Russian Federation: Bilateral relations

06.10.2023 - Article

With its war of aggression against Ukraine as well as the so-called annexation of Ukrainian regions in both 2014 and 2022, Russia has violated fundamental principles of international law. This has had serious consequences for all areas of German-Russian relations.

The European Union, the G7 and many other partners worldwide have reacted to the war of aggression against Ukraine by imposing massive sanctions against Russia. EU measures include extensive financial sanctions and strict export controls, which are having a profound impact on Russia’s economy, financial system and access to cutting-edge technology.

The German Government has moreover repeatedly condemned Russia’s role in the cyberattacks on the German Bundestag as well as its attempts at hybrid influence. Annual intergovernmental consultations have been suspended since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Until the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine there was a lively exchange between Germany and Russia in the cultural and education sphere. Relations with Russian independent, democratic civil society entities, many of which are operating abroad in exile, are being maintained even under the changed circumstances. However, cooperation with Russian state authorities has been halted in response to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

Remembrance of the past remains important to Germany. Germany is aware of its responsibility towards Russia and all post-Soviet states for the 27 million Soviet victims of the Second World War. It is committed to sincere remembrance based on historical facts which recognises in particular the suffering of civilian victims.

The German Government also supports efforts to preserve the cultural identity of the German minority in Russia.

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